If you are in the process of taking your business online and are considering buying a domain name for your business, it is important to consider how domain name can impact your website ranking, and yes, website traffic, before registering one for your business.
Here are eight factors to consider in a domain name:
Is your domain name a keyword
It is important to buy a domain name that is made up of keywords or key phrases used in your industry. For instance, if you are in the travel business it would be advisable that you use any of the following keywords in your domain: travel, vacation, destination, trip, cruise, holidays, etc,. This is done for 2 main reasons: 1) by including keywords in your domain name customers are more likely to remember and to recognize your domain name, and further, more likely to associate it with your business; 2) Search engines use different algorithms to rank sites, so a domain with the keyword "travel" is more likely to be ranked higher in Google, Yahoo, or Bing search than a domain that is made up of keywords, say, "bigdog" - all things remaining equal. It is important to note, that different search engines allocate different weight to keywords used in domain names in determining page rank.
If you are experience difficulty coming up with keywords, synonyms can be used as search engines algorithms are designed to associated words that are similar in meaning. For example, "auto", "car' and "vehicle" usually have the same meaning.
Is your domain name short and easy to remember
A Name is not just a name. From the beginning of times, even before God change the name of Abram to Abraham, names always had meaning. From names that represent confidence to names that exude utter disgust. A few decades ago, Exxon Mobile spend over 50 million researching for the proper name for the company. This amount should be instructive to you as to how important a name or domain name is.
Buying a domain name that is memorable, easy to remember and short may be the most significant business decision you will make for your company. A memorable domain name is to your online business what a "hook" or chorus is to a sung.
Does your domain name have multiple meaning
If you business is online then it is global, whether you like it or not. Difference names have different meaning in different countries. So do a little research to find out if the name of the domain you are about to purchase does not have an unwelcome meaning in another language or culture. When Chevrolet come up with the name NOVA for one of its cars, this name was appropriate for the American market, but undiscovered by the company's marketing department was the fact that NOVA means NO GO in Spanish. In the final analysis, Chevrolet ended up scrapping the idea of the car.
What characters to include in a domain name
Webmasters and those involve in the SEO (search engine optimization) online have various point of views on what characters are more acceptable in a domain name. For me, it depends on the industry and what product you are trying to market. Your first option, however, is to search for a domain name that is short and made up of one or two words. Due to high competition in the domain name market, it is very likely that the name you have in mind has already been taken. As a last resort, you can use dashes or numbers (- #1,2,3) to create a domain name; for instance, health-insurance.com or insurance360.com. You should have some idea as to what kind of numbers you can used in combination with your industry keywords to make up your domain name. Numbers such as 1, 2, 7, 9, 99, and 360 have an everyday ring to them and are usually the first choice.
Using figures of Speech to form Domain name
A vital point that top marketers make all the time is that the name of your business must convey an image of what your business is all about. In like manner the name of your domain must fizzle out an impression of what your website is all about. Again, if you have searched and the names you have in mind to purchase are not available, then your next option is to use your market's keywords in combination with an adjective, metaphor or alliteration. Since these figures of speech either creates imagery or enhances the description of the image in the readers mind, they are all the more useful. Here are three examples in respective order:
Adjective: Use an adjective like "nice" to create nicetravel.com
Metaphor: use the word angel to create angeltravel.com or flyingangeltravel.com
Alliteration: create an alliteration like "top travel" to form traveltop.com
Is your domain name extension a TLD
When searching for whether a website name is available your first options should be to obtain a Top Level Domain or TLD. My advice is that you stick to the .com, .net, .biz, .us or .org. The .info I will not recommend because many sites associated with spam have the extension .info. Another reason for using a TLD is that if you are thinking of an exit strategy a TLD is more marketable. For a more comprehensive list of domain extension visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Internet_top-level_domains
If you can't find a domain name do this
If after you have done an extensive domain name search for the right domain and availability is next to none, you have two options, among others, to get a name that is at least close to your preference as possibly. Godaddy domain aftermarket, is an area on the www.GoDaddy.com site devoted to buying and selling of domain names at cheap prices. Usually these domains are abandon by owners who no longer need them, have no use for them, or just do not have the finance to renew the yearly contract.
Another source for discovering and purchasing domain that are already in use in namejet.com. You just type in your keywords and a list of pre-release and pending deletion domains will populate. For $69 you can place a bid for the domain and you pay only if you win the bid. I have found some great names through namejet and quite a few of these pending delete website are aged, seasoned website with high PR value.
For the purpose of clarity, this process is called domain back ordering. When you place a back order of domain the registrar or company taking back order simply try to register it from their network on your behalf.
Is your domain name made up of an existing trademark
With new rules coming out of Washington and from ICANN (the entity in charge of domain regulations) the open market of domain buying and selling has gotten less open. Whatever name you select, do you research to ensure that it does not infringe on another company's trademark. About 4 years ago, I purchased the domain oaklandtoyota.com, with the rosy idea that because Oakland is a popular city in California there was some value in this domain name. Well, about 12 months into owning this piece of real estate I was contacted by a lawyer from Toyota Corporation who instructed me that I could not use the company's name. I seeked advice from my lawyer who told me that Toyota was right. So do your homework; after all, buying a name is one of the most important decision you will make.
Can you think of another factor to add to the list. Drop us a line and share you online expertise