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Helpful Tips For Choosing The Right Domain For Your Business

by Tim Whiston


Summary : The domain name is a critical factor in the success of a startup business venture. Making a poor choice when registering your domain can result in negative first impressions, lost sales, and a substantially decreased flow of traffic.

The domain name is a critical factor in the success of a startup business venture. Making a poor choice when registering your domain can result in negative first impressions, lost sales, and a substantially decreased flow of traffic.

First impressions matter enormously online. In fact you have only a few seconds to capture a prospect's interest and if you fail, they'll be off to investigate something else.

If your domain name doesn't make sense, people may disregard an invitation to visit your site. And if your domain name relays an incorrect message, you could lose traffic because prospects don't understand what you are really offering.

Ideally your domain will be of reasonable length and will state very clearly what your site is about. You can use product names, company names, customer benefits, or special attributes relating to any of the above when formulating your domain name.

Also if at all possible utilize a good keyword or keyword phrase in your domain. This will be a great first step in optimizing your new site for the search engine results.

Keep the domain simple, but do your best to select a name that has some punch to it. When a potential customer sees or hears your Web address you want them to form a positive word-picture and to get a sound idea of what you can do to improve their life.

However you arrive at your domain name selection, here are two rules of thumb I highly recommend:

1. Always go with the .com selection when possible. People tend to think .com by default, and if you register something obscure like a .info, .biz, or even a .net you'll probably be sending traffic to whoever owns the .com a fair amount of the time.

2. Be sure your domain name passes the radio ad test. In other words, if your target visitor heard the domain name on the radio, would he or she be able to immediately navigate to your site without any problem?

In keeping with the radio ad test rule, you should avoid using odd spellings and inside jokes for your domain. You might think it's cool to spell a "C" word with a "K" but again you'll be funneling your traffic to a competitor if you do this.

The best domain names are also catchy and easy to remember. In fact this attribute is so important you could even forget about most of the other suggestions here (aside from the radio ad test) if your domain name has enough zing to it.

For instance, Godaddy.com, Yahoo.com, and Google.com are almost nonsensical as words go. But who doesn't instantly know what each of these sites is about when they hear the domain?
Going this route is risky. The above companies have each spent a fortune in name branding and public relations. You might come up with a very cool, though less sensible name, and still flop in a bad way if you don't have the muscle to brand the new name.

This is a judgment call you'll have to make. But for 99% of new businesses it's smart to play it safe and choose a powerful but practical name.

Of course many visitors will not even see your domain name before landing on your site. These people will have clicked a link somewhere online and ended up on one of your pages.

But it's wise to assume a good percentage of your target customers will be exposed to your domain name as part of your promotional efforts. Therefore it's important to remember the tactics in this article when registering the domain for your new program.


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