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« Time to Register a New Domain? | Main | On Being Late . . . »

Straightforward Domain Name Purchasing Guidelines

Are you thinking of purchasing a domain?
Be sure to review the previous post, Time to Register a New Domain?  It contains valuable information to determine if you should consider purchasing a new domain.

If you are ready to purchase a domain, here are some recommendations:

  • Keep Your Domain Short and to the Point
  • Ensure Your Domain is Easy to Remember
  • Make Your Domain Name Easy to Spell
  • What's Value of your Domain Name?

Make sure the domain is short. Try to keep it less than about 20 characters, not including www. or .com. The name of the site doesn't need to be your company name.  Make your domain name unique. It could include industry terms or a play on words.  Putting keywords (event marketing, event promotion, event promoter, etc.) in your domain name can help you with search engine rankings. Just remember there are other important variables when it comes to SEO and search marketing.

Make your domain name easy to remember. Look for a domain that's easy to remember.  Here's an example from the dating market . . . DoubleYourDating.com. There is little ambiguity to the previous domain name - you know exactly what you're going to get. You don't want to have a radio advertisement featuring your domain name and then have people forget. If you are doing traditional advertising, remember to repeat the domain name at least three time in your advertisement - especially in radio.

Your domain name should be easy to spell.  If you are thinking of registering a new domain, get family or friends to write it out on a peace of paper.  Ask them to spell out the domain names you're thinking about. If they can spell it without difficulty, you should be in good shape. This might seem trivial, but trust me . . . I spent years trying to explain to people our domain UsabilityMatrix.com. Yet, they continued to pronounce both the company name and domain name, USA (pause) bilitymatrix.com.  Stay away from hyphens in domains, it makes the domain even more difficult to remember. Keep your domain name simple.

Try for the .com, first, but it isn't always an absolute necessity.  Look at del.icio.us or craigslist.org.  Both companies have very popular web sites that use the .us and .org extensions. These domains are also good examples of a powerful brands that have been built over the years.

Domain Valuation
Gone are the prosperity days of domain name brokering (for the most part). Actually, I don't know if anyone prospered except registration companies.  Looking back, would a reputable business have paid billions ten years ago for Google.com or Yahoo.com?  No way! The domains didn't have any value at the time. A web site’s value is determined by what the web site offers its users, not necessarily by the name of the domain. 

Use the above guidelines to help you select the right domain for you.

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Use the above guidelines to help you select the right domain for you.

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Comments

Greg Tkaczyk

Another thing to consider is to registering domain names which are common misspellings of words, or typos due to the keyboard layout. Try going to www.googlw.com and see what happens! Further, companies that are concerned with phishing may want to register domains that look the same in the Address Bar. Some characters look very similar to others: l vs 1, etc. In addition, it is now possible to register domain names with internationalized characters - making www.site.com look very similar to www.s&iacutete.com.

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