4 Tips on Creating a Successful Domain Name
Whether its a new site for a PR campaign or an entirely new business initiative, the domain name you associate yourself with on the web says a lot about who you are. It may not seem like a big deal but what comes after the http://www. in the address bar of your web browser is important.
Web domains usually get purchased before a website or business is even developed. When thinking about that “big idea” here are 4 things to consider in order to achieve ultimate success on the web.
1. Does your domain name incorporate keywords?
Yes, another suggestion around keywords… if you are looking to rank in Google you need to play into the search engine’s hand. One of the many areas that Google looks for keywords is the domain name and url of a website. An easy way to show relevancy to a search term is to have that term in your domain name. For instance, if you are trying to rank for “Blue Widgets” something like “http://www.bluewidgets.com” would be perfect. Doing a little bit of research and making sure a keyword resides in your domain name will be the first step in having a site that’s friendly to search engines.
2. Did you choose a fitting suffix?
The “.com” in crttbuzzbin.com is this site’s domain suffix (or domain extension). That .com could’ve been one of many others, hundreds of domain suffixes exist but the most popular domain extensions are .com, .net, .org, .biz and .info. Each suffix is intended to serve a particular purpose and has a different connotations behind it. It might be the only domain name available but you may not want to go with that .org extension as that usually refers to a non-profit organization. The.com address is still highly sought after as this suffix still carries the most weight and authority to users. For most initiatives on the web, this would be the first extension I would look at purchasing and basing a web property around.
If you plan on getting creative with your domain extension for your campaign, make sure you think it through and its easy to say, spell and read. A while back we thought of creating a site called “pr.ovoke.us.” Yes, it seems pretty clever but looks kind of weird when its typed out due to the subdomain and nontraditional extension. Plus, when you tell someone the site, it doesn’t sound right. P r dot ovoke dot u s? That doesn’t sound like it’s intended “provoke us.” All in all, be careful on what extension you select before you base an entire website, campaign or business around a particular domain name.
3. Did you buy variations of the domain name?
This aspect is really done to protect your brand, investment and website. Simply buying the .com version of your great idea won’t cut it. If the name is available, grab the .net, .org and any other popular extensions that are available. This should be done just to make sure that you have full control over every domain name associated with your brand. In doing so this prevents any competitors from spinning up a similar website that could tarnish your identity. You may want to consider any misspellings or variations of the domain name too. For instance, if I sell widgets and I own “widgets.com” I may want to buy “bluewidgets.com” as well as “redwidgets.com.” As the business or PR campaign grows, having these domains on hand will allow for greater flexibility and scalability.
4. Did you read your domain name?
Not only will the suffix of the site have it’s influence but the length of the domain name will influence readability too. Typically, the shorter the domain name the better as it’s easier to print, say and remember. Don’t try to fit an entire sentence in your domain name.
Without capital letters or spaces, some businesses might be surprised to see what their business name actually spells out when it’s in the domain format. To avoid any confusion like the examples below, please look at the domain name and make sure it reads the way it’s intended to. Keep in mind this is your business, reputation or campaign at hand so be strategic and think things through.
Domain name blunders
- ‘Who Represents’ is where you can find the name of the agent that represents any celebrity. www.whorepresents.com
- ‘Experts Exchange’ is a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice and views. www.expertsexchange.com
- Looking for a great pen? Look no further than ‘Pen Island ‘. www.penisland.net
- Need a therapist? Try ‘Therapist Finder’ www.therapistfinder.com
- Then there’s the ‘Italian Power Generator’ company. www.powergenitalia.com
- ‘IP computer’ software. www.ip_anywhere.com
- ‘Speed of Art’ await you at their wacky web site www.speedofart.com