Posted Friday, November 19, 2004
What makes a good domain name? It’s a name that gives you a decisive edge over your competitors that they often find hard to surmount. Your position in your industry can often be dictated by how good your domain name is. Here are some solid characteristics of an effective domain name to get you started in the right direction.
Good domain names are easily memorable from casual conversation. Something that can be said once and be remembered instantly. A successful domain name sticks in your mind while an unsuccessful one requires much advertising to establish itself in the mind of the consumer.
Apply the ‘Short and Simple’ theory when devising your domain name. Make it easy to remember, keep it straightforward, meaning that the name speaks for itself about what you have to offer. The length should be shorter as people remember or rather recall shorter domain names than longer ones. Your domain name should be something that actually conveys only one idea about what you are. Limit the name to two words if possible, three words as an absolute maximum. Remember the idea is to create domain names people can easily recall and type into their browser.
Go .COM at the end of your domain. Make it your priority to get a .COM name, as it has become the default extension for most everyone. The.COM extension seems destined to remain the standard default extension for commercial websites, at least for the foreseeable future. Keep in mind that it’s second nature for Internet users to type in .COM in their browsers when they want to find any site.
Don’t add hyphens or special coding to your domain. No one will remember to put that hyphen or a space in an URL, therefore, if they try to locate your site without applying needed hyphens, the obvious action to that result is that they won’t locate your website. When your website isn’t located because of an unusual or complicated domain name, it means one thing. The loss in sales. The point of a good domain name is to get those people flocking to your site to generate revenue.
Domain names should carry value. Always remember that perceived truth is more powerful than the truth itself. A good domain name tends to heighten the perception of the website’s value, sending a message that quality of your domain name reflects in the products and services you offer. Think of your domain name as a ‘headline’ of an article and people will likely judge and visit your site according to its domain name.
Avoid domain names that are similar or copycat to existing ones. Not only do you want to avoid legal issues, but want your brand to be distinct from that of your competitors. Granted it will take time to come up with a domain name that will work and set you apart from the others selling the same product or services as you.
Use your domain name to position yourself on the Web. If your domain name reflects your site’s core benefits and instantly communicates how different you are from others, your URL will be positioned above the competition in the minds of your market.
Never use a ‘free’ domain name. This will be the worst mistake you can make when setting up your business online. Believe it or not, when consumers are researching online and see that your URL is with a free site or sites of lesser quality, will quickly turn away. In other words, if people notice that your site is hosted with the ‘freebies’, they will only assume that your product or service is just as cheap, or worse that you don’t actually respect your products and services that you are offering. If you don’t believe in your products, your own target market won’t either.
Don’t make the mistake of attempting to retrofit your domain name to your website. You should have your domain name first and then your business name should be the same as your domain name. You would think that most people would have their domain name exactly the same as their business name. That isn’t the case. Many online sites were not able to get domain names the same as their business names as they were not available due to others currently using those particular names online. Hence the importance of making sure you have your domain first, then you will be able to have the same name for your website. There are domain names out on the market for sale that you may be able to purchase, but a word to the wise, some of these names come with a hefty price tag. Make sure that the name you select truly reflects your business goals and philosophy.
In conclusion, your domain name in itself is the ultimate marketing brand and is in fact, the most important marketing tool you will possess. Always remember that your domain name also gives the first impression for your customers and that alone makes an impression before your customers even reach your website. Without further ado, choose your domain name carefully and wisely, add credibility from the get-go and you should fare off very well.
About the Author
Gloria Cohen has a strong background in Internet marketing in helping businesses find new customers by using effective marketing strategies. Gloria is currently an editor of (http://www.emarketinganswers.com), dedicated to providing free, comprehensive emarketing resources and online promotion tools. Submit your Web site for free here.