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Selecting The Right Domain Name for Maximum Web Traffic

By Marty Foley
Posted Friday, August 27, 2004

Especially if you consider that your web address is the world's link to you and your business, getting your own domain name (such as ( is an important issue to consider.

NOT getting your own domain name can cost you more than you may realize. As I've explained previously in an article at: (, domain ownership gives you significant benefits. To briefly recap, your own domain, among other things: 1) gives exclusivity; 2) adds credibility; 3) allows mobility; 4) avoids loss of marketing momentum.

For such reasons (and more) getting a domain name is a smart business move for serious web marketers; well worth the nominal investment.

What's In a Domain Name?

A poorly selected domain name won't give you the maximum benefits that a well chosen one can, so don't hastily grab the first available name that tickles your fancy. Take some time to give domain name selection some serious thought.

Start by brainstorming a list of possible names. (The end of this article shows how to check on the availability of prospective domain names.) As you scrutinize a potential domain name, keep the following points in mind.

A good domain name:

-- Is Easy To Convey and Easy To Remember

Since the most basic (but often overlooked) web traffic building campaign should include promoting your web address through every means you already have in place for reaching your prospects and customers, it should be easily conveyed in any format, printed or otherwise (on your stationery, in your catalog, on your product packaging, in your voice mail messages, in your signature file at the end of your email messages, etc.).

If your domain name is not easy to convey and easy to remember, you'll lose traffic. And you want it to be easy for others to spread the word about your web site. Simplicity will help avoid things getting lost in translation.

Before I acquired as my domain, my web address was neither easily conveyed, nor easily remembered. Even when the old web address was spelled out in printed format, some people couldn't access the site when they confused the tilde character that it contained ( ~ ) with a hyphen ( - ). What's more, trying to explain to someone what the little-known tilde character is over the phone was awkward and time consuming. Now it's so easy to invite people to my site by saying something like: "Feel free to stop by my website at for more helpful business resources."

-- Is Not Easily Misspelled or Confusing

Prospective visitors won't always have your web address spelled out in front of them. They may try to visit your site from memory. Now you may be a whiz at spelling, but not everyone that visits your site is. If they misspell or otherwise confuse your domain name, they won't be able to access your site. They might even end up accessing a competing domain! Simplicity is the rule.

-- Fits The Theme of Your Site, Yet Allows For Diversity

Suppose you find a more lucrative direction for your web site to take, other than what you had originally intended, or want to diversify by adding a variety of related products and services. A good domain name will be broad enough to allow for such diversity.

If you want maximum traffic to your web site, make sure your domain name is easy to convey, easy to remember (in all formats), not easily misspelled or confusing, fits the theme or purpose of your site, yet is broad enough to allow for future diversity.

Is Your Domain Name Still Available?

Before you fall in love with a prospective domain name, you've got to find out if it's still available. It's easy for you to do an Internic search and/or reserve the domain name you've finally decided on by using the simple form at: ( . (The link will open a new browser window.)

It's been said that domain names are being snatched up at a rate of about a million per year, so they're going fast. If you're serious about Internet marketing, don't procrastinate on getting your own domain name. The sooner you get one, the sooner you can start enjoying the benefits it can bring.

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