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I am always amazed when I talk to people who are setting up a business for themselves and they have not thought about the virtual representation of their world. I mean, everybody today needs to have a website, and they all know it, but when you look at their domain names – the one thing that everyone of their potential clients needs to remember easily – it is always this complicated, forgettable and irrelevant name. So I have put together a list of ten things that you need to consider about the domain name when you are first setting up the site.
1. Choose a “Dot Com” Name
When I see a company whose site ends in blogspot.com, I immediately think they are not serious about their business. It’s just ten bucks spent on getting a “dot com” domain name, and that is by far the best spent money in online advertising.
2. Spend Five Hours Brainstorming
The domain name is usually something pretty short, so the general perception is that people just need that one brilliant idea, and that will be it. And when that idea doesn’t come within the first ten minutes, they usually just pick out the first thing that pops into their minds. Brilliant ideas do happen in nanoseconds, but usually it takes hours to build them.
3. Keep It Short
One of the first rules of picking out a domain name is to pick something that will tell people what your business is all about. However, if you are into repairing second-hand Hondas, you really don’t need to go with repairingsecondhandhondas.com when hondafixer.com is so much shorter. And I’m sure that if you had that business and spent five hours brainstorming, you could come up with something even shorter than that.
4. Stay Away from Drug-Type Names
What I call drug-type names are domain with letters such as q or x or z or p. The kind of names drug companies choose because it makes their drugs sound like something highly technical and incredibly difficult for the common man to understand so they should just take the pill and feel grateful for it.
5. Come Up with Something Memorable
It is very difficult to come up with a short name in today’s market where there are actually people who just buy any word configuration that is short enough to be attractive for a business and then wait for that business to come to them. However, don’t give up; there is always something they did not cover – and it should be something that will make people immediately think of you.
6. Build and Fulfill Expectations
Your domain name should tell people what your website is about even before they open it. However, you also have to be careful that you deliver on your website exactly the kind of stuff that your domain name promised you would. There’s no point in getting modelmachines.com if all you are going to talk about is model helicopters.
7. Make Sure You Don’t Step on Anybody’s Toes
There are a lot of companies out there that have some very catchy names, and you need to make sure that you don’t mess in their turf or you might find yourself on the wrong end of a copyright infringement lawsuit.
8. Stay Away from Numbers
It may feel like a brilliant idea to get something like the no1carsite.com, but there is a reason why no successful business owns that domain name: they know how difficult it can be for people to remember domain names with numbers in them. Plus people who only hear about your site will have an even harder time to remember if they need to use the number “1” or to spell “one.”
9. Avoid Short Adjectives
There is this trend started by the mini-niche site business to create websites that start with short adjectives like “top”… or “best”… or “hot” and then “something.com.” First off, people are going to have a hard time remembering which was the adjective they were supposed to use. And second, a lot of web connoisseurs are going to think your site is just a joke.
10. Built Up Your Brand
The fact that you’ve been able to select an excellent brand name and that you’ve set aside a week to do that is great, indeed. But, on the larger scheme of things, you’ve only spent a week’s worth of effort. Once you have a good domain, you have to think about spending months to build up that domain into a recognizable brand.
Coming up with a good domain name may seem like an exhausting task. And, to tell you the truth, it can get really frustrating. But if you’re able to come up with something truly original, people are going to remember you, and you’ll have a much easier job of further developing brand awareness for your company.
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