Choosing an Effective Domain Name for Your Business

Deciding on a domain name that's unique for your business and that helps your customers and prospects easily find you on the Internet is an important part of your online marketing strategy. Ideally, your domain name will reflect the core products or services of your business. And because many of the obvious domain names — such as www.ipodrepair.com — are already taken, some creative thinking may be called for.

When you're deciding on the domain name for your business, keep the following tips in mind:

Keep It Simple — Most people who surf the Internet expect speed and convenience, especially when they're searching for a product or service. So it's important to keep your domain name as short and sweet as possible, but without sacrificing its relevance. For example, www.greenplasticwidgets.com is a much more targeted domain name than www.myshop.com. Although your ideal choice may not be available, don't overcomplicate the matter. The shorter the domain name, the easier it is to type, remember, or refer others to.

Use Keywords — When you're deciding on the right domain name for your business, it's important to consider search engine optimization (SEO). By using the main keyword phrase in your domain name that you'd like to optimize your website for, you can help your site's ranking on search engine results pages (or SERPs) and in the never-ending quest to appear on page one on Google™. How specific you get depends on the range of your products or services. If you only sell "gold jewelry," for example, then including that phrase in your domain name is a smart move. If your product or service offering is broader, then using that keyword phrase may be too limiting for your marketing efforts.

Make It Relevant — Your domain name must be relevant to the products you're selling or the services you're offering. And when you're choosing your domain name, it's helpful to keep your own shopping and searching experiences in mind. For example, if you were searching on the Internet for a new fishing rod, which of the following two sites would you head to first: www.fishingrodsrus.com or www.fredsenterprises.com? Although both sites may carry the exact same equipment you're looking for, you'd most likely click on the first domain name.

Go for the .com — Your first choice for a domain name should always be .com. But when that choice isn't available to you and you can get an exact-match keyword domain on .net or .org — such as www.goldjewelry.net — then go for it. When you create an exact-match keyword domain, the search engines are more likely to rank the keyword phrase in the domain name higher than a domain name that is less descriptive.