Choosing the Right Domain Name

Choosing a domain name

In Website Basics by Kryptonite Creative

A brief review of issues



When the decision to have a website has been made, the next natural step is to choose a domain name. It is usually a fast, straight-forward process of checking whether your-business-name.com is available. You might also buy a few more extensions like .net, just to be on the safe side if someone wants to buy and mimic your website, rare as it might be. There are cases, however, where additional caution and consideration should be given. Let us introduce you to a few of them.
How to choose a domain

Broadly speaking, there are two types of issues related to choosing a website domain - the technical ones (SEO,SEM type) and the practical ones(marketing, branding). This article would focus on the second type, since we will focus on the technical search engine optimization and marketing issues in a separate piece.

THE SHOP X ISSUE

let`s imagine that we have just established a company, called Shop X Ltd. and we want to buy and build a website for it.



It is a short, sharp-sounding name. Easy to pronounce and remember. Assuming that both options are available, here is what we can choose from:
1. shopx.com
2. shop-x.com


Let`s assume we buy both with one being the main domain name, and the other serving just as a redirection point to the main one. The first point of consideration here is pronunciation. What we know as "shopx.com", upon hearing on the radio or somewhere else people might remember as "shopex.com". Not a big issue, but still one that creates a slight aggravation point for people looking for our business online afterwards. A point which we might want to avoid. One possible solution is to choose the "shop-x.com" as primary one, as it hints that it might "X" and not "ex" that follows after the dash. Pronouncing "shopx" gives a bigger chance of being understood as "shopex".

The numbers issue


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A similar situation sometimes presents itself when we have numbers in our domain name, especially if those numbers are namely 2, 3 or 4. The first obvious point of confusion upon clients hearing it is - do we spell the name or do we write the number? Should we write "2" or "two", or maybe "too". Context sometimes determines that, but it is far better if don`t have to depend on it. The same applies with "3", "three", "tree" or "4", "four", "for". To sum up - there are numbers and letter combinations that might create confusion and misunderstanding. Think your domain name carefully, say it loud a few times before you buy it. You want a website that can be marketing via radio and mouth-to-mouth, too. Also - choosing a domain name tends to determine your company email extension. You certainly don`t want people to send you and email that bounces and never gets to you, because they send it to "contact@2-shop.com" instead of "contact@to-shop.com".

THE EMAIL ISSUE


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In fact, often times, the email issue is completely neglected when choosing a domain name. The result: emails like "firstname.lastname@theoriginalhomemadeapplepie.com". Of course, the issue with domain availability is always present. Perhaps you wanted to have "theoriginalpie.com" domain in the first place, but it was already bought. The point is, when possible - try to have short and clear domains. If "theoriginalpie" is taken, try other options like "thehomepie" and so on. There is always the hyphen option (homemade-pie, theoriginal-pie), but unless really necessary, steer clear of it, as it is not generally a recommended symbol to have in your domain name. And since we mentioned the issue with domain availability above, let`s look at one more approach that deals with it.

an alternative route


In general, if you company is called "The Business Room", you will first look up whether thebusinessroom.com is available. Chances are it will not be, so you will have three options: rearange words in the domain, try versions with hyphens, and the one we want to turn your attention to - don`t use the company name when choosing a domain. There are pros and cons to such an approach, but it is worth-considering.


One main reason to go in the above direction is when you want your domain name to serve as one more point for strengthening the connection between your brand name and specific keywords. In fact, it is the essense of branding - to associate a company with a desired image or set of qualities. For car brands, this could be style, reliability, prestige. For a news outlet, it could be latest news, analytical depth, exclusive interviews. Let`s take an example with a car repairs` business, called "Tom`s Garage". One domain choice (assuming it is available) is "tomsgarage.com". Let`s also assume that Tom`s business focuses exclusively on muscle cars. This would be stated on the website and in advertising efforts that Tom undertakes. But it could also be hinted via the domain name for the business - "musclecarrepairs.com". Maybe even combine service and location - "valleymusclerepairs.com". Frankly, both domain names sound a bit clumsy. They do their main task, though - point to potential customers that Tom`s place is the one to visit if you need your muscle car looked at. So, don`t overlook the keyword strategy for choosing a domain name. Yes, it is tricky, does not work well all the time and also people tend to expect company name and domain name to be the same. But there are cases where clever marketing in this part of the online business strategy might lead to results way above your initial expectations. So, if you reject it - let it be a solid ground for rejection, instead of simple dismissal.

a few words for the reader


Choosing a domain name is sometimes an easy task, but often a formidable issue. It is set to have an impact on business decisions in the future.

We have listed some issues, related to choosing a domain name. There are, of course, many more. Our main aim is not to list a great number of points, but rather to nudge you towards really thinking through what your domain name should be. We hope the information provided would help you.

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