A domain name is the name that refers to your website and ends in an extension such as .com, .net, .info, etc. Selecting a domain name is one of the most important things you can do to assist your customers or clients in reaching you as well as for search engine optimization. Below are some tips to help you in this endeavor.
1. We have this as our first tip because it is so important. Keep it short. The longer the name the more chance your customer will misspell it and the less chance they will be able to read it quickly should you advertise it on billboards or TV.
2. Make it easy to spell. Try to stay away from misspellings of words unless you are able to register both the misspelling and the correct spellings of the name.
3. Watch what the name might also inadvertently spell. An article by Web Guru Bob Parsons provides this example: "who represents.com" when put together may also be miss-read as "whore presents.com."
4. Make it the domain easy to remember. Often you will be providing the domain to someone who is not able to write it down immediately.
5. There are many thoughts on including hyphens in the name. Generally hyphens increase the difficulty of spelling, remembering and giving out a domain name. How many times have you wondered if a domain was spelled with a "-" or a "dash." We highly recommend not including a hyphen if the domain without a hyphen points to a competitor.
6. Including numbers in a domain follows the same principle. You will find your self constantly telling people "the number two" or to "spell out the number two." If you must use a number we recommend registering the domain both ways such as two.com and 2.com.
7. Make the domain relevant to your business. Your company's name, if it fits the criteria above, is a good start. Other options are listing what you do or the term (keywords) your specific customers may use when searching.
8. One of the most common questions we receive is which extension a client should use. We always recommend registering .com for the primary domain as that is the most common extension entered by focus groups. Other extensions such as .net and .org are alright, but will need additional emphasis during advertising. The one exception to this rule is .mobi which signifies a site that meets cellular phone website criteria. One other thought on this subject. We also recommend clients register .net and possibly .org if the company may have competitors who will register and use them.
9. Be very careful when registering domains that are trademarked names or are derivatives of trademarked names. Simply adding a hyphen will not keep you from a legal battle should the licensee decide you have infringed their trademark.