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How to Choose Domain Names - Good Keyword Domain Names

The problem is not lack of ideas for a great domain name. Most of us have great domain names we’d like to register and use for our sites. The problem is that most good names are already taken. Thus the challenge is on plan B: finding a great domain name that’s not a mere compromise but makes up for being late in the domain name gold rush of the short, memorable, keyword domain names.

I’ve put together some helpful articles by other web developers on getting a good domain name(s). Take your time in your research and word combinations. Good luck and God bless! Eric Gondwe.

1. How To Select A Domain Name, by Aaron Wall, founder of SEOBook.com

Google tends to give weight to keywords in the domain name. This increases the importance of selecting a good name.

When choosing a domain name for SEO purposes, there are three main factors to consider:
    * Brand
    * Rankability

Should you use hyphenated, multi-term domain like search-engine-marketing-services.com?
I'd avoid such names like the plague. Why?

They have no branding value. They have limited SEO value. Even if you do manage to get such a domain top ten, you're probably going to need to sell on the first visit, as few people are going to remember it once they leave. It is too generic, and it lacks credibility.

In a crowded market, brand offers a point of distinction.

It is easier to build links to branded domain names. People take these name more seriously than keyword-keyword-keyword-keyword.com, which looks spammy and isn't fooling anyone. Would you link to such a name? By doing so, it devalues your own content .

It can even difficult to get such domain names linked to when you pay for the privilege! Directory editors often reject these names on sight, because such names are often associated with low-quality content. Imagine how many free links you might be losing by choosing such a name.

Is there a downside to using branded names?

Yes. Unless you have a huge marketing budget, no one is going to search for perseefgxcbtrfy.com, which is a new killer, brand I just made up :)

Thankfully, there is a happy medium between brand and SEO strategy.

SEOs release the value of keywords. When naming your site, and deciding on a domain name, try combining the lessons of SEO, branding and domaining.

Genric + term is a good approach to use. Take your chosen keyword, and simply add another word on the end. SeoBook, Travelocity, FlightsCity, CarHub, etc. These words have SEO value built into them, because people are forced to use your keywords in the link. Also, Google (currently) values a keyword within the domain name for ranking purposes. Finally, such a name retains an element of unique branding.

These types of domain names score high on the rank-ability and link-ability meter. They are generic enough to rank well for the keyword term, yet contain just enough branding difference to be memorable.

The SEO Advantage (of .com domain names over .org or .net, etc)
There is another advantage for SEOs in the domain space. Dot com's can sell for 5-20 times as much as a .org or .net. Keyword + .com can sell for millions of dollars, depending on the domain name.

2. How to Choose a Domain Name for your Website, by Quick on the Net Limited

OK, we all agree, the best domain names have already been taken. However, if you are creative with your word selection and think laterally, you can come up with a great domain name. The following advice is particularly relevant to your business website, however you can apply the same rationale to your own personal websites and sports website.

You may wish to consider the following tips:

Technical Constraints:
* Do not use an ampersand '&'. Technically, it is illegal, so you should also avoid 'and'.
* Do not use apostrophes. Technically, it is illegal and therefore the use of an apostrophe is not permitted.
* Do not start or end with a hyphen (-).
* The permitted characters are: abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 0123456789-
* All characters are lower case.

Do Not:
* Do not panic!
* If possible, do not use hyphens.
* If possible, do not use numerical characters.
* If possible, do not use mobile phone text message abbreviations.
* If possible, do not use '2' for 'to', '4' for 'for', 'u' for 'you' and 'ur' for 'your'.
* Do not try to be too cool by using deliberate spelling mistakes. It's just not kool!
* If possible, do not pad your domain name with unnecessary words like 'the', 'ltd' and 'company'.
* Do not use brand names or trade marks which belong to other companies.
* Do not use a limited (incorporated) company name which belongs to another company.
* If in doubt, check out the Companies House website, perform a name check free of charge and check the directory of UK Limited Companies.
* If relevant to your business, also consult a Company Formation agent.
* If you use more than one word, do not end and start words with the same character. For example, www.intelligenttelephones.com is not good, whereas www.businesstelephones.com is good.
* Do not pay over the odds, because there are hidden charges to avoid.
* For your registration service, we recommend: domain hosting and we will provide your web hosting service.

* Keep it short (as possible while still avoiding the above compromises).
* Make sure it is easy to spell.
* Make sure it is easy to pronounce on the phone.
* Use simple and plain English.
* Use real words from the dictionary.
* Use search engine keywords.
* Keep it descriptive! Use words which describe exactly what you do.
* Keep it simple and don't confuse your audience. What is this? www.shoeswearing.com Is it 'Shoe Swearing' or 'Shoes Wearing'?
* Cover your options and buy more than one domain if you need to.
* Only index one domain per website on search engines, if you wish to avoid diluting your search engine ranking.
* Choose the right domain provider. They are not all the same and many have hidden charges.
* For your registration needs, we recommend: domain registration.
* Use a popular and mainstream domain extension.
* Choose the right domain extension for your market or country. For example .COM for International; .CO.UK for UK; .CA for Canada; .COM.AU for Australia.
* And finally, check your spelling before you buy and register online.

3. How to Choose a Domain Name, by Gina Hughes, from Yahoo Tech

Need help setting up your own web site? Don't know where to start? Carving out your little piece of cyberspace requires more work than you might think and a lot of planning. Developing a web site will consume a lot of your time if you've never done it before, thus making the experience very frustrating. And this shouldn't be the case, because you know what? Web design is supposed to be fun. Everyone has different needs, though. A business that requires a shopping cart has a bigger task ahead than the one that doesn't.

I'll be writing a series of posts that will cover the most basic and practical information you need before getting started. I'll explain the four steps of web development from start to finish. This guide will address important questions I've been asked regarding domain registration, web hosting, design, and marketing. So get ready to learn all the tips and tricks of the trade. I encourage you to ask me questions along the way, and I'll address them as we go along.

Choosing a Domain Name
A domain name plays a critical role in the success of your site, thus making this task the single most important step in the set-up process. It could potentially work for or against your business. For this reason alone, I'll begin the series with domain registration tips you should always keep in mind.

1. Be Creative: I personally refuse to register anything but a dot com name, even if other Top Level Domain (TLD) extensions, such as dot net or dot org, are available. More than 70 million domain names have been registered to date, so don't be discouraged if it seems impossible to snag a catchy name. But don't despair, instead be very creative. Dare to create a word that no one's even heard of yet. Ever heard of Digg, Skype, Flickr, Typepad, YouTube or MySpace?

2. Dot Com or Bust: Always aim for dot com extension, period. I've heard so many people complain about losing traffic to another site because they registered their site under the dot net or dot org suffix. People will instinctively enter dot com first 99.9 percent of the time, so don't risk it. The most dreadful story I've heard to date was from a friend who was invited to talk about his business on national television. He had registered a dot net domain name, so when the domain was flashed across the screen, the domain name appeared with a dot com extension at the end. Big mistake. The owner of the dot com domain was running an adults-only web site. Needless to say, that major news station got plenty of complaints from angry viewers, and my friend eventually decided to shut down the site. True story.

3. Keep it short: I know, impossible. Today's short means means 10 letters or more. Gone are the days when you could get anything shorter. But a short name is more memorable than say, www.techiedivasguidetogadgets.com. A domain name should be easy to spell, remember, and type.

4. Avoid Confusion: Stay far away from domains with dashes, numbers, dots, and anything else that requires too much thinking. Del.icio.us is a great name, but I could never remember how to spell it. Unless your business name contains a number or dash, you should just avoid these characters altogether.

5. Use Keywords: This crosses over to marketing a bit, but any search engine optimization guru will tell you that incorporating keywords into your domain name is a very strategic move. If you can, optimize your domain name by including the all-encompassing word that describes the scope of your site. This will minimize your search engine advertising costs in the long run. Keywords based domains also help your audience identify your site's purpose.

6. Play it Safe: Avoid the use of trademarked names in your domain name to prevent legal issues. This may seem like a no-brainer to most of us, but even fan sites run the risk of being sued. It doesn't matter if you're an affiliate who sells the company's products or accessories. If you register a domain with a trademarked name you're just asking for trouble.

Whew! And those were just some tips on choosing a domain name. Next up, things you should know before you register your domain name.

4. How to choose a successful domain name for your website, by SiteGround

One of the first steps you should take in oder to create your online appearance is to choose a domain name for your website. The domain name will represent you, your hobby or business and will give your website a memorable name.

Definition: The domain name itself is an alphanumeric unique name that identifies individual web sites on the Internet. The domain can be of any length up to 67 characters, which includes the 26 letters of the English alphabet, numbers 0-9, and hyphens (-).The domain name cannot begin or end with a hyphen but, can contain one or more hyphens. The domain names have a suffix or extention, called also TLD (Top Level Domain), which is based on the type of organization it is associated with. Common suffixes include: .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, .us etc.

Here are some tips how to choose a successful domain name for your website:
1. Start brainstorming for relevant to your domain words.
    * List as many words as you can think of related to your preferred domain name.
    * List as many words as you can think of that are related to the content of your website.

2. Make different combinations with the listed words that are:
    * short,
    * memorable,
    * not easily confused,
    * hard to misspell,
    * related to the core of the business,
    * with appropriate sounding to the core of your business.

Shorter domain names are easier to remember and far less susceptible to mistakes: for example lottary.com is easier to remember than playthenationallottaryonline.com. But there are also exceptions to this rule. A longer domain can be easier to remember by human memory than the shorter one - for example tbrea.com is a sequence of unrelated letters that is difficult to remember and type correctly, whereas, if we expand it to its long form 'TheBestRealEstateAgency.com' we are more likely to remember the domain name.

3. Pick a few of these combinations that you like the most for the name of your domain.
    * If you like a specific word to be included in the domain name, think of all its forms: noun, verb, adverb, adjective.
    * Consider also hyphens and numbers: sometimes you are a hyphen away from the dreamed domain name.

4. Start searching for the availability of these domains. (See webmaster tools page on how sites to search for avaialable domains. Actually most web hosting companies have domain search tools)

5. If you do business online, register your domain with as many of the extensions as available!
    * Point them all to your site
    * Let your name drive more traffic to your site.

6. If your preferred choice is not available, do not be discouraged, try the next combination!
More than 128 million domain names have been registered worldwide and thousands of new ones are added every day. Be creative and get the best domain name for your website!

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