How to Choose a Domain Name

Choosing a domain name can be one of the most important decisions you make when it comes to your online presence. Here are a few tips that will help you get the most out of your domain name.

In 2010 a .com extension is still the best choice for most businesses. There are many reasons for this, but one of the most important is the fact that most people assume and instinctively will type in .com at the end of your domain name, even if you tell them otherwise. The exception to having a .com extension is if you are a charitable organization, or a governmental agency. Then you will want a .org or a .gov extension respectively. These 2 extensions actually carry more weight and will get you better rankings on the search engines. Once you register your domain, you may want to register other extensions just to avoid confusion and competition from people who may buy and use your name under a different extension.

There are 2 ways to go when choosing a domain name. The first is to use your actual company name as your domain name. The second is to use words that people will be searching for when looking for your services. Of course if you company has a name like Palm Beach Web Design, and you can buy you have the best of both worlds. But most businesses will have to make a decision about which way to go. If you want to get really aggressive you can buy both, and put up 2 websites. But most people will settle on one domain and stick with it.

It's usually best to use your company name, in order to avoid any confusion. But if you're a new business that needs to build a client base quicker, or your main way of attracting customers is through the search engines, a domain name with your best search term in it is the way to go. For instance, your new company name is We Pick Locks, you're based in Palm Beach, and you don't plan on expanding. You may want to use as your domain name. If your company is established and or you want to expand into other cities, you may be better off to go with

Here's a great free tool that I use when looking for websites . Give it a try. It will allow you to search a lot of variations of your chosen domain name in a short amount of time.

When choosing a keyword-based name:

  • Use short words that are easy to spell to avoid mistakes when people are typing in your URL
  • Use keywords that relate to your core business
  • Use real words with correct spelling

Domain names may consist of:

  1. lower case letters
  2. numbers
  3. periods
  4. hyphens

A domain name may not exceed twenty-two characters, excluding the extension, and you cannot use any other symbols, or spaces.

Buying an existing webesite that uses your keywords and is a good fit for your business can also be a smart move. Older domains that are in good standings with Google will maintain their ability to boost your site in search engine rankings.

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