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5 tips for choosing the perfect domain name

One of the first things I recommend that my clients do when they’re getting ready to build a website is purchase a domain name. Sometimes it’s an easy process but a lot of times, they have questions about the best domain name for their business. Here are some domain registration tips I’ve shared with my clients over the years.

Short & Sweet

A short domain name is easy to remember and easy to type. If possible, avoid using numbers- it can be confusing if you’re telling someone your email address or web address over the phone and you say “5” and they think you’ve said “five“. Same goes for other punctuation like hyphens. They’re allowed in domain names but can sometimes feel clunky and hard for customers to remember.

Keywords are… well, key.

A domain name is the perfect place to inject some keyword goodness into your website to help with search engine ranking. Brainstorm the top five keywords for your business to find a domain name that makes sense with your business name. For example: platinumrepair.com is great, but platinumshoerepair.com is even better. Be sure to consider the length of the domain name with the keywords you use.

Be aware that sometimes it makes more sense to simply use your business name as the domain name, even if there are no keywords in it. Sites like Amazon.com, Google.com, and Monster.com rely on brand awareness more than SEO keywords in their domain names and that works just fine. So in some cases, it comes down to personal preference and what is most important to the business-owner.

Location, Location, Location

If your business relies on local customers, putting a city name or location in the domain name is a great way to target customers in your area. PittsburghShoeRepair.com or ShoeRepairPA.com are some examples.

Protect your investment

Register multiple extensions and variations of the main domain name that you choose. You don’t need to build a separate website for all of them, but owning them will keep others from registering them. For example, platinumrepair.com, platinumrepair.netplatinumrepairs.com… and so on. You may also want to register a few misspelled variations of your site to catch that website traffic as well. Your web developer can setup 301 redirects so that all of these domains point to the original website.

Buy it now!

If you find a domain name that you love and it’s available, don’t wait! Buy it as soon as you can. Domain names go quickly and you don’t want to miss out on the perfect domain.

These are just suggestions, not rules. Sometimes the right domain name doesn’t conform to all of the guidelines and that is okay. If you love it and it fits your business model and your brand, go for it!

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