Your Friend and Enemy
name availability has become more and more scant over the years.
Many single word domain names have been scooped up which it makes
it more and more difficult to find a domain name that you like
and is available. When selecting a domain name, you have the option
of including hyphens as part of the name. Hyphens help because
it allows you to clearly separate multiple words in a domain name,
making it less likely that a person will accidentally misspell
the name. For example, people are more likely to misspell "domainnamecenter.com"
than they are "domain-name-center.com". Having words
crunched together makes it hard on the eyes, increasing the likelihood
of a misspelling. On the other hand, hyphens make your domain
name longer. The longer the domain name, the easier it is for
people to forget it altogether. Also, if someone recommends a
site to someone else, they may forget to mention that each word
in the domain name is separated by a hyphen. If do you choose
to leverage hyphens, limit the number of words between the hyphens
to three. Another advantage to using hyphens is that search engines
are able to pick up each unique word in the domain name as key
words, thus helping to make your site more visible in search engine
are many top level domain names available today including .com,
.net, .org, and .biz. In most cases, the more unusual the top
level domain, the more available domain names are available. However,
the .com top level domain is far and away the most commonly used
domain on the internet, driven by the fact that it was the first
domain extension put to use commercially and has received incredible
media attention. If you cannot lay your hands on a .com domain
name, look for a .net domain name, which is the second most commercially
popular domain name extension.
Arm of the Law
very careful not to register domain names that include trademarked
names. Although internet domain name law disputes are tricky and
have few cases in existence, the risk of a legal battle is not
a risk worth taking. Even if you believe your domain name is untouchable
by a business that has trademarked a name, do not take the chance:
the cost of litigation is extremely high and unless you have deep
pockets you will not likely have the resources to defend yourself
in a court of law. Even stay away from domain names in which part
of the name is trademarked: the risks are the same.
Engines and Directories
search engines and directories are different. Each has a unique
process for being part of the results or directory listing and
each has a different way of sorting and listing domain names.
Search engines and directories are the most important on-line
marketing channel, so consider how your domain name choice affects
site placement before you register the domain. Most directories
simply list links to home pages in alphabetical order. If possible,
choose a domain name with a letter of the alphabet near the beginning
("a" or "b"). For example, "aardvark-pest-control.com"
will come way above "joes-pest-control.com". However,
check the directories before you choose a domain name. You may
find that the directories you would like be in are already cluttered
with domain names beginning with the letter "a". Search
engines scan websites and sort results based on key words. Key
words are words that a person visiting a search engine actually
search on. Having key words as part of your domain name can help
you get better results.