Five Things Not To Do When Choosing Your Domain Name

September 19, 2008

When someone makes the decision that they want to have an online presence, whether it is a blog or a full blown website, one of the first things they need to decide is what the domain name will be.

A domain name says a lot about the website that is hosted there. It is the first thing your future customers will know about your website.

Whether it is memorable or not will have an effect on whether you have a good amount of repeat visits.

There are a number of tips on what to do when wanting to select the domain name of your next website.

But, there are also a number of things that you shouldn’t do.

Here are five things not to do when choosing your domain name:

1. If Using Hypens, Dont Use More than Two Words
While it is becoming more and more acceptable to use a hyphen in a domain name, try not to use three or four word long URLs with multiple hyphens. Two desirable keywords separated by a hyphen can still form a memorable URL for visitors to your website to come back to again and again. Also, many times you can capitalize on the success of a site that has the same domain without the hyphen.

2. Dont Automatically Register a Domain Based on Good Keyword and Bad Extension
There are a number of instances when very good keywords will be available as a domain name in a very unpopular or little known domain extension. Don’t automatically purchase a domain name just because it says the words you want it to when it makes use of an unknown extension that people may not even think of to type in or be memorable enough to remember to type in. Before spending good money on a bad domain name, examine whether there is much traffic to a particularly odd extension. Many times a slightly less desirable domain name with good keywords can perform better than the best domain name with a bad extension.

3. Dont Use Unrelated Words in The Domain Name
When deciding on a domain name, don’t use words in it that are completely unrelated to the subject of the website that you will be building on it. Often, the words that make up a domain name have a large effect on how well the website that is built on that domain name ranks in search engines for particular terms. Filling a domain name up with useless or unrelated terms can make ranking in search engines for the right keywords very difficult.

4. Dont Forget to Register Similar Domains
When you have come up with the perfect domain name to launch your new website on, don’t forget that it may sometimes be smart to also register related domain names. If you register the singular version of a domain name, don’t leave the plural one available for someone else to register. If your site becomes popular and profitable, someone could register the plural one and put a competing site up on it which could jeopardize the profitability of your website.

5. Dont Repeat Words in the Domain Name
It is best not to repeat the same keyword in the domain name you choose to build your site on. This can be looked at by some, including some search engines, as keyword spamming and make them judge you to be unreliable.

Making the right choice in terms of domain name selection can have a great deal to do with how successful a website will be. When you choose a domain name it should be easy to remember and directly relate to the keywords that your website will use and want to rank well in search engines for.

Many successful websites have a domain name that spells out exactly what information they cover. There are also many successful websites that use a domain name that is a memorable and brandable made up pronounceable word.

There is a great deal of freedom at your disposal when deciding what domain name to purchase, but don’t let that freedom lead you to purchase the wrong domain name.

Avoiding some of the more common mistakes that individuals and corporations can make when choosing a domain name can go a long way in determining the success or failure of a website.