How you Can Pick a Domain Name That Works

One of the very first things that you will need to do when you set up your web site is to choose a domain name. You need to spend enough time on this process to get it right. Your domain name should be simple to remember, easy to say, and easy to communicate over the phone. It should include keywords that are relevant to your website theme, as you’ll want to enable search engines to find your site. A domain name should be as short as possible. You’ll find that two words for a domain name is usually possible to find, but you will have to work at it a bit. One word domain names are mostly gone.

Availability of three word domain names is common; and if the words are small, the domain name will not be too large. An example of this would be…

You can use dashes in a domain name. This will separate the keywords for the search engines. Then, every time you use your domain name in a link, the search engines will pick up the keywords you are targeting. A good example is:

A problem with dashes is that they are somewhat difficult to communicate over the phone, and if a competitor has the name without dashes, you could lose traffic to them.

Many domain registrars have tools available to help you search for unused domain names and find different combinations for those names.

The best domain names are dot com. Your customers tend to assume the dot com at the end of domain names. If you pick a different type such as .org, .tv, .us, or .net, you will lose customers to the other sites who have the dot com version of the domain name you pick. If you like a domain name well enough to use the version other than dot com, you will need to be sure that the dot com is not owned by a competitor in your field. That can really spell disaster.

We usually start with a dot com name and if the others are available, we will purchase them as well to diversify our project. If you use a different domain name for email, for example, you can sometimes simplify the development of your website.

Keep your domain names as short as possible, and make sure they are easy to say over the phone. Domain names that you have to spell, or differentiate between spelled out numbers, or numerals will cause confusion. The domain, is an example. To communicate this domain name over the phone, you will need to make sure the customer knows you mean “4”, not “four”. You will also have to tell them that it is “u”, not “you”. This can be a frustrating waste of time if you are handling sales over the phone.

Stay away from words that are spelled different for different meanings, such as “To”, “too, “two”, and “2”. Another is with our successful website, Though it is not a serious problem, we do have to deal with ware vs. wear in our telephone support with this site. We didn’t even see this one coming.

When I pick a domain name, I will usually look at a two word definition of what I am trying to market, or the mental image I am trying to present. I will run these two words through an online thesaurus. Then, when I have a list of each, I will try different combinations until I find one that flows well, sounds nice when spoken, is not terribly confusing, and doesn’t need to be spelled out 60 times a day. I am often amazed at how many really excellent dot com names, using two words, are still available.

Sometimes when I am looking for a domain, I will end up buying two or three for later use, or resale. In fact, you may even want to purchase domain names that are close misspellings of your original name.

When we name a new software product, we name the product with available domain names in mind. Our soon to be released affiliate organizer is called Affiliate File Cabinet. We chose the name and purchased at the same time.

Rusty Campbell has been involved in internet marketing since 1996. You can find out more about internet marketing, domain names and web hosting at He also reviews business opportunities at A very good, low cost domain registrar is The tools available on their web site are powerful and easy-to-use. They provide good technical support, and the domain names sell for rock bottom prices.

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