Domain Name – How to Pick a Domain Name

Choosing a Proper Domain Name

Your domain name is your Internet identity, your online brand name. For any online business the importance of choosing a proper domain name cannot be overstated. Your domain name should have the following characteristics:

  • Easy to remember – Get a catchy domain name that is easy to say, type and remember. It will help people spread the word about your site more easily.
  • Primary keywords – Including your site’s primary keyword(s) in the domain name is often a good idea. This will give a significant boost to your search engine rankings for those terms.

A domain name can have up to 63 characters. It can contain any combination of letters and numbers, as well as hyphens and underscores.

Domain Age

The age of the domain name is one of the many factors that Google considers when ranking a site. An old domain shows permanence and therefore gives a higher quality score in Google. Because of this, you may want to consider registering domain names even before you are sure you are going to need them.

The active age of a domain starts from the time the search engines find the site, not from when you register it. Therefore, you should create an initial link to each domain name you register from a web page that is already indexed by the search engines. The search engine’s web crawlers will then follow the link and learn of the existence of your new domain. This is a more efficient approach than submitting your domain name to all search engines in order to be included.

Registration Period

Make sure you register your domain for the longest amount of time possible. Preferably, register for five years or more if you can. This is especially important for new sites. Search engines – particularly Google – look at the length of your domain’s registration as a quality factor for your site. They do this because many spam sites have short registrations, and a longer registration period indicates that you are building a site with long-term value.

Domain Extension

When registering a new domain name for a commercial website you want to get the .com domain extension. It is the most popular extension and is therefore the easiest one to remember. It is also the default extension people will try if they type in your domain name by hand. One possible exception is if you are only serving a local market. In that case a country specific extension will make your site rank slightly higher for searches coming from that country.

Finding Available Domain Names

An incredible number of names are already registered and more are registered every day. Therefore, finding a good domain name that is available – especially a .com one – can be very difficult. Below are two domain suggestion tools that make this process a whole lot simpler. Simply type in your keywords and see what domain names related to those terms are currently available.

If the name you want is registered you may be able to purchase it from a domain name brokering company, such as Sedo.

Registering a Domain Name

To register a domain name you need to use an accredited domain name registrar or one of their agents. Often, your web hosting company has a relationship with a particular registrar that allows you to purchase your web hosting account and domain name with one transaction. That is easy, but it is not always the cheapest option.

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