internet home business ideas
 

Choosing a Domain Namechoosing a domain name

Lesson #4

Before you can go live with your website you'll need to think about choosing a domain name.  

Domain names are linked to an IP address (which represents a physical point on the Internet). When someone types a domain name into a Web browser, the requested web page displays.

The most common domains are .COM, .NET, and .ORG.

Others include .BIZ, .INFO, .NAME and .WS.

Domain names must be registered with an Internet Corporation or an ICANN-accredited registrar.

For example, I use Godaddy, an ICANN accredited registrar that you can choose, purchase and register domain names from directly. I especially like them because of how secure they are. 

One other thing to note is that I like to promote affiliate products with my own domain name and Godaddy makes forwarding domain names super easy, so I use that feature a lot.

To find out if a merchant is an  accredited registrar, you can get a complete and accurate list here:

http://www.icann.org/en/registrars/accredited-list.html

When you are ready to choose your domain name, Godaddy has a handy domain name search on the home page that can help you brainstorm ideas.

Easy Tips for Choosing A Domain Name

Regulatory standards require that a domain name can be as long as 67 characters, including the characters in the suffix (63 characters plus the 4 character .xyz.)

Only letters, numbers, or hyphens are permitted. A domain name may not begin or end with a hyphen.  If you can, keep your domain name as short as you can, using all 63 characters gets too large and makes it hard for readability and for your users to remember.

1) Choose a domain name that contains your best descriptive keywords 

The popular method for choosing a domain name is to find a name with your best keywords in it.  In other words choose words that are highly searched on but also accurately describe your website.

Let's take for example a website that's basic business is to sell organic dog food.  In this case 'organic dog food' should be part of the domain name.

It's not always easy to find the exact domain name you want but in our dog food case a few choices might be 

  • 'best organic dog food' 
  • 'healthy organic dog food' 
  • 'balanced organic dog food' 

Using your best keywords in your domain name will help boost your rankings within the search engines. 

2) Choosing a domain name that brands you

Another choice when choosing your domain name is to go with a brand or something that is easy to remember. 

For example, using your business or your own personal name for you domain is perfectly acceptable.  This keeps your domain name more of a brand which can be easier for customers and followers to recall.

Important Note:  When choosing your domain name, keep in mind that the domain name is only a small factor weighed by search engines when deciding your rank.

In other words, your domain name won't determine how well you rank in the search engines.

It's quality content, Search Engine optimization and good site structure that delivers high search engine ranking, not your domain name. 

Should your domain name be private or public?

A private domain registration will keep your information (name, email address, etc.) out of the global internet database, and will prevent most spam from reaching your email in box. Anyone doing a 'WHOIS' on your domain name will not have access to your personal information.

Even though registering a "private" domain is not mandatory, I highly recommend it.

If you happen to register your domain name through your hosting service, make sure it is actually 'you' that owns the domain. Do a WHOIS search and look at the "Administrative Contact." It should be you.

Hyphenated or Non-Hyphenated Domain Name?

I personally don't think it matters. There's a lot of debate about this, but from my experience, it doesn't mattered. 

Here's a good rule of thumb though...

Use hyphens if you have more than three words in your domain name.

For example, windowblinds.com is certainly acceptable and easy to read, however fauxfinishwindowblinds.com would be better distinguished if you used faux-finish-window-blinds.com.

The search engines will recognize each word for keyword content, so considering readability is why you might use the dashes.

If you're having trouble deciding, then purchase your domain name as both a non-hyphenated and hyphenated and point your website to both names.

Choosing a domain name extension

Is it better to have a .com or will a .org or .net do just as well? 

Most extensions other than a .com are generally cheaper, but that doesn't mean .org or .net isn't just as good. 

The benefit to a .com is that it's familiar. So for instance if your website's domain name is 'happy travels' most people would type into the search engines, 'happytravels.com.  However if your domain name is 'happytravels.org you'll need to specifically tell them it's a .org. (see tip below)

As for the  search engines, there's no discrimination in the rankings from a .com to any other extension. 

If you have a domain name that you don't want others to use you can purchase multiple extensions (.org, .net, .info, etc). You don't have to build a site on each domain but you can reserve them so others don't use them. You can also redirect the additional names to your main .com site.

TIP: If you have a domain name that uses an extension other than .com, be sure to promote your full domain name.

For example, if your domain name is mybusiness.net promote it as mybusiness.net. If you refer to it simply as mybusiness, it is often assumed to be .com.

This is a good example of why it is recommended to purchase all suffix's of your domain name, i.e. .com, .net, .biz, etc.


===> Lesson #5 - Choosing A Web Host


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