Before you rush out and get your domain name for your website, you might want to consider the following points:
Naming your site after your domain may seem obvious to some of you, but you’ll be surprised to learn that not every website is named after the domain name even when the same business owns the other domain name.
Naming a site after its domain name is important, for the simple reason that when people think of your website, they’ll think of it by name (domain name). If your name is also your URL (ie, web address), they’ll automatically know where to go to find you. For example, when people think of domainshop.com.au, they don’t have to wonder what web address to type into their browser to get there. The name of the site is also the URL.
Imagine if your business (or website) is called “My Name”, but somebody else holds that domain name. Instead, you have some obscure domain name called, say, “MyBusinessWebsiteName.com.au”. What happens when your customers, recalling that My Name also has a product they want, type “www.myname.com.au”? They’ll end up at your competitor’s website. One lost sale.
Generic Names Or Branding your Domain?
I know that some people seem to think that your domain name really must be some short generic name like “cars.com” if you are selling cars. Have you seen how much money those generic names are being sold for… Thousands and millions.
The very name that you use to advertise your product is the name that you will want for your domain, because that is the first thing that people will search for.
Long or Short Domain Names?
Domain names can be of any length up to 63 characters including letters and numbers. You don’t have to settle for an obscure domain name like rrk.com.au when what you mean is RobertRogerAndKate.com.au
Having said that, there appears to be some disagreement about whether a long or short domain name is better.
Some argue that shorter domain names are easier to remember, easier to type and far less susceptible to mistakes: for example, “findit.com” is easier to remember and less prone to typos than “findmywebsiteatthisaddress.com.au”.
Others argue that a longer domain name is usually easier on the human memory – for example, “gynwt.com.au” is a sequence of unrelated letters that is difficult to remember and type correctly, whereas if we expand it to its long form, “GetYourNewWebsiteToday.com.au”, we are more likely to remember the domain name.
Should you get a hyphenated name? There are a few things to consider:
It’s easy to forget the hyphens when typing a name. (Sale Lost to your competitor)
When people recommend your site to their friends verbally, having hyphens in your domain name leads to more potential errors than when the name does not contain hyphens. For example, how do you think your visitors will refer to your site if it is named “robert-roger-and-kate.com.au”? They might say, “I visited Robert Roger and Kate dot com dot au yesterday. It was fabulous.” Their friends, remembering that comment later, might type into their browsers “robertrogerandkate.com.au”. Oops.
It’s a pain in the neck to type. Enough said.
Search engines can distinguish your keywords better and thus return your site more prominently in search results for those keywords occurring in your domain name.
The non-hyphenated form may no longer be available. At least this way, you still get the domain name you want.
Personally, I prefer to avoid hyphenated names if I can, but I guess it really depends on your domain name and your situation.
Part 2 on how to choose a good domain name will come next week.