Choosing the web address for a new website
Our online marketing clients often ask us to help
select domain names when setting up a new website. Indeed, there is an argument
that the domain name may impact search engine rankings for the site. But we
also think this decision deserves a lot of attention to how it will impact
the website’s user experience, from the impression it creates when it’s first
noticed to how easily it’s remembered. I’ll share with you a few of the things
we tell clients here.
There are several things to consider when
selecting a web address. Also called a URL or domain name, your web address
should meet these following criteria.
remember – This includes the order of the words as well as the words
themselves. (Was that davisroberts.com or robertdavis.com?) If possible, it
should be descriptive of your business, so it helps explain what visitors
spell – Avoid words that people commonly have trouble spelling. It’ll save
you misery when you’re trying to give your URL over the phone and help avoid
typos in any press coverage you get, too.
keywords (your industry, location, etc.) – While it’s sometimes debated
whether there are any optimization benefits, all things equal, it may help. Use
hyphens to separate the words so the search engines can recognize the separate
But make sure you buy both versions, so you can redirect any people who enter
your URL without the hyphens.
What’s a good length? Well, that depends. Don’t sacrifice the other criteria
just to have a short URL – your initials, for example, are not going to carry a
lot of benefit unless your business is very famous (GM.com, for example). But
don’t make your web address so long and full of keywords that people will
confuse the order or leave out words if they’re trying to enter it directly.
Consider that it should also look good on your business cards, brochures and
other marketing materials.
The web address you choose will be influenced by
your business name and situation. If your company is well known or its name already
meets some of the criteria above, you’ll be best off simply using your
business-name.com or businessname.com. After all, that’s your brand, and you
want to build it to the max. Another thing to keep in mind is that you can
purchase multiple domain names that you think people may try to type in to find
you and then point them all at your main address.
advice: Get impressions from a few people before you settle on your web
address. You never know what a set of new eyes can pick up that you might have
missed. We wouldn’t have these hilarious URLs to poke fun at if the owners had
done that: Experts Exchange: www.expertsexchange.com; IP Anywhere:
www.ipanywhere.com; Speed of Art; www.speedofart.com…you get the idea!
See examples and other things to consider in these
informative articles by other authors:
Stone Reuning is president and founder of SEO Advantage, Inc., an online marketing firm and website optimization company that helps businesses turn their websites into powerful lead and revenue generation tools.
Beginning with a focus on search engine optimization in 1999, SEO Advantage now brings a full multi-disciplinary approach to each client website. Clients enjoy dominance on Google, Yahoo and Bing through a suite of unique pay-for-performance search engine optimization and online marketing services. Experts in SEO, social media optimization, online reputation management, and website conversions work hand-in-hand with small business owners and client marketing departments providing complete copywriting and creative web design support.
You’ll find SEO Advantage referenced in books such as Writing Web-Based Advertising Copy to Get the Sale and the BusinessWeek bestseller The New Rules of Marketing & PR, as well as popular ebooks like The Small Business Blogging Blueprint.
Lol at petsexcitement.com. More seriously I recommend the optimization benefits of keywords in the domain. I find it makes a difference more often than not (though it is by no means a be all and end all).
A brief suggestion – Speed can be a critical factor. If you know that you want a domain name for a business, and it is available, get it as soon as the thought crosses your mind. Do not wait an hour or a day or a week. Don’t wait at all because while you are waiting, someone else WILL register it.
I must say that when you ponder on an excellent name register it ,i have lost many domain names that i left unregistered thinking i would register it later.There is a famous saying whenever you get an idea there are 3-4 people around the world with the same idea,the important step forward is taking action:-)
Great article, thanks for the info!
good tips for buying new domains, But i always prefer to buy aged domains rather than new one
Its an oldie, but still a goodie, keyword rich domains do so well if you can get them. Although some take this too far and end up with a long spammy looking domain, a real turn off for a potential customer. As with most things, be natural is the key.
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