Choosing the right domain name

14 June 2012

Most people starting business online are so concerned with the products or services they want to promote that they neglect the importance of choosing the right domain name for their web site.

Choosing the right domain name should be your first priority in the quest for online success. Many entrepreneurs are oblivious of the role a domain name plays in their online businesses and register domains which have little or no relevance to their business. The following tips will help you proceed along the right track.

Keep it short

Although you can register a name with up to 63 characters, you have to keep in mind that people need to be able to remember it, and easily type it into their browser. Good domain names are short, all of the worlds three and four letter .com domains have been registered and the five letter domains are not far behind.

Since the .au domain registration process is more stringent there are still plenty of short domains available. There is no definite number of characters that you should aim for but for guidance try to go below 12 letters and never exceed 20.

Avoid using hyphens in your domain name, many users are used to typing things like but not Although they make your domain name easier to read they create confusion and people will tend to leave them out when typing them and end up at your competitor’s site.

Use keywords in your domain name

Your keywords have an important role to play here a domain name with keywords embedded will do wonders, not only in achieving higher positioning on the search engines, but also in becoming more effective at informing a potential customer what the Web site sells.

You should try to embed least one of the most relevant keywords or a keyword phrase into your domain name, whilst this is not the only method that will elevate your site in a search engine it certainly does help.

While buying a domain name for branding purposes reigns search power, if you have an opportunity to snatch a keyword rich domain name, do not hesitate to register it and use it to push the agenda of your primary domain.

Also if you plan on getting visitors from another country make sure you use spelling that is recognised in that country, for example the word “color” is U.S where as the word “colour” is Australian. Also register all variations of a word such as “” and “” to avoid competitors getting a hold of it for their advantage and to capture all mistakes that can be made by users.

Dot What?

Most countries have their own domain extension so if you’re marketing your products and services primarily to users in a single country then consider using that country’s top-level domain other wise known as domain extension.
Generally if you have an Australian business you would register a domain name since people in Australia tend to have a sense of trust from a domain with the .au extension which may result in more sales.

Another advantage of having an .au domain extension is that Australian search engines will give preference to these domains over the traditional .com extension. If you don’t plan on doing most of your business in Australia then having a .com domain will do as it’s the original and most common extension.

In many cases it’s also a good idea to register a few domain names and have them pointed to the same web site. It’s very important to find a balance between building your brand and making it user and search engine friendly.

Avoid Trademarked Names

Domain names mostly represent a company’s intellectual property in the form of trademarks, either registered or common law, or words and phrases associated with the company. Domain names can incorporate trademarks in a number of ways. The most common is a company name followed by a domain extension such as

A person who is not the trademark owner and registers the trademark as a domain name engages in trademark infringement. Even a domain name as innocent as would be in violation. There would be nothing worse than to spend marketing dollars on promoting your website than to lose it to another company that has protection over a particular name.

There has been a long running domain trademark dispute for the domain that has been going on for 15 years where Nissan Motors Is Suing Nissan Computer For Trademark Infringement and Trademark Dilution, Nissan Motors has been unsuccessful since Nissan Computer was established prior to Nissan Motors, trademark disputes like this can end up costing a lot of money.

So when choosing domain make sure you understand legal issues surrounding the name, it may be a good idea to speak with intellectual property lawyer if in doubt.

Already Registered?

The chances are that when you start your search for the perfect domain name it may have already been registered by another party and in many cases it may never be used and was only registered someone liked the sound of it at the time. Don’t give up, there are a number of things you can do.

There are tools available all over the internet called “whois lookups” which allow you to search across multiple domain registrar databases to give you registration information on domain names, including owners email addresses and expiry dates. Once you have those details you can either send an email to the owner asking them to kindly pass it on or wait for the domain to expire so you can register it.

If you still don’t have any luck why not try a slogan, brand name, acronym or even a phone number. Creative names can be very effective and memorable. Some domain registrars also have a domain suggestion tool where you simply type in the key word or words that you want to be in your domain and it comes back to you with a variety of combinations of available domains using that combination of words. A simple search in Google for “domain suggestion tool” will give you a few free tools that you can use.

Let us help you with your domain search today.

Choosing the right domain name
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