Friday, July 18, 2008

The Importance of your Domain Name

by Carolyn Clayton

Your domain name is what appears in the address bar of an Internet page. Without your domain name no one would be able to easily access your website, which is why your domain name is so important. Your domain name is what brings business to your website and for your website to do the best it can you need a name that is going to entice people to click on your URL link as oppose to your competitors.

There is a belief held by numerous people that your domain name must be a generic name. What is meant by generic is a website that has a name such as shoes.com for a site that sells shoes; however as a customer wishing to purchase a new pair of shoes you will more than likely have the style or brand of shoes in mind that you are hoping to purchase, meaning when you came to search for it online you wouldn't merely type 'shoes' into a search engine you would type the brand or type of shoe in so a domain name that reflects the brand or type would be more beneficial to your business than a domain name that merely states shoes. 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 try in their browser. It is also the easiest thing for people to remember.

One other argument that often arises when it comes to your domain name is whether a short or long domain is better for your website. There are arguments for and against both of these a short domain name is easier to remember and to type and is also less susceptible to mistakes; however a short domain name would be hard to remember if it was made up of a sequence of letters or numbers; whereas a long domain name can often be easier for the human memory as you are more likely to remember a long name; however you should avoid extremely long domain names that verge near to the 67 character limit.

As well as the debate over whether your domain name should be short or long there is also the debate of whether you should use a hyphenated name, this is often easily dismissed as hyphenated names are easy to forget when you are typing the name into an address bar, also when people recommend your site to people there is the potential for errors when people will often forget to mention the hyphen. However one good aspect that hyphenated domain names have is that they are easier for search engines to distinguish between keywords.

One common question that many people have about domain names is whether they should get a .com, .co.uk, .net, .org etc. The basic answer to this question is you have to choose the best one based on your business. If you are a local business, which only really caters for the local area, such as a pizza delivery then you will want to have a domain name that reflects this; whereas if you are an international business you would benefit most from having a .com domain name.

About the Author

Helen is the web master of Discount Domains, specialists in all aspects of Domain Names.