Considerations for Choosing a Domain Name

What’s a TLD and Which One Do I Want?

This article is intended to help if you do not yet have a domain name registered for your business or organization. Domain names ending in “.com” are usually preferable to those of other Top Level Domains (TLD’s); such as .org or .net. If you are a learning institution you may be able to get a “.edu” TLD. There are many other TLDs available, and most are not worth considering.  Additionally, the .com TLDs have been available for almost 20 years, and there are not many good ones left. Having said that, it’s not difficult to create a version of a “.com” domain name that is likely to be available. Just a couple of years ago we registered “prismpartnersllc.com” for ourselves.

Consider registering the “.org” and “.net” TLDs in addition to the .com version of whatever you choose; if they are available. Do this if for no other reason than to keep a competitor from underhandedly grabbing them and then using them to your disadvantage. We also grabbed prismpartnersllc.org & .net when we registered the .com version.

How Do I Choose a Domain Name?

Before registering a domain name, make a list of the “key words” important to your business. Sometimes these will be 2, 3, or 4 word phrases. These are the phrases that people will search Google, Bing, and Yahoo! with to hopefully find your business. Then look for domain names that are available that contain these keywords. The best one of these is the domain name you want. An example would be “LegalDocsByNina.com”, or “SoCalJazzAndBluesEventBookings.com”.

In general, long domain names are problematic. And domain names with special characters can be problematic. However, sometimes these are the only choices available. If that’s the case, do not stress over this. For example, we own 2 domain names that are hyphenated: the‐networks.com (our company’s primary domain name), and the‐internetworks.com. When spelling our email addresses on the telephone, the hyphen is a problem about half the time. But again, if this is your best choice, make it and move on.

What If I Have multiple Domain Names?

If you end up with more than one domain name, and many of us do for various reasons, please be mindful of this next consideration: Do not use more than one domain name to point to a single Web site. The search engines consider this “duplicate content”, and they will penalize your site’s pages in the search engine results. Instead, use a secondary domain name to point to some other page that contains info on your company and links to your main Web site.

Once you have a domain name, keep it forever! The older a domain name is the more credibility the search engines give it!  In fact, consider acquiring the domain name of a valuable competitor if you ever have the opportunity. This can provide your business some added search engine benefits.

Also, always make sure you or your business are named as the “registrant” and as the “administrative contact”!

Do you need to discuss your specific circumstances regarding choosing and registering a domain name?  If so, please call us or contact us and we will be happy to help.  Then we can register a domain name for you if you wish.

Categories: Domain Names
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