3 Critical Questions To Ask When Choosing Your Domain Name

by Christopher M. Hall - Date: 2008-10-23 - Word Count: 428 Share This!

In a perfect world, you would be able to get the domain name you want. Problem is, this is not a perfect world and chances of you getting the domain name that you want might be small. I have personally spent hours typing .com URLs into my favorite domain registration service just to find each name I type is already taken. Let me answer three questions that many people have when choosing a domain name.

1. What if I can't get the .com extension? - Personally, I would choose a different domain name rather than have any other extension besides .com. Why? Because that is how I was "raised". Kind of like the granddad saying he doesn't understand why we have all the fancy iPods, DVDs, and cell phones. I was around when most .com URLs were still available, so I still try to use the .com. And still today, .com is the default extension people try if they don't specifically remember another extension. But, as more .coms are taken, people will get used to typing other extensions like .net, .org, and .biz.

2. Should I use hyphens if I can't get the domain name I want? - I personally would not use hyphens in my domain name. They are hard to type, difficult to remember, and must be explicitly included when verbally mentioning the website. The other day I was on a conference call with someone promoting a website that was incredibly long and had four hyphens in the name. The person was giving out the website name on the call, and for some reason, people had a hard time getting to the webpage. People were saying that the website was down, they could not find the page, etc. Well, the real problem was the website name was too long and had too many hyphens. If you do use hyphens, just use one. If you have to use more than one, get another name! You will thank me in the future!

3. Should my domain name contain specific keywords? - Some people are adamant that your domain name must contain keywords that you want to rank high for. For example, for internet marketing, you might want words such as internet and marketing in the domain name. I think it is good to have keywords in your domain name, but not at the expense of common sense. Plus, some of the most popular websites today do not have keywords in their name (i.e. google, yahoo, craigslist). If you can get keywords, then use them. If it makes the name awkward, try something else.

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