Choosing The Right Domain Name
It would seem logical for someone who is deciding on an domain name for their web based business or blog, something that has the potential to be seen by thousands of visitors, that they must choose very carefully. Add in the fact that there are already millions of domain names chosen and in use for similar or related sites and it becomes quite complicated - how do you make this most crucial of decisions?
What's in a name, anyways? Ask any pet owner or parent what goes into choosing a name and you'll likely be given any number of answers, ranging from pre-choosing names, combining joint ideas between owners/parents or the tried and true method of choosing a name based on simple whimsy and nothing else. Some people name their vehicles, others will name their favorite piece of sporting equipment. Names are pretty important in shaping how we view things, how we assess things and how we remember them. So it would seem logical for someone who is deciding on an domain name for their web based business or blog, something that has the potential to be seen by thousands of visitors, that they must choose very carefully. Add in the fact that there are already millions of domain names chosen and in use for similar or related sites and it becomes quite complicated - how do you make this most crucial of decisions?
Unlike naming a pet or a favorite golf club, naming a domain on the web actually has some usable guidelines. There are some minor, but nonetheless very important, things that you should be aware of when you are in the process of choosing a domain name. Read on to fiind out how you can make this process much easier on yourself.
A good domain name is an integral part of any website. This is the thing people will identify your site with, discover it with and talk about it with, not too mention what others will search for you with. A well chosen domain name will assist in building and establishing a brand for your site, and recognition in an over crowded landscape will always benefit you and your business.
According to smashingmagazine.com, unless you're willing to spend a lot of money on your domain name, you should likely skip trying to go with a one word .com name (eg: twitter.com). Single name domains are difficult to come by and a great majority are already taken by domain name speculators. To a lesser extent, one word dot net and dot org names are also difficult to come by.
Since humans iterpret word meanings better than any computer or search engine can or does (currently), try to avoid choosing a series of words that could be interpreted by a search engine as ambiguous. A name like "The Business of Baking" would be easy to interpret, by a human, as a cooking or food related site, whereas a search engine interprets it as being about both Baking AND Business.
Another option would be to employ a domain naming service. There are many available, and for a fee they can assist you in finding a great domain name by finding as many possibilities as possible that are relevant to your initial idea. There are also software applications and search engines available that can offer a less intensive version of what a domain naming business can offer.
Another avenue for ideas is to use a visual thesaurus or visual dictionary. These two tools are quite handy for choosing names and phrases, finding synonyms, related words and images. Some of these services can be found online for free, others operate on a membership basis and require a small fee for use.
Applying some of the guidlines for linguistic design can be useful - be specific in meaning, use appropriate metaphors and make every piece count. Keep your groupings of consonants simple and don't change the natural syllabic emphasis.
Future articles will investigate the strategies used for brandable names and how to choose a domain name that is discoverable.
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