What Domain Name to Pick

We get questions all the time about what domain name people should choose. The questions and options range from the super silly, super short, and super long. I decided that it might be a good idea to do a post on the topic of choosing a domain name when you’re about to start your first website or do a new small business website.

First! Which domain name extension? Well…I like .com, .org, and .us. I pretty much hate everything else. Why? .com domain names are the original and people almost automatically add .com to the end of any name they are thinking of. So they tend to type that in first if they are looking to find you directly by typing your company or site name into the URL browser address bar. Next, .org – this is good if you are non-profit or are doing a site that is more information based than monetization minded. Why would you want a .org? I dunno…Maybe there is a little mind game going on here still that in the minds of most people if they see you have a .org maybe your intentions are more honorable? Who knows…but I like it. Last, .us – I like this as a third alternative over the .net, .ws, .biz, .tv, .info, etc. .info is so cheap that spammers love to get their hands on these and I think that devalues the name. A .us name is telling people I’m doing business in the United States. The registry that operates .us domains does not allow private registrations so there is more credibility behind the names. Less likely that people will attempt shady business activities on a .us domain name.

Second! Long or short? Well this is obvious. Shorter the better. If people can’t remember it – you’re going to rely almost entirely on search engine traffic. Also, the more words or letters – the harder it is to type in – so you’ll lose more traffic to domain squatters who are sitting on the domain that has advertising going to another site. Just go short.

Third! Which name? Well people try all sorts of stuff here. They will take any product and then append something cute to it. Gator, Monster, Tube, etc. Or if they are an info site – they’ll add info, 101, or something else to let people know. Some will try to add an e or an i to the beginning of the domain. Or they’ll use lots of dashes. I’d rather take a no-dashes domain name on a ccTLD than dashes on a .com name. But it really depends on what you’re selling. You have to ask yourself – am I getting traffic from SEO and search engines? If so, you want keywords in your domain. If you’re relying on your billboard advertising on the freeway to get your name out there – it must be short and easy to remember – 2-3 words max – .com – no dashes. Or something so dang cute that you can’t help but remember the name. A play on words is always effective.

Hope this helps in your quest for a domain name!

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