A domain name is an alphanumeric name that serves as the address for a website on the Internet. It can be up to 67 characters in length, and can include the numbers 0 to 9, the English alphabet from A to Z, and hyphens or dashes (the – character). Hyphens cannot be used at the beginning or end of the name, and domain names are not case-sensitive, meaning the letter a is the same as the letter A.
Domain names have suffixes called TLD’s, which stands for Top Level Domains. TLD’s are designated based on the type of domain that they are assigned to. Following are the most popular TLD’s:
1) .com for commercial businesses
2) .net for networks
3) .org for non-profit organizations
4) .gov for governmental agency
5) .edu for educational institutions
Tips for Selecting a Domain Name
Relevance: As stated above, a domain name should be directly related to whatever content the website is going to serve, whether it is a shopping portal, or an informational site. There’s no point in calling your site tools.com if you are going to be advertising a lawn mowing service. You’ll leave your visitors in a state of confusion, and they more than likely won’t come back.
Long Names: Your domain name should not be too long. Short and sweet is the key here, as they are the easiest names to remember. Consider the domain names lawnmowingservice.com or sevendaysaweeklawnmowingservice.com. The first one sums up the topic of the website and is quite easy to remember, while the second one is harder to remember, difficult to type, and just looks like a mess.
Short Names: It may seem contrary, but you don’t want too short of a name either. Names that are short are very broad by nature, which goes against trying to nail down what your site is about. The ideal name will be two or three words in length, including keywords relevant to your website content. For example, the domain name tools.com is far too vague to drive specifically targeted traffic to your website if you actually sell web development tools, crafting tools, etc.
Keywords: Keywords are the lifeblood of website marketing, so it makes sense to include keywords in your domain name. Keywords will help the search engines determine the exact subject matter of your site, which will then help improve your results in the search engine rankings.
Hyphenation: Many SEO (Search Engine Optimization) experts agree that hyphenated domain names are not a good idea. They turn an otherwise easy to remember name into a difficult one that can also be hard to type. Furthermore, if you have chosen the hyphenated name due to the unhyphenated version already being registered as a .com, then you are going to lose a lot of type-in traffic to the unhyphenated .com – inadvertently providing free website traffic to your competition.
Copyrighted Names: Stay away from copyrighted brand names such as Nike or Samsung. Many new website owners have come under fire when they create a website with a name like bestsamsungphones.com. You may be able to get away with it, but there is always the risk that the registered trademark owner will set their lawyers onto you, and force you to hand over the domain name – ruining all of your hard work.
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