Choosing a Domain Name

Choosing a domain name for your website can be very intimidating. But this is a critical element in your online strategy so it deserves special attention.  Why are domain names so important? They are critical for two specific reasons…

  1. The domain name is what visitors will type in when they want to go directly to your site.
  2. The domain name is used as part of Google’s ranking algorithm to decide what is ranked higher in the search engines.

For those two reasons alone, a good domain name can put you leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. So how do you choose a good domain name? Follow these simple steps:

  1. Goto Godaddy.com in your internet browser.
  2. In the area that says “Start Domain Search” type in a possible domain.
  3. Godaddy will then let you know whether that domain is available. If it is not available, try another variation or try a different keyword.
  4. Try and find a domain name that is available for each of the following:
    a. Your company name such as “JohnDoePhotography.com” or “WeddingMemoriesPhotography.com”
    b. The city you live in and “photography.com” or “photographer.com”
    c. The city you live in and the type of photography you specialize in such as “LittleRockWeddingPhotography.com”

Did you know you can actually have more than one domain name for your business?  This is true. But why would you want more than one domain name? Well this will help you to drive more traffic to your site, thereby increasing your clientele!  But don’t worry; you won’t need to build 3 or more separate websites. You can have all three domains point to the same website if you wish. This is called “Domain Forwarding” and is easily setup by your domain registrar. (The company where you bought your domain.

The 7 Rules of Domain Name Selection
Below are the 7 rules that I consider when picking a domain name:

Rule #1: Make it a “.com”. For your business website do not use a .org, .net, .info or any other extension (unless using a country specific extension)

Rule #2: This is the only exception to Rule #1. If outside the US, consider using country specific extensions such as .uk or .au.

Rule #3:
Avoid strange or difficult spellings

Rule #4:
Avoid using “The” or similar words in your domain unless that is how you market your business.

Rule #5:
Register your personal name if it is available. (Just because you may be famous one day!)

Rule #6:
Shorter is better but not always possible

Rule #7:
Hyphens are okay. Can’t find a good domain name that is available? Try using hyphens to separate the words.

There you go. There is a short lesson on how to pick out one or more domains for your business!

  1. Jackie Spellen Reply

    Oh, before I leave a comment. I do have a question. Do you think jacknthephotobox(dot)com is too long? I am building a photobooth soon and will rent this service out to my clients.

    Thanks for sharing this… It’s taking months for me to figure out what name is best for my business. I am a photographer who no longer offer event photography services since I am leaning more to headshots and portraits. I prefer to use my name, jackiespellen dot com. I would also like a separate website for the events that I am hired to do (and will stop doing). I have jackiescamera.blogspot(dot)com and pictureme2(dot)com.

    I will merge the latter two into jacknthephotobox(dot)com. Let me know what you think.

    • admin Reply

      i don’t think it is too long. I have definitely seen longer. 🙂

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