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Begin the search for your perfect domain name...
- Make it as short as possible
- Make it memorable
- Make it easy to spell
- Make it pronounceable
- Make it a name you can brand
- Make it non-confusable with another domain name
- Make it not conflict with an existing Trademark
- Make it easy to say
- Make it trust-worthy, not off-beat (i.e. a .co.ke)
- Make it directly related to either your business name or
- Make it directly related to keywords from your industry or
- Make it descriptive of your sites content
- Consider multiple domain names:
- obtain similar names to avoid competitors confusing your customers
- obtain misspellings of your domain name to keep competitors from taking advantage of misspellings
- obtain names for future offerings (services or products)
- link to your main site from additional domains to aid in your search engine ranking (major search engines use link popularity in their ranking algorithms)
The key elements of a good domain name are
It should convey effectively the nature of your business
A name such as golfnews.co.ke will immediately give the reader an idea of what the site contains, with no further description. It will also be easy to recall from memory at a later time. But, a warning, you must also plan ahead for any future diversity. Suppose you then decide to provide news about other sporting activities. It would make no sense to set up new names such as golfnews.co.ke/boxing golfnews.co.ke/tennis. The name of your site should be generic in order to allow for future variation. If you had chosen the more general "sportsnews.co.ke" this gives you the flexibility to add sportsnews.co.ke/golf sportsnews.co.ke/boxing sportsnews.co.ke/tennis
It should be easy to remember and to spell.
Think of the situations when you need to convey the spelling of your Url. It could be in spoken format (during a conversation, a phone call, in your voice mail) or printed format (on all your stationery). You want to make it as easy as possible for your customer to record it and to recall it later and, hopefully, to communicate it to others. You need to avoid a name that is too long or one with confusing characters
A domain name means that you are free to move to a different web host or ISP and leave the name unchanged. Why would you want to move? Some of the reasons could be:
- A better standard of support (quick response and competent replies to technical questions)
- Lower prices
- Faster connectivity to your site
- Better tools and features
- A professional image for your company Would you feel comfortable about ordering goods offline from a company based at Flat 4a, Dodgy Street, Cheaptown or about sending an order online to an Email address of firstname.lastname@example.org , where there is no way of finding any information about the company such as the postal address. Contrast this to ordering from email@example.com where you have the option of obtaining company details through their registered domain name (via http://www.internic.net/whois.html). Think of the credibility it lends to your company to have a name based on the business: contrast this to a cheap sounding name possibly hosted on a free site.
- Ease of use for your customer A well chosen domain name will be shorter to enter into a browser and easier to say over the phone or appear on a business card. In addition a customer may guess that your site name is www.[yourcompany].co.ke and reach it successfully.
- Submission to search engines Some search engines may not accept submissions from free (non-domain) sites
If you have a business site on the web then you should aim for nothing less than a professional hosting site providing first class support, who will give you a domain name - not one which incorporates their own name and hosting services. Although a domain name will simplify your move to another provider if you are not happy, it is best to choose right the first time.
Technical features apart here is a useful rule for choosing any company which provides a service: "Ensure that their level of support is first rate". Do not tolerate automated messages with false promises to respond in 24 hours. Ignore what they claim to achieve and prove it for yourself. Send in questions and observe the quality and speed of response.
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