Domain Name Registration - Key Tips
Copyright 2005 Keith Thompson
Domain name registration is a necessary, easy, and strategically important first step in establishing an online presence, whether for business or otherwise. A well-chosen domain name registration can set you up for success with your new site in so many ways, the most prominent of these being increased search engine traffic. Here's some vital elements to consider when executing your domain name registration.
A good domain name registration, particularly for an online business, (which is the main focus of this article) is easily done, but at the same time requires choices that will impact your site's effectiveness. So here, in no particular order, are some things to bear in mind when doing a domain name registration.
Will it be a .com, .net, .org, .info etc? Any of these will get spidered and indexed by the search engines, but if you can get a .com for your chosen name you'd be better off, as this extension is more common and carries an air of legitimacy with it.
Try not to have you domain name registration with your web host. The reason being that should you decide to part ways with your host, (and this isn't uncommon!) it's potentially a massive headache to move your domain as well. Split them up: you'll be glad you did!
Your domain name registration, purchased from a reputable company should run you somewhere between $1-10, depending on the extension and the amount of time you sign up for.
Probably the most important aspect of your domain name registration is the choice of keywords to use in your domain name. Try to use the main keyword or phrase you'd like to optimize the whole site for, and see if you can craft a domain name around it. The search engines seem to favor keyword-rich domain names. Nuff said.
Keep it short if possible. A shorter name is easier to remember than a long one.
Don't use your company name unless it has your keywords in it. There's no point in ranking high for your name if no one is looking for it yet.
Try to keep your domain name registration topically relevant. As search engines get smarter and smarter, sites that display total relevance will rank higher than catch all sites.
Lastly, be sure to avoid other companies trademarks and copyrights in your domain name. For example, let's say you're an affiliate of The Sharper Image. It's tempting to use some version of that name to promote your affiliate site, but don't do it, unless of course you'd like to meet their lawyers!
To sum up, your domain name registration is easy to do, but important to do well. It can make the difference in whether you get found or not!