Electronic Productivity Solutions (EPS)

Tips on Selecting an Appropriate Domain Name

Like any brand name, logo, or trademark, your domain name represents a vital part of your business identity. If named correctly, people will associate it with your particular product, service, company and so on, thereby increasing the potential to attract more customers. Choose your domain name carefully, as it will probably be used for several purposes: your Website, email address and possibly an ftp or other server, whilst forming an integral part of your marketing campaign.

Choosing a domain name depends on a variety of factors: the industry in which you operate; the location of your current business; and your product/service range, to name a few. The following tips may help you select the best name for your purpose.

  • Domain names can generally be between 2 and 67 characters long (including the extension), and contain the characters a - z, 0-9 and '-' (hyphen). Domain names cannot start or end with '-' (hyphen). Domain names are not case sensitive and should generally be displayed in all lowercase. You can now also register multi-lingual domain names.
  • Choose domain names that are appropriate for your target audience. Depending on who you are targeting this could mean choosing names that sound sincere, cool, current, active, professional, or that use key words from the industry for example.
  • If you only buy one domain name, keep it short and simple; the shorter the domain name, the easier it is to remember or write down, and the less chance of users remembering it incorrectly. Restrict the domain name to one, two or three words at most. (The one exception to this is the next tip). Give preference to words with fewer syllables and words that are easy to pronounce. Short is good, but don't use difficult to remember acronyms, such as qmxf.
  • DO register a long domain name containing a list of relevant words for your Website to achieve a higher ranking in some search engines. Several of the major search engines rank Websites much higher if the search terms are contained in the domain name. You can use up to 63 characters to create a long domain name with keywords and automatically redirect visitors to the real Website. Some registrars offer the redirect service as standard in their price.
  • Use plural words rather than singular versions. For example, newhomes.com is better than newhome.com if the Website is not relating to one particular home.
  • Plan for the future. If you are planning to release other products or services from this domain name in the future, then don't limit the relevance to the initial product or service. However, consider the advice of Internet marketing experts, who believe that your Website should have only one subject or focus. All products or services listed on the Website should be related. A Website with a broad focus may not be as appealing to someone who is looking for particular information.
  • Register the domain name in the correct global or country level domain. For universal appeal use a .com, .org, or .net domain. For local appeal use a regional domain, such as .com.au. Be aware that certain regional search engines will only allow country-specific domains listed in their pages (for example, Web Wombat). Therefore, ensure that you purchase the appropriate domain in order to be promoted in popular, country-specific search engines.
  • Before registering the domain, check that you are not infringing an existing trademark or other name that rightfully belongs to another company or individual. An available domain name does not necessarily give you the right to register and use it.
  • Where possible, avoid using hyphens between words. A domain name with hyphens is harder to describe when said aloud. It is commonly accepted that a domain name with multiple words does not include hyphens. An exception to this rule is when choosing a domain name that has many words or words that are hard to decipher.
  • Choose the spelling carefully. If your domain is targeted at a worldwide audience then avoid words that are spelt differently throughout the world, such as words ending in ize(US)/ise(AUST/UK). This also applies to many words that have different meanings throughout the world. Some common English words are even offensive in other languages.
  • Avoid selecting domain names that are very similar to others. After all, you want customers coming to you, not your competitors! An exception to this rule is if you register the domain name of a commonly misspelt word, in the hope of catching additional customers.
  • Don't choose domain names with words that join to form unintentional words, such as "jeans wearing" which can read, "jean swearing". Either avoid them altogether, or use hyphens to separate the words.