Domain Registration, Part 2 $7.49 .com
When choosing a domain name the obvious choice is to register the .com extension when available – since this is what most people are familiar with – and if you decide to sell the domain – it is an excellent selling point.  The extensions of .net, .info, .edu, .org, etc. are still good to have if you can’t get the .com name you want – and in some cases are less expensive.

Your domain name can be your business name, however, if your business name is not well known – i.e., Target,  Zappos, etc.  – then you may want to try and get a domain name that contains at least one keyword relevant to your business.    Having keywords relevant to your business in your domain name is the way to go if you decide not to use the actual name of the business. And, if the business name is short or just uses initials – you may want to add in a top keyword or two for optimizing it for placing high in  search results for those keywords.

Having a domain with your personal name works if your business depends on you as the primary provider of the service, consultation, product – and you are an expert in your field.  Even if not a recognized expert, many people will register their personal name for future use at the same time they register their domain – particularly if their name is available as a .com. 

To hyphen or not to hyphen.  I’ve heard arguments on both sides of the fence.  If the domain you want is not available but you can get the name with a hyphen in it…. why not?  We had a client that had a hyphenated .com domain  (no ranking) and we were able to get them to the top of the search engine rankings for their key words.  That being said I can’t say that having a hyphen made a difference. 

Should the domain name be short or long?  Again, I’ve heard arguments for both.  It used to be that domains were limited to a set number of characters – but just about anything goes now.   The key to selecting a name  is to make it memorable – something that will stick with the viewer as well as something that relates to the website and its content. 

When registering your domain consider your goals.  Is this website to be used to ‘test the waters’ for this product?  Or, do you have long term plans to build an authority site and turn it into a real money-maker?  If you are only testing the water – register it for one to two years.  If you plan on dedicating a lot of effort into making it a productive, viable website – register it for 10+ years.   Reason being – the search engines take into account how long a domain is registered for  or how long a site has been up when ranking is assigned.   One good feature we particularly like about  Go Daddy is you can have auto-renew for your domains.  This eliminates the possibility of loosing your domain name(s) – particularly if you plan to use it in the future.    You can also back-order domains and bulk-ordering saves money on registration costs through GoDaddy.

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