Saturday, 14 July 2007 at 08:54, mcrilf wrote...

Choosing the right domain name

Selecting the right domain name for your latest online venture is a major choice you'll need to make...and one which you should spend some time mulling over.

There are a couple of schools of thought worth noting here:

Keyword-rich domains
On the one hand, your domain name could contain search keywords that you are targetting in your niche - for example, which gifts. There is some debate over how much having search keywords in your domain helps. From my perspective it isn't the best choice if you're trying to build a brand. After all, flickr isn't called is it?!

Brand / uniqueness
Another approach is to go down the brand route - build your brand around a unique name (for which, of course, the domain name is available). The down side of this is naturally that when you start out, no one will be searching for your name. But if you structure your site properly from a content hierarchy / SEO perspective and ensure your pages are appropriately optimised (good title tags, keywords in h1 tags etc) people should start to find you. Of course, you'll probably need to work a bit harder to get your brand out there, but once word of mouth starts, you'll begin to pick up inbound links and your rankings in the search results will start to gain ground.

If you plump for the brand route, the next decision has to be a name itself. Businesses can spend (literally) millions on this but it's not necessary to do so. I found a nifty set of domain tools that might at least give you some inspiration - I like the six letter random domain names which have inspired me. The page shows different domains every time you refresh it. Many of them are unpronounceable, but if you persevere you'll find gem or two!

Remember...choosing a domain name is one of the most important things you'll do for your venture. With all that effort you'll put in to building links to it, you'd better make your choice wisely. So take some time.

Let me know how you went about your own domain name choices.

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On 20 July 2007 at 08:26, mcrilf said...

Yes, I haven't (yet) followed my own advice on this's all part of the experimentation and learning process.

I'm about to switch to my own domain name and point it directly here, which Blogger now allows you to post coming up on that subject.