Internet Marketing

Choose A Domain Name

Chances are, you already have a website named after your business and don’t need to change it. In the event that you’re still planning your business and still need to choose a name, here are a few pointers to help you know what will make a good domain name.

  • Brand First, SEO Second
  • Keep your Domain Name Short and Memorable
  • Get a Keyword in Your Domain Name if Possible
  • Avoid Hyphens
  • Consider buying the .org and .net extensions as well as .com
  • Where to Buy

Brand First, SEO Second

If you own a serious business, your brand is important. Don’t tarnish it with a silly-looking domain name (unless silliness is part of your business plan). Over-stuffing your domain name with keywords might get you negligible SEO benefits, but it won’t win you too many customers. In fact, many of the SEO benefits likely to arise due to your exact-match domain name will be counteracted by the SPAM signals your multi-hyphenated monster broadcasts to your visitors. A domain like is much better than www.orlando-florida-accounting-and-bookkeeping-services.com.

Keep your Domain Name Short and Memorable

Short and/or catchy domain names are easier for people to remember and type into their browser or pass along via word-of-mouth to their friends and colleagues. Avoid difficult spellings if possible. Also, really long domain names are sometimes perceived as spammy. Try to keep it to two or three words if possible.

Get a Keyword in Your Domain Name if Possible

Using one of your primary keywords in your domain name can provide several benefits:

  1. It immediately tells visitors what your website is about and they’ll know what to expect
  2. Your brand becomes closely aligned with your market
  3. People who link to your website will often use your domain name as anchor text, giving you an added SEO boost (we’ll talk more about anchor text later)

As mentioned above, don’t sacrifice branding for a long string of keywords. Keep it short, memorable and brandable.

Avoid Hyphens

Most SEO practitioners will suggest you have no more than one or two hyphens (dashes) in your domain name because any more than that will look spammy. They’re right. But I suggest you have zero hyphens if possible. Why? Because if people hear your website mentioned by a friend and try to type it in to a browser, they might not remember to put in the hyphen. Hyphens also tend to confuse customers when they want to send you an email. If you want/need the hyphen, then make sure you also get the non-hyphenated domain name as well and 301 redirect it to your website. For instance, I own  which redirects to. Since seo-orlando is easier to read than seoorlando (the double “o” can get confusing), I might decide to switch those around and promote the hyphenated version instead. Either way, I can just tell potential clients to “go to seoorlando dot com” and they’ll be able to find me whether they use the hyphen or not.

Consider buying the .org and .net extensions as well as .com

If you’re a for-profit business, it’s best to own and use the .com version of your website name. Not-for-profit organizations should stick to .org. Other TLDs (Top Level Domains) such as .biz or .info tend to be associated with spam websites, so avoid these if you can. If someone else has the .com version of the domain name you want and all you can get is a .info, you will have a difficult time outranking them. There are a multitude of TLDs that registrars will try to convince you to buy – .mobi, .tv, .info, .biz, .name, etc. Most of these are unnecessary. The only ones I usually register are .com, .org and .net (and sometimes I don’t even bother with .net), because they are the most popular and most likely to signify authenticity in the minds of your customers.

In most circumstances, you’ll just want to 301 redirect the .org and .net versions to your .com. Some companies use the .com version as their main site to attract clients and then use a different TLD (or sometimes a different domain name altogether) as a secure portal for current clients to login and access their data. This isn’t necessarily the worst practice in the world, but it’s usually best to keep everything on the same domain and TLD (more on that later). If you’re based in a country other than the United States and your market is international, then you probably want to use the com TLD as well. But, if your business caters mostly to customers within your own country, use your country TLD (e.g. .co.uk for United Kingdom or .jp for Japan). You should also own the other common extensions as suggested above.

Where to Buy?

There are a lot of companies who can sell your domain name to you. I use GoDaddy and have always found them reliable and easy to work with. Before you decide who to purchase from, do a few searches to see what kind of reviews other people have given to the company you want to buy from.