How to Pick a URL

Sep 23, 2013

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Jake Wixom

Choosing the Right Domain Name

In today’s world, it is not enough to have a great local presence as a new business. People rely so much on the Internet to get information that even if you are a local, mom-and-pops restaurant, you need to have a good web presence so that people can find the information they are often looking for (menu, prices, location, etc.) before deciding where to eat. Aside from just having a well-built website with useful content, your domain name could be the most important aspect of your Internet campaign.

A domain name is basically the URL or address that potential customers will type in to find your website. In fact, it is just that – an address. The same way that location can be the difference between flourishing and failing for a new business, your web address is virtually your online location and is just as crucial to your success. There are two main guidelines that can help you to choose a URL wisely.

1. Keep it simple

Avoid the complexity of hyphens and numbers. Using these characters can make it harder for potential customers to find your site and can lead to confusion with other, similar sites. Maintaining simplicity can even mean avoiding words that are hard to spell or type. You may have noticed that some keys on a keyboard are harder to reach than others, right? Well even that can have an effect on the effectiveness of your domain name.

2. Make it memorable

Going along with the concept of simplicity, it is very important to have a domain name that is as short as possible without losing uniqueness or meaning. This will make it much easier for people to remember your “online location”. Basically, the idea is to identify keywords that express unique aspects of your company or industry. For us it might be something like “marketing”, “web design”, “creative”, “simple”, “innovative” and so on. Choose something that will allow people to easily associate your domain name with what you do or how you do it (ie. InnovationSimple.com, SEOmoz.org, FaceBook.com, WebMD.com, etc.). Be original!

If you follow these simple guidelines in determining your URL or domain name, you will have a more successful web presence and will extend your business beyond your immediate location. Remember, these are just the most basic of guidelines, so don’t be afraid to do your own research to find ways to keep it even more simple and make it even more memorable!

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