How to pick a domain name

When you are creating a website one of the most important decisions you have to make is what to choose for a domain name.  You domain name informs visitors about the content of your website.  It also plays a big role in SEO and influences where you will appear in the search engines.

Finding an ideal domain name

Unfortunately, these days it can be hard to find a domain name that is still available and also sounds good.  If you have the money sometimes you can purchase the domain name from the current owner.  Unfortunately, this option isn’t a possibility for everyone.

Some domain name registrars provide tools for finding similar sounding domain names that are available (such as GoDaddy).  Such tools can be helpful when finding your domain name.

Keyword targeted or not

Your domain name plays a large role in how your site is ranked in Google.  Sometimes Google will rank your site high for a certain keyword simply because it appears in your domain name.  If you are creating a website around a specific niche, having your niche keyword in your domain name can go a long way to generating traffic.

However, having a keyword in your domain name will limit what you can put on your site.  If you want to have a more general website then it isn’t necessary to have a keyword in your domain name.  A lot of people simply use their own name and add ‘reviews’ or ‘site’ at the end.  This approach can also help make your site appear more personal.

On a personal note, I would avoid using domain names that are too long, have too many keywords in them, or contain the words ‘make money’ :).  This can interfere with how you promote your website.  For example, leaving a link to your website in a forum or blog comment just makes your entry look like spam.

Where to buy a domain name

There are many places to buy domain names.  Personally I like to use GoDaddy – both for purchasing domain names as well as for hosting my websites.  They have good tools for finding available domain names, good customer support, and comprehensive resources for setting up and managing a website.  Click here to visit them now.

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