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choose your domain wiselySo you’ve decided to expand your horizons to the World Wide Web – congratulations! Promoting your business online is one of the best decisions one can make in today’s times – the scope and reach are far greater online than traditional media outlets. The first step in establishing an online identity is choosing the right domain name. Here are five things you must consider before selecting one.

Is the domain name unique?
The trickiest part of choosing a domain name is ensuring that it bears no striking or passing similarity to another domain name, especially a trademarked one. At the same time, you also have to keep the KISS formula in mind for higher recall value – keep it simple/short, stupid. Though you will have great leeway in terms of character limit, it’s best to choose a shorter name because longer domain names tend to be confusing. Also, make sure that there is a distinct connect between the domain name and your business – keep unnecessary wordplay to a minimum. As soon as the visitor sees your domain name in search results or an online advertisement, should you choose to advertise, even before he sees the accompanying text or the metatag, he should get an instant idea as to what your business is all about. Also, ensure your domain name IS your website name.

Does it need to have a prefix in it?
If you want to add a definitive article (the) or add a personal touch to it (my), think again if it’s really necessary. Statistics show that the online audience tend to remember the most important part of your domain name and tend to ignore prefixes, especially “the”. If at all a prefix is required, make sure you promote your business’s domain name ALONG WITH the prefix. For example, if you’re a florist, and your domain name is thebouquet.com, remember to let even your offline audience know that your domain’s called thebouquet.com, and not bouquet.com.

Which suffix is best?
Studies have shown that of all suffixes like .com, .org, .net, .edu, etc., people tend to associate every domain name with .com, even if they’ve visited the site only recently and it was .org. Unless your business is very specific, and also to err on the side of caution, choose .com as your suffix.

Have you arrived at the domain name after careful consultation and consideration?
As with every business, make sure you do your research before you choose a domain name. Speak to your business partners, clients, professional contacts and friends about what they think is the best choice of a domain name for your business. Chances are they might surprise you with facets and aspects of your business that you might yourself have unwittingly neglected. Make sure they are active online, which will broaden the scope of arriving at a suitable domain name for your domain name.

Is it search engine friendly?
This is the most important part of choosing a domain name. A search engine has to be able to “catch” and “highlight” your domain name in its search results. For this, you will have to work with a search engine optimization expert, who will guide you and share his instincts which will go a long way in ensuring that your domain name choice is wise, smart and business savvy. And hence contribute to your online business expansion in a big way.

Good luck with choosing your domain name. Treat it as you would name your baby. Coupled with the points above, you will choose a domain name that will be the envy of your competition.

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