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When choosing a Domain Name, be sure to get it right

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With an average of over 13,000 new DotUK names registered each month in Britain alone, choosing a domain name is one of the most important considerations in any new online business venture.

Basically, there are two distinctly different approaches when it comes to choosing a domain name with a view to marketing and promoting your new online business.

And, as is often the case in many other facets of the web promotion services sector, the matter about which approach is ‘the right one’ is hotly debated by the global web-nerd community, with tempers flaring on both sides of the argument.

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The two ways of choosing a domain name can be summed up as follows:

The Brand Domain Name
IceGiant.co.uk is a perfect example of a brand domain name. The idea here is to choose a name which is short, snappy, and easily remembered by visitors and prospective clients who come across the company’s advertising somehwhere other than a search engine result.

The Keyword-Rich Domain Name
The theory behind keyword-rich domain names is to use as many important keywords as possible when choosing a domain name, so as to gain a natural advantage in search engine listings. A good example of a keyword-rich domain name, aimed at a website's target keywords, would be one of our long-standing clients, Cyprus-Property-Sales-Resales.com.

The pros and cons of both approaches

While a brand domain name is easily remembered, and, as such, works well when a company relies on the prospective client typing it into their browser or Google’s search box as a result of offline advertising, advocates of the keyword-rich domain name would argue that it handicaps a site where natural search engine results are concerned. Search engines, they say, will take these in-domain keywords into account in their overall assessment of the site's relevance to the terms in question.

In all fairness, there can be no doubt that a keyword-rich domain name can in fact provide a small advantage to your site’s search engine rankings, but this really is minuscule when compared to all the other factors which also affect its position. Indeed, if a site features plenty of well-written, informative content, clean code, and the right file, folder and link-structure, any keywords embedded in its domain name become largely irrelevant.

Then of course there’s the simple fact that a prospective visitor is far less likely to remember, or type, a URL consisting of a long keyword-string, especially if these have been separated by the ever popular dash. When was the last time you bothered to manually enter an address like:


Rarely if ever would be my guess. And if you did, it would also be my guess that you wanted whatever the website in question was selling pretty badly.

In recent years, many new businesses have taken a 100% web-based approach.

This is to say that 100% of their marketing and advertising efforts are aimed at Google, and to a certain degree Yahoo, Bing/Live/MSN (or whatever the heck it's called at the moment), industry directories and other Internet-based outlets, without any consideration at all being given to traditional advertising media such as newspapers, magazines, and even basics like business cards and compliment slips. But while Google is no doubt an important factor to an online venture’s success, sole reliance on the search giant’s good graces does not make an ideal business model.

Indeed, during my own interactions with webmasters from around the globe, at Google’s front-line support forum over the past few years, I’ve seen any number of online businesses fail through sole reliance on Google search rankings. And the tale of woe is almost invariably the same...

“We put up a website, and paid an SEO to get us ranked for some good keywords; but then Google found that the site was breaking its webmaster guidelines, and penalized us. Now we have no rankings, no visitors, no sales, and no income. PLEASE HELP!”

I’ve actually lost track of the number of times I’ve heard various permutations of this particular story, which almost always could have been very easily avoided, if only the online entrepreneurs in question hadn’t concentrated all their efforts on Google.

It's all a question of Balance...

By taking a balanced approach to both website design and marketing strategy, you will not only negate the need for choosing a domain name packed full of keywords, you’ll also increase your company’s chances of survival if something goes wrong with your search-rankings.

Always remember that Content is King, the Inbound Link is Queen, and W3C Compliance is essential, despite not having a direct impact on your website’s Google rankings.

And, before you even think of starting a new online business, or contracting an SEO, familiarize yourself with Google's Webmaster Guidelines.


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