Choosing a domain name is probably one of the first big decisions webmasters have to make, and it is an important decision because a hastily-chosen, unsuitable domain name can severely hamper the chances of the site being successful in its target niche. Online success will, of course, require much more than a suitably-named domain, but it is, nevertheless, the first important step on a very long ladder, and webmasters who wish to climb to the top need to get it right.
What is a Domain?
In simple terms a domain name is the unique address (URL) where a website can be found. If, for example, a webmaster registers the domain name “SidsFirstWebsite.com”, people will find the site at www.SidsFirstWebsite.com. The webmaster may then choose to call the site, “A Day in the Life of Sid”, “Tennessee Turtle Emporium”, or anything else they wish. Why? Because the site name and the domain name are two different things, but for a site to be successful the two should always be as close a match as possible. So if that Tennessee turtle guy wants to do his emporium proud a more sensible domain name choice would be “TennesseeTurtleEmporium.com”, because the domain name is just one the things search engines take into account when they are deciding what a site is about.
Playing the Domain Name Game
A site may be designed to advertise the products or services of a “bricks and mortar” business establishment (like the aforementioned turtle emporium), or the webmaster may have built their site in the hopes of earning some online revenue from affiliate marketing, or some other online venture. Whatever the reason for the site’s creation, the domain name should always be applicable to the niche in question. In the case of Sid, for instance, his site needs to attract the attention of customers who are looking for a supplier of turtles and turtle-related products. Sid isn’t selling himself; he’s the turtle guy, and his choice of domain name should reflect that fact.
Some Final Thoughts
Webmasters usually require three things from their sites.
They want people to:
- Find their site easily
- Remember their site
- Return to their site
The best way to encourage people to remember a site and return to it, is to provide quality—original—content, but making sure people find a site falls into the realms of SEO. Choosing a suitable domain name is the first very important step in ensuring a site is correctly optimized to attract search engine traffic.