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Setting up a new website is an exciting time full of possibilities and decisions.  If you are starting a new venture be it a business or a new product, domain name availability should be an important part of your decision making.  Here are a few tips we have picked up over the years.

.Com if You Can:  It is habit for many people who hear a company name to just type  .Org is great for charities.  Country domains are OK in many markets if the .com is not being used by someone in a similar business  and your plans are limited to your country.  There are also some sector specific TLD's worth considering like .eco for environmental organizations and businesses, or .io which is being used by more and more cloud based apps.

Exact Match is Best:  Don't go too far from your business or product name.  Lots of people try to tweak their domain name to get something that matches but if you are having to add prefixes, suffixes, and/or hyphens you are creating more problems than you are solving.  If the domain name you want is not available and is in use already it is time to move on.  Have you tried to type a hyphen on your smartphone recently?

Shorter is Better: The longer your domain name the more likely someone will make a mistake trying to type it.  Especially since 50% of web traffic is now on mobile devices.

Don't be Too Clever:  Not everyone will think like you and they might not get the joke or see how it relates to your business.  If my business is called Rob's Tattoo, having a domain name of is just confusing dumb.

Don't force in Keywords:  With some businesses it makes perfect sense to have keywords as part of your domain name, especially if it is part of your business name, but don't force it.  Keywords in the domain might help your SEO a bit but with Google moving more to semantic search there are many other factors that are just as important.   Amazon did not mean anything other than a really big river before Jeff Bezos chose it as the name for an online store.  If he had launched as they would have had a much harder time expanding than they did.  Their vision is what gave meaning.


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