What is a domain name? A domain name is the name that people use to find your website online. It is like a car registration number. It uniquely identifies the domain and its owner. You register it for a specific period or time (usually for one year or more) and then renew it periodically.
What is an extension?
A domain name consists of two parts : the name and an extension. A domain name “yournameontheweb.com” consists of a domain name “yournameontheweb” and an extension “.com”.
The .com extension is a generic, international, Top Level Extension. Other generic Top Level Extensions or TLDs are .org, .net, .biz, .info, .mobi and a few others. Apart from generic TLDs , the domain extension can also be country- specific e.g. “.us” (US), “.de” , “.ie” (Ireland). Some country TLDs consist of two parts e.g. “.co.au” (Australia’s TLD) or “.co.uk” (UK TLD).
Which domain name extension is the best?
It all depends on your business type and the location of your market. If most of your clients are local clients, your best choice would be a domain name with a country-level extension e.g. .co.uk or .ca. If you aim to attract international audience a .com extension is the best (if you can get it).
A .com extension stands for ” commercial organization”. If you cannot lay your hands on a .com domain name, look for a .net domain name, which is the second most commercially popular domain name extension. If this is not available , think of country-specific domain extensions. Some of the country extensions are gaining popularity as international domain names e.g. tv or co.
One thinkg you need to remember when picking the name is – the domain name has to be credible. Although a “.to” domain extension can be easy to obtain, it may not be very good for your business.
A ” .to” domain name extension suggests that the company operates in the Kingdom of Tonga, a small country and a group of islands in the South Pacific. If you are a lawyer or an accountant, this can raise a few eyebrows and frighten off a few customers.
One exception to this is the .tv extension. Domainname.tv stands actually for Tuvalu Islands, but it is becoming strongly associated with your own TV channel and it therefore adds credibility to your business. Register it if you plan to deliver any multimedia content.
How to select a good domain name?
Your domain name is very important, not only from a branding perspective but it also helps with search engine optimization. You should therefore give it some serious thought, instead of picking the first name that appeals to you.
A good domain name should be short, memorable, credible, related to the core business of your company or your brand, and not easily confused. Ideally, it should also include your most important keyword or keywords (unless it is a corporate site and is used to promote a specific brand).
Before you register your domain name, do a brief keyword research. Trust us, it will pay off later on.
What is the maximum length of a domain name?
Although you can register a domain name that is up to 63 characters in length, in practice, you would seldom register such a long name. If you intend to use Google Adwords, their rules limit you to displaying 35 character per link, maximum. If your domain name is longer than that (including an extension, you are going to have a problem.
The same goes for other networked ad units like Yahoo or MSN, so the shorter the name, the better it is.
A word of advice – read your domain name aloud, before registering it. If you register a name wildanimalsexpert.com, you might get a lot of strange spam in your business mail box and raise a few eyebrows when you answer your phone…
Do you need help with finding a good domain name?
If you would like some help with keyword research, finding a good domain name or domain name registration, give us a call.
We can sometimes find you a pre-owned domain (either an existing domain name or an expired one) . Older domains rank better in Google, so if you can find a good one, buy it. If you prefer to register your own domain name, we recommend you use Namecheap.
We use them for all our domain registrations because their admin panel is very easy to use, their prices are the the lowest and we have never had any hassles with their service.