• Tips for choosing a domain name (your”dot com”)

    By: Linda Chapman

    • Domain names may include letters, numbers and hyphens. I recommend using letters only as it’s less confusing.
    • Shorter is usually sweeter. At this point, many shorter domain names have already been taken, but many are still available. (You may need to get creative.)
    • Make it easy to spell over the phone. If you use “dr” or “doctor” as a part of your domain name, keep in mind that you will be forever having to specify how that is spelled.
    • Include your domain name in your outgoing voicemail message. This allows callers to get in-depth information about your services even when you’re not available to take their calls. Be sure to spell it out if needed.
    • Dot com may be preferable over dot net (.net) and dot org (.org). Why? Because people generally think of dot coms first, and when guessing (or recalling) your domain name they may be apt to add a dot com to your name (or business name) to find you.
    • Always register your own personal name, e.g. marybrown.com or johnsmith.com – if available. That gives you control over what content is posted and associated with your name.
    • Register your business name. If it is too long, you can register a second, shorter domain to use as your primary. For example, HeartCenteredBodywork.com is bodyworker Joyce Eells’ website. She also registered JoyceOKC.com which we set up to forward to her main website. She uses the shorter version in advertising and on business cards.
    • Your preferred domain name is not available? Try adding a modifier (like your city name) to the name you were wanting. For example, if psychotherapist.com was what you wanted, try psychotherapist-chicago.com or something comparable.
    • Consider including a relevant keyword in your domain name. This can potentially boost your search engine rankings for that keyword when people search for you. JaneSmithCounseling.com or ToledoCouplesTherapy.com are two examples of this strategy.
    • When brainstorming, get feedback from peers. Domain name consultation is included in your website package with me. I’d be happy to discuss the pros and cons of specific names.

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