There's a difference between a company name, a website name and domain name. Lucky you!
By Nora Firestone
Click here for three easy steps to set this infographic as your desktop image, or click "Download File" to download and print:
Let's say your friend Joe just opened an East Coast pawn shop called Joe's Exchange. He deals in such items as old coins, musical instruments, electronics and jewelry, and he'd like to become known for his jewelry line. Naturally, he needs to make people aware of his business and its location, hours, merchandise and other information, so he sets out to establish a website and associate some good third-party tools with it. Smart. (I'm a big fan of the do-it-yourself website plan, which is why I teach people how to do it successfully!) His first step is to register a domain name.
As I explain in my "Design, Build and Manage Your Own Website" presentations and workshops, a company name, a website name (also called a site title) and a domain name are three separate entities that work together. Here's a brief overview:
So back to Joe's situation: Joe's first inclination might be to see if his company name, Joe's Exchange, is available. So he conducts a search at a reputable domain registrar. (Since 2008, I have used and recommended Name.com; tell them I sent you!)
Hooray! It's available: www.joesexchange.com!
Uh, is Joe missing something?
Perhaps something like www.joesjewelryexchange.com would be a better choice, and for several reasons:
3. Following that train of thought, you can see why a domain name like www.joesjewelryexchange.com would be more relevant than the original for people who are looking for jewelry. Search-engine bots will recognize the word jewelry and be more likely to "recommend" Joe's website to people.
With that said, this is not a thorough look at what the best alternative domain name might be for Joe. There are other things to consider, such as how prone a word might be to misspellings when people are typing them into search or browser bars (jewelry probably is). For more on domain name selection, see link #1 at the end of this post.
So there's a lot more to domain name selection and SEO than stated here, and a study of the image above will give you some additional insight. (My presentations, workshops, articles and forthcoming book, "The $10,000 Apostrophe," get much more in-depth.) Also see the links in the paragraphs above. For your convenience, I've listed a few additional articles I've written on these topics. Take a look if you're interested:
Any questions? Feel free to ask me here! And if you found this post of value, please share it!
You're amazing, now go be yourself,
Nora Firestone is a professional writer, news reporter, Weebly website designer and acquisitions editor for Koehler Books publishing company. Since 2012, she leads presentations and workshops on writing for business, media relations, DIY website design, home-improvement projects and more.