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Spelling Your Domain Name
May 26, 2004
After you've chosen the extension for your domain name the next thing to consider is the actual name and spelling of that name. Some issues to consider regarding the spelling of the domain name are: the use of hyphens, numbers, length, trendy spellings, profanity, and trademarks.
Hyphens: my-domain.com vs. mydomain.com
The good news about using hyphens is there are still great .com's left that use hyphens. Also, seperating words with hyphens can help search engines better recognize key words. The down side to using hyphens is verbal marketing. Imagine telling someone over the phone, "'my dash domain.com" instead of "mydomain.com." Your company might as well be called "My Dash Domain" if that is how you will have to say it. If customers do not see this domain in writing they may be confused and you could lose traffic in the confusion.
Numbers4YourDomain and CoolSpellingz
Other factors that may cause confusion to customers through verbal marketing are using numbers (4mydomain.com) or purposeful misspellings, often called trendy spelling (mydomainz.com). As with the hyphens, if a customer does not see the domain in writing they may end up at your competitors site.
A tip... if you are considering using profanity in your domain name, think again. Profanity is a turn off to potential viewers, sounds unprofessional, and will be blocked by most browser filters. Avoid using profanity in the domain name. There are better ways to lure viewers to your site.
Looooooooong or Short Domains
The length of the cheap domain name is also something to consider. It should be long enough to give viewers an adequate idea of what the site contains, but short enough to remember. It is debatable whether the length of the domain affects search engine placement.
Acronyms are a good use of very short domains, but are only useful if the acronym is already well known, like NFL or NBC. If your company is named Joe's Sprocket Store you'd be better off going with joes-sprocket-store.com than JSS.com.
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Appraising a Domain Name