Choosing a good domain name isnt always so simple.

So you need a domain name for your brand new internet business. You may even have some cool ideas for a new domain name combination that will really impress your friends. Question is, is your new domain name going to help your business or hurt it?

What could be simpler than choosing a domain name right? Wrong. There are a number of things you need to consider and research before you register your favorite domain name.

First off, what is a domain name and why would I want one?

A domain name makes our lives much easier when surfing the internet. You see, all computers on the internet are actually referenced with what is called IP addresses. On the internet, IP addresses are four sets of numbers that serve like street addresses allowing two computers to talk over a network. An example of an IP address is the one for Google.com. It is 216.239.39.99. If you enter this IP address into the address bar of your browser it will bring you to Google's home page in that very same way that typing www.google.com would get you there. Unfortunately, we humans have difficulty remembering our phone numbers let alone so many digits for all kinds of sites. That's one of the main reasons domain names were invented.

Domain names make it easy for us humans to remember how to find a site. Most people know Google.com and anyone familiar with the internet knows that to reach Google, you simply type www.google.com in your address bar and you are transported to their website. The same goes for Disney.com, Microsoft.com, CNN.com, etc?

Now you would think that choosing a domain name would simply be a matter of choosing something that is unique and that people would remember. The problem with that approach is that most of us don't have the money needed to turn our name into a brand name on the mass market. Most of us need to rely on our prospects reaching our website through other means. The best of these are search engines.

Choosing a good domain name for your site starts with the main keywords you have chosen to focus on for your website. Before you launch your business, you should conduct some preliminary research online to determine which keywords have the most traffic and the least number of other websites competing for that particular keyword. Some tools that help in this are the Overture keyword suggestion tool and Wordtracker.com. Both of these tools will give you a rough idea of how much traffic each of your chosen keywords will likely get each month. This helps to determine which keywords to focus on.

Should you choose a domain name that includes your main keywords?

In most cases, the answer is yes. Google and to some degree Yahoo both give you a small boost for your domain name. If your domain name happens to contain your targeted keywords, your domain name will help you in your quest for higher search engine rankings. Now if you do everything else wrong, having your main keywords in your domain name will not magically catapult you to the top of the listings. Many other parts of your site must be working for you as well. Other things you can do to improve rankings are beyond the scope of this article.

Choosing a keyword rich domain is a smart business move.

For some sites, it could be the edge they need to move up a few spots in the search engines. When choosing a keyword rich domain name, you may want to consider hyphens between your keywords. An example is cheap-airline-tickets.com. Current research trends for Google and Yahoo suggest that hyphens are the only way to separate keywords within a URL that will give you a rankings boost.

Why not simply choose your company name? Simple. Is your company a household name? Are you so dominant in a category that people have stopped referring to the generic name of your category and use your brand name like Kleenex has for tissue paper? If so, register your company name. If not, register a keyword rich domain wherever possible.

You may be thinking, "But I already own a domain name that is my company name. Should I go and register a new domain and point it to the same site? The short answer is no. Years ago, you could improve your rankings on search engines simply by setting up lots of doorway pages and having them all link back to your home page with all kinds of domain names. That tactic nowadays can backfire. You are better off optimizing individual pages within your existing website than you are creating a whole bunch of "fluff" sites just to increase rankings.

The technique I suggest above is really best suited for brand new business ventures. If you still have not registered your domain name for that special online business you are about to start, then make it keyword rich wherever possible. If you have already launched your business, you'll just have to take advantage of this information next time you start another online venture.

This article was written by Joe Duchesne, president of http://www.yowling.com/ , a budget web hosting company that specializes in helping online business owners increase their website traffic. Copyright 2004 Yowling. Reprint Freely.

In The News:

Stock Photography Impact on SEO  Search Engine Journal
How to Show the Value of Local SEO  Search Engine Journal
Google Video On Crawl Budget & SEO  Search Engine Roundtable
Spamdexing (SEO spam malware)  Security Boulevard
Director of SEO - Upwork  Built In Chicago
Google is Stupid  EE Times
SEO in 2020: Going Beyond Google  Search Engine Journal
5 Ways SEO & Web Design Go Together  Search Engine Journal
SEO How-to, Part 1: Why Use It?  Practical Ecommerce
Moving a Company to an SEO Focus  Search Engine Journal

Search Engine Optimization: Who Do You Trust?

Internet search engines exist to organize the seemingly immeasurable amount... Read More

Search Engine Keywords - What Do People Search For?

Do you ever wonder how people search for things on... Read More

Hens Lay Eggs (HLE) by Silke Stahl

"HLE" is a bit of a joke term, (or possible... Read More

Shopping Carts and SEO

Shopping and the Web. They go together like Mr. and... Read More

Getting Honest With The Search Engines

Getting Honest With The Search EnginesI spend a lot of... Read More

Easy SEO in 6 Simple Steps

If you want to increase traffic to your website and... Read More

3.5 Reasons You Need To Forget About Search Engines

Have you ever stopped to think how much time is... Read More

What are My Chances to Get the First Place in Search Engine Listings?

You must have heard the stories how people became rich... Read More

1 Simple SEO Strategy To Get More Visitors To Your Site From Google

Did you know that you can dramatically increase the number... Read More

Playing By Googles Rules

As the undisputable leader in search engines, Google places a... Read More

Onpage Optimization: Essential for Effective Offpage Optimization

Onpage optimization is the process by which various elements on... Read More

7 Steps to Highly Relevant, Search Engine Friendly, and People Useful Web Site Content

The task is to build a Content Rich Search Friendly... Read More

Maximize Your Search Engine Traffic - 13 Ways to Pull in More Visitors From the Search Engines

Maximizing traffic from the search engines to your web site... Read More

Anatomy Of A Top Ranking Web page

Optimizing web pages for high rankings in the search engines... Read More

Search Engine Marketing 101: What Search Engines See When They Visit Your Web Site

If you have a Web site, have you ever wondered... Read More

Here Today Gone Tomorrow

Its a matter of here today, gone tomorrow at the... Read More

Gaining Link Popularity Techniques

Link popularity is very important these days for all websites... Read More

Search Engine Tips & Techniques

As you are building your site or getting your site... Read More

How to Get Tons of Top 10 Rankings Guaranteed

Okay I admit it. I was kidding. I can't guarantee... Read More

How to Develop a Successful ROI for Your Website

Are You Really Measuring for Return on Investment (ROI) with... Read More

Why You Need a SEO Maintenance Plan

A search engine optimization maintenance service plan will ensure that... Read More

Keyword Research Made Simple!

Keyword Research is the first task in optimizing your web... Read More

DMOZ: Rotten To The Core

I knew things were bad at DMOZ. But I guess... Read More

What Is Search Engine Optimization And Why Do I Need It?

Purchasing web design service is confusing with all of the... Read More

SEOing A Flash Intro

IntroductionWhy does a FLASH intro need SEO? Flash, the great... Read More