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Most of us buy domain names that we hope will be easy to remember and will help get traffic to our sites. A couple of us here at mydomain put our heads together and came up with 12 points everyone should understand about finding good domain names. Here are the first six:
1. There are rules that must be followed. Domain names are allowed to be between 2 and 67 characters long including the domain extension itself. They can contain the characters "a" through "z", the numbers "0" through "9", and the hyphen character "-". Domains can't start or end with the hyphen character. "www." does not count in 67 characters allowed.
2. Hyphens may be legal, but don't use them. A domain with a hyphen between words is hard to remember and is difficult to explain when said aloud.
3. Domains are not case sensitive and should be displayed in all lowercase. It is okay to capitalize the first character of words if the domain is hard to read otherwise.
4. Size does matter! Shorter names are easier to remember, and combinations of short names are better than longer complete words or phrases. But don't use acronyms that nobody knows. People won't remember an unpronounceable combination of letters, even if it results in a shorter domain name.
5. Think about what name would appeal to your audience, not what name you personally like. Think about their industry, profession, age, habits, and desires.
6. Long names are okay if they contain words that relate to an existing domain name or Web site you wish to promote. Some search engines will rank Web sites highly when the domain name contains the search terms for the site. Make the name as long as needed and then use your mydomain management tools to redirect this new domain to your primary domain.
I hope you've found this list useful so far. We'll give you the rest of the list next week..
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