Your domain name is your business name on the web It represents both you and your business therefore think it through carefully

Here are 6 things to consider when choosing your domain name.

• Make it DOT COM - Although there are a number of domain name extensions to choose from, including .com, .net, and .biz amongst many others, choose .COM.

The '.com' extension is the one people think of first when they think of web addresses, so go with it. You wouldn't want your potential customers to head off to 'thepuppytrainer.com' if your site is registered as 'thepuppytrainer.net', would you?

• Make it Relevant - The next rule of thumb is to include at least one, preferably two, of your important 'keywords' in your name.

Let's assume that your site is about dog training. So which keywords work best? Dog, puppy, pooch? Train, training or trainer?

One way to decide, is to find out which of those keywords or keyword combinations is searched for most often.

To do that, go to WordTracker.com. You can use their free trial to establish which of your keywords is the most popular. Using the keywords we chose above, WordTracker shows us that the keyword 'dogs' outstrips the word 'puppy' by about 34,000 searches in a period of 60 days. Knowing that should make your decision just a little easier.

• Make it Memorable - Which of the following names will you remember a week from now? DogTraining.com, DoggyU.com or DogCollege.com? Shorter names are also easier to remember.

• Try to Avoid hyphens - One of the bigger mistakes I made when registering my first domain, was to hyphenate the name. Sometime later I discovered a site using the non-hyphenated (hmm... that LOOKS like an oxymoron) version of my domain name - and he was promoting the same products as I had on my site.

This webmaster is STILL capitalizing on my oversight and selling to my visitors who forget the hyphen in my domain name.

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