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Choosing a website address

The first step to getting on the Internet is choosing a 'website address', or to provide some common terms for it: 'domain' ' URL' (Universal Resource Locator) or 'Internet address'.

Things you should think about when choosing an address:

Is it as easy to type as possible?
Does it reflect your website or business?
Is it easy to remember, even if your name or your firm's name isn't?
I personally feel that a domain name that matches your company name is important. The name that you use in all the advertising of your product or service is the name that you should register on the Internet, because that is the first thing that people will try in their browser. For instance a nanny recruitment agency named norfolk nannies

There are two choices for norfolk nannies, in the UK:, which is very likely to have gone, or The latter would explain what the website is about. A descriptive domain is good for two reasons: advertising - if you had the domain across your van people would see that norfolk nannies deals with nannies in norfolk, without having any more writing on it at all. The second reason is that search engines would pick up on the both words norfolk and nannies.

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Short or Long?

I would choose a shorter name if I could get one that is meaningful. Avoid names over 67 characters. Apart from the fact that people might not be able to remember such a long name, t is also chore typing it and trying to fit it on your car or van!! Shorter names may be easier to type: Longer domain names may be easier on the memory.

Long domain names that have your site keywords in them have an advantage in that they may fare better in a number of search engines.

Should you get a hyphenated name?
Search engines can understand words in your URL better if there are hyphens between them, therefore SHOULD pull up your site. Search Engines would see as one word, where as they would see as two.

My opinion is that hyphenated names are also easier on the human eye; people can distinguish the words in the URL. You can see in a glance that the second of the examples above deals with nannies.

However, people are used to typing 'alloneword' names. And verbally un-hyphenated names are easier to get across.

.CO.UK versus .COM

If your audience is the local community, or you only deliver in your own country, then it makes sense to get a country-specific domain eg.

If your website could benefit from an international audience then go for a .com.

The ".org" extension actually describes a nonprofit organisation. A .net - usually an Internet company, - if you are a limited UK company

Some would settle for the ".com" extension and no less. As this is the default that people would use on hearing a company name, and they would therefore type it into their browser.

It really depends on how you want to bring in your audience. If you are going to concentrate on Search Engines, use a hyphenated domain name with keywords. If you are going to use brochures, vans and flyers try a shorter domain name, without hyphens so that people will easily tap it into their browser.
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