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What's in a (domain) name? Carma Spence-Pothitt and her Home Sweet Home Page book

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This week marks the launch of my friend Carma Spence-Pothitt's book, Home Sweet Home Page: The 5 Deadly Mistakes Authors, Speakers and Coaches Make with Their Website's Home Page and How to Fix Them!

The subtitle may sound dire, but the book sure isn't! Even though she is an accomplished website and graphic design professional AND Internet marketer, Carma speaks in plain English and keeps things simple.

And she still includes pretty much everything I would want you to know about building an effective online presence - and how to do it right from the start!

I asked Carma to stop by the Idea Generator blog and answer a few questions about how to choose a domain name - here's how our conversation went:

Domain names - can they be too long or too short?

Carma: Yes. You want to have a domain name that provides enough information to pique interest, but not so much that it's difficult to remember. For example, "Jane.com" probably is too short ... although it is easy to remember, it just doesn't provide enough information.

That said, if the domain is "JaneDoeLifeCoachToOlympians.com," while it might be giving enough information to help visitors understand what Jane Doe is all about, it can also be so long that it is hard to remember.

Probably "JaneDoe.com" or "LifeCoachToOlympians.com" would be the best choice. The first helps brand Jane's name, the second is focused on what she does.

Should you use your personal name, business name, product name or service name in your domain name?

Carma: Yes. Which one you use depends solely on your long-term purpose and goals for the website. Ask yourself, "What do you want to brand?" If you want to brand your name and you don't think you'll be selling your business in the future, then go with your name.

However, if you want to have a business that you can eventually sell, you might be better served by a domain that has your business name in it.

My philosophy about domains focused on products or services is that these are secondary sites. They are focused solely on promoting the product or service ... and hope that the entrepreneurs reading this have more than one product or service to promote.

What do keywords have to do with your domain name?

Carma: When a search engine ranks a website in the search results, domains with key words in them are more likely to rank higher. So, by simply having your key words in your domain, you can actually improve your search engine ranking.

In fact, I recommend that when you are coming up with a name for a new product or service, do the key word research first. Then purchase a domain name with your best key word phrase, and call your new product or service that. It will make SEO easier and you'll be guaranteed that people are searching the Internet for something like your product or service.

What are the characteristics of a strong domain name?

Carma: The strongest domains are easy to remember. It's that simple. Sometimes you have to make compromises to accomplish this, but as long as you have your ideal clients in mind when you create your domain, you should do O.K.


Thanks for dropping by, Carma! I know it's a busy time for you, with the big party going on over at the Home Sweet Home Page book launch page. Folks, drop by Carma's party between now and April 1st to claim your free gifts and the chance to win a 30-minute live editing "Writing Lab" session with yours truly!

Disclaimer: Please note that I received a complimentary digital review copy of this book.

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