Domain Name

When it comes to choosing a domain name, leave the overly cute and vague for the cutting room floor. While it’s important that you have your site’s content, meta tags and page titles keyword-rich, it’s even more important that your domain name is really working for you.

If you’ve authored a book, for example, the book title is a good place to start, but why not also buy up a domain name related to the genre or topic? Domain names come cheap these days, so there’s no reason not to buy a bunch of them when launching a new site. The one that returns the most amount of traffic should be the primary one, and all the others should be permanently redirected to the primary one. The company through which you buy your domains can easily take care of that for you.

Also, if you don’t already own your name as a domain name, whether you’re an author or a small business owner, go out and purchase it right now.  And if you’re selling yourself as a service professional (eg: a consultant, a designer, a copywriter, etc…) it’s even more important.  You may not want your name as the primary domain name for your offering, but it’s a great thing to have in your back pocket as a redirect.  And in the future, if you begin to have multiple locations on the web for new projects, you can use your name as a one-stop-shop that links to all your locations on the web, including your social networking sites (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc..).

If the name you really want isn’t available, get creative!  For example, my design business is called Outbox Online, operated under my name, Kate McMillan…  and the primary domain name is OutboxOnline.com.  But I also own KateMcMillan.com, KatherineMcMillan.com and iamKateMcMillan.com.  As long as the name you go by is in there, you’ve achieved your goal.

By choosing a domain name that doesn’t have to do with your offering, you may be leaving site traffic on the table and making it difficult for people to find you.  In certain cases it may not be important or appropriate to drive traffic to your site based on what you offer, but that’s seldom the case… so make sure you’re making an informed decision!

Finally, be sure you’re linking to your calling card site wherever you have a profile online, and if you don’t already have one, be *sure* to set yourself up with a Google Profile.

Now, get out there and make yourself internet friendly!