Domain names are a valuable commodity, whether you know it or not.  They have been bought and sold over the past couple decades, sometimes going for millions of dollars, but why is this?  The domain name that you choose for your website will have a profound impact on your site’s marketability in several different ways.  The name you choose for your site will affect your search engine optimization efforts, as well as the number of visitors you can retain.

Domain Names and SEO

Before you decide on a catchy domain name, you should consider using your website’s targeted keywords in the name.  If you don’t know what those are yet, you had better start researching.  Search engines give a lot of extra weight when ranking a site for a specific keyword if the keyword happens to be in the domain name.  SEO takes a lot of time to perfect, and by adding keywords to your domain name you can get a leg up on the competition.

Domain Names and Repeat Business

When you are brainstorming domain names, short names are best.  If a domain name is short, people will tend to type it directly into their URL bar when they want to visit your site.  How many times do you use Google to get to  If your domain name is too complicated, it will be hard for your visitors to remember.  Unfortunately, the internet has been around for a long time and it might be hard to come up with an available one word domain name in your niche.  This means that you might have to choose an unrelated one-word domain name.  If you are willing to put in the work to promote your site, this will not hurt you in the long run.  It will only slow you down a little.  This might be a sacrifice you will have to make if you are trying to create a viral website.

Combination of the Two

When you are able to get a short, search engine optimized domain name for your site, you get the best of both worlds.  It can be very hard to come up with something that hasn’t already been taken, but it is worth the time and effort if you can come up with something.  Even if you never use the domain name, you can make a pretty penny by selling it to the highest bidder.

Domain names will have more of an impact on the amount of traffic that your website receives than you could ever imagine.  It is time well spent to invest several hours in the creation of your site’s domain name.  If you can come up with a good domain name, it will be the first big step in getting your online business known. When you are shopping for web hosting, look for companies like FatCow that offer a free domain name!