URLs that make you go Hmmm: Tips for creating the perfect website name

Sometimes things just don’t work out the way you planned them.

You mean to do something right, and it all goes to hell.

Such is the case with this Web site selling pens.

Yep, you want a pen they’ve got it for you.
The problem only becomes apparent when you see their URL is penisland.net.

That site and nine others are featured in a great blog entry at nextwebgen.com, where we get a peek at sites like therapistfinder.com and speedofart.com.

I admit, I have to question whether someone is really trying to run a business called Pen Island, but it’s funny nonetheless. Rather, I would suspect it’s just a dummy site created by someone having a bit of fun.

When you think about creating a website for your blog or your business, consider a few things:

  • LITTLE WORDS OUT OF BIG WORDS: Take a look at the name you want to buy and then break it down into smaller words as they are read from left to right. The people at therapistfinder.com didn’t do that.
  • BIG WORDS OUT OF LITTLE WORDS: Now do the reverse, read beyond your short words and see if they come up with something sinister. The folks at molestationnursery.com (now defunct) didn’t do that!
  • NEED SOME HELP? A lot of website registars offer you suggested names if the one you’re trying to create. They want you to create names like BobsKitchenOnline.com or eBobsKitchen.com. Those are horrible names and actually really dated sounding.
  • NUMBERS GAME: Try to avoid using numbers in your URL. If people try to write down your URL (maybe because they saw it on your commercial vehicle), they might accidentally spell it out instead of using the numerals or vice-versa. There is an exception to this rule though: Three good numbers to use for American-based websites are 411 (suggesting information), 800 (suggesting a commercial site) or 911 (suggestion a place to go if you need help).
  • NUMBERS GAME PART 2: Speaking of numbers, try to keep your URL short — under 15 characters. Making your URL too long and unwieldy can make it difficult for people to remember your site  name. “Was it Bobs KitchensDesignsInc.com? Or BobsKitchenDesigner.com? Or was it BobKitchensDesignersInc.com?”
  • LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: If your website features a very location-specific topic or is a business that won’t expand beyond its particular region, then consider adding a city or region name to your URL. For example, PhillyKitchens.com is something easy to remember, and your customers will know you’re a local.
  • BUZZWORDS: Words and phrases to use in your URL that can help you pull people to your site are things like “Expert,” “Guide,” “Advice,” “Solutions,” “Secrets,” “Buzz,” “News” and “Instructions.”  These are the kinds of phrases people search for and that will help you drive traffic to your site.
  • ALL IS NOT LOST: One thing to remember that even if you have a bad website name, it now isn’t as vital as it was five years ago. Search engines such as Google and Yahoo are pretty good at helping people find what they want. Make sure to fill your first web page with lots of buzzwords specific to your topic and you may recover from a bad URL.

Still, therapistfinder.com? What were they thinking?


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