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Tips For Choosing a Great Domain Name and Creating Friendly URLs

August 26, 2011 by Dustin

One of the most important elements of creating a website is selecting a proper domain name. A domain name is commonly part of a larger Internet address called a “URL”. Having the right domain name for your website can significantly help establish an online reputation and generate greater visibility. Domain names give both the human visitors as well as the search engines the first description or impression of the website. Choosing a domain name can often be just as important as deciding the name of your business and should not be taken lightly. Finding a successful domain name will require time, patience, and creativity. The following tips are designed to assist in creating successful domain names.

Best Practices for Creating a Domain Name:

  • Describe Your Website by Matching Your Domain, Website, and Company Name

A domain name is one of the first elements of a website that visitors see. Matching your domain with your company name will help target your existing as well as potential customers. Having a company and domain that describes your website will also let people know what the website is about and draw in targeted traffic. For example with the domain Delicious Pastries is the company name, website name, domain name, and also highlights Pastries a major descriptive keyword.

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  • Keep it Short and Readable-

There are several incentives for keeping your Domain name short which include it being easy to type, easy to remember, and easier to travel by word of mouth. A domain name that is longer than 3 words should use hyphens. However a domain name with more than 3 words and hyphens will raise the websites level of spamminess.


  • Use Keywords-

Having a keyword in your domain name will help rank not only because it is part of your domain but also because it is the anchor text that others will use to link back to your website.

  • Alternative Domain Top Level Domains (TLD)

It’s recommended that you only purchase the .Com version of your domain name. Additionally purchasing lower quality TLD in order to increase traffic is also strongly advised against.


Once you have established a domain name that meets this criteria you also have the basic part of your URL structure. A URL goes into much more detail than the domain name, providing much more information, including the specific page address, folder name, machine name, and protocol language. Many of the same attributes of a successful domain name will also apply to a URL.


Best practices to follow when creating URLs:

  • Describe Your Content-A URL should describe the content and include keywords that are relevant to the topic of the page. Since a URL is one of the first parts of your website that a visitor sees it should provide an immediate glimpse of the content that is on the webpage.

  • Keep it Short- The actual maximum length of a URL is determined by your domain name registrar however it’s recommended that it stays within 26-76 characters. The shorter the URL is the easier it is to remember and tell other people about. A shorter URL also means less typing and less chances for misspelling.
  • Try Using Static URLs over Dynamic URLS- Although the best practices concerning Dynamic URLs vs. Static URLs are still unclear some engines still treat Dynamic URLs differently. However the presence of special characters alone can negatively impact the appearance of the URL. Visit the link to hear what Google has to say about Dynamic and Static URLs.
  • Use Descriptive Words Rather than Numbers- Using a lot of numbers in a URL looks sloppy and appear spammy (instead of having 1/2/5 use shoes/brand/Nike).
  • Use Your Keywords-If possible include the keyword in the URL. For example a web page that is optimized for Nike should include the word Nike like the previous example.

  • No Unnecessary Folders-A URL should only contain folders that are appropriate. (Try to avoid going more than 3-4 folders deep)
  • Avoid Using Subdomains-A subdomain is a 3 rd level domain name that is part of a larger top level domain. For example, “” and “” are both subdomains of the “” root domain. It is advised never to use multiple domain names because they are lengthy, complex and extremely unnecessary unless you have a mega website.
  • Use Hyphens to Separate- If a URL is a phrase or made up of multiple word always uses -hyphens to separate the words rather than _underscores and +plus signs.

  • Remain Consistent- Once you decide on a URL structure stick with it. Try to have all the URLs on your website match. Having all the URLs look the same will maintain the websites consistency and credibility.

  • Don’t be Case Sensitive- Even though URLs can be in both lowercase and uppercase it’s only recommended that you use lowercase. The URL is often easier to read in lowercase and having to rely on someone to type in a capital letter isn’t a good thing.
  • Don’t Add Unnecessary Data- If there are characters in your URL that can be taken out and still lead to the same location, then remove them. Having extra unnecessary characters just makes the URL look longer and more complex. This situation can also lead to duplicate content issues.

A Domain name and URL is basically the first portion of a website that users get to see. These elements are extremely important in attracting your right target audience and providing a positive first impression. These were just some of the basic tips to help you construct Friendly URLs and pick the right domain name for your website. Hope they help!


Thanks for reading


Internet Beacon


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