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Nowadays a good domain name has become crucial to the survival of a website. Usually people are so caught up in the design process that they forget that their domain name is one of the first things people see and remember. No matter what you want to build - a blog/forum or an e-commerce website - there are several things you should remember when choosing the right domain name.
One of the most important decisions you have to make before thinking about the domain name is choosing the appropriate extension. Extensions are suffixes (such as .com or .lv) at the end of the address on the Internet. These can have specific uses, so make sure you choose one that will work for you. For Latvian entrepreneurs we suggest choosing local country code top level domain (ccTLD) .lv. Search engines like Google are sophisticated enough to recognize country where you are doing a search, and are more likely to display a website ending in the ccTLD higher than others.
Here are some top level extensions:
The total list of domain extensions (2016 infographic) available here.
It is important to find a memorable domain name that is easy to write down, type in and understand. If you have to spell out your domain name more than once for it to be understood, then it will not work. You do not want your future visitors to type in your name incorrectly and be directed to a different site. Short and simple is the way to go.
.LV domain name cannot be shorter than 2 and longer than 63 characters.
Numbers and hyphens are often misunderstood — people who hear your website address can misplace or forget the dash, or even not understand if your site is using a numeral (3) or it is spelled out (three).
If your company’s name or brand contains a number or a hyphen, NIC.LV recommends that you register different variations to be safe, for example misspelled versions of your domain name. This prevents competitors from registering other versions and ensures your customers are directed to your website, even if they mistype it.
Having a domain that is catchy and memorable is essential. Take your time, do brainstorming together with your colleagues and we guarantee you will come up with a perfect domain name.
Here are some tips:
Once you have come up with a name, share it with close friends to make sure it sounds appealing and makes sense to others.
Domain names impact your rank in search results. Domain name is one of the first places where search engines like Google look for clues about your business and website, so they can list it in relevant searches. To help potential clients find you, choose a domain name with keywords that describe your business and the services you offer.
“Google adwords keyword planner” will help you look for the most popular keywords related to your business. This tool will also rank your keywords by search traffic.
Before registering a domain name, it is always a good idea to check for the same names availability in social networks. “KnowEm” is a great tool to see if certain names are already branded on social platforms.
In 2009 NIC.LV liberalized the rules for domain name registration in the top-level domain .lv. However before registering a domain name NIC.LV still recommends that you check if the name you have chosen is not violating anyone’s trademarks. That can result in the loss of a domain name or even business. To check trademarked business in EU, see https://oami.europa.eu/ohimportal/lv/
Before registering a domain name, you should research its’ history - check if it has been used before and if yes, by whom. Using an expired domain name can have some positive impact - a lot of backlinking may already be done for you. Backlinking in the SEO world is one of the most important as well as challenging things you will need to pursue to get your site to rank. Although there is no guarantee that this domain does not contain low-quality backlinks or spammy backlink profile that may be very harmful to your SEO.
Check the content history of the domain name you desire with archive.org - a website that stores almost every website that has ever been created and indexed.
In Latvian writing we usually use specific symbols and diacritical marks. When registering a domain name using only Latin characters you may end up with a word with a different meaning in Latvian. For example instead of registering “kāzu” (meaning wedding) you register “kazu” (meaning goat). To avoid such mistakes NIC.LV recommends that you register Latvian domain names - domain names that also contain characters with diacritical marks - ā, ē, ī, ū, ō, ķ, ļ, ņ, ŗ, ģ, š, č, ž.