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Choosing an already taken domain name

Choosing a domain name that has been taken

A lot of my client wants to know what to do when the domain name they want is already taken.  The easiest approach is to find another name that is different than the original.  Perhaps through services like nameboy.  But sometimes you are really caught up with the name and it might be the perfect name for your business or application.

In those cases, you might have to strongly consider adding a prefix or suffix on top of your domain name. For instance, mysiteapp.com instead of mysite.com.  Of course, there is always the option of adding a dash in between the name (i.e. my-site.com).  However, if you are going for SEO, mysiteapp.com will be more preferable than my-site.com.  As far as Google is concerned, exact match domain name is the best, follow by dash domain names.

If you are planning to stand behind the business and focus all your efforts for the next year or so.  I would strongly suggest you to avoid any dash in your domain name.  If this is more of a niche site for a small market then I don’t see a problem with it either way.  Don’t forget, if you are operating a Canada specific business or application, .ca is the way to go.  Google will consider mysite.ca as a tier one domain.

Simple Start-up market research: Survey or Experiment?

Market opportunity research: survey vs experiment

Kara received the following question from a client a few months ago:

I’m interested in creating a mobile application and want to know what is the quickest way to validate my idea. Should I use survey or create a small experiment to test the market?

Just like anything else in life, the answer is, it depends.

Generally speaking, survey is going to give you the fastest result with the least amount of effort.  A survey probably won’t take you any longer than 15 minutes to create and you can email it and get your results back.  It’s quick and simple.

But here’s the caveat, the accuracy of a survey is nowhere close to a real experiment. An experiment that ask someone to subscribe to a list, perform some kind of task or to purchase a product are the only true estimate to gauge your idea.  Of course, these experiments will require a lot more effort. There is always a trade-off when it comes to speed versus accuracy.

Surveys will not provide actual conversion rates and pricing information. You can ask a whole array of questions regarding those aspects but the result is useless.  If these kind of metrics are important to you then experiment is the only way to go.   For other quick and dirty estimate, surveys can be a decent time saving approach.

Bottom line, if you had no time constraints then experiment is the way to go.  Otherwise, surveys will save you time and could be a good compromise.


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