There I was. Waiting in the lobby to meet my next client. Ahhh, the good life. While sipping a nice clean swallow from my filtered water bottle I catch the conversation across the way. What do you know; they too make a living on the Internet.
Then suddenly, as if my chair was ripped from underneath the perch on where I sat sending me hurdling to the floor; I heard it.
"We'd recommend you name your new website William.com."
Now unless they were talking to Bill Gates or Billy Graham, and I was quite sure neither of those would be the case; I couldn't believe my ears. Their client was a home business time management consultant. No one would look for his website through Google or any other search engine using his first name. I wanted to get up and scream, STOP! But I think I was half stunned from the pure ignorance being displayed by people in my field.
See, when choosing a domain name you want to use your strongest keyword within that domain name for the best results. True you can build name recognition over time in some cases like Google.com and Yahoo.com but I'm pretty sure that William the home business time management consultant was not interested in what it would take to make this happen for his first name.
Therefore, it is a much better approach to use tools like SEO Elite and HitTail to determine what your strongest keyword would be for your project and make that your keyword. At the very least they could have suggested TimeManagementConsultant.com.
Ahhhh, you say. But wait! That specific domain name is already taken by someone else somewhere else.
Fine. Make it HomeBusinessTimeManagementConsultant.com or TimeManagementConsultant4U.com. The point is that there are options to fit your keyword into your domain name. Which do you think people will search on for a time management consultant? William.com or TimeManagementConsultant4U.com? You get the point I am sure.
Also, when choosing a domain name I've made it a general rule to stay away from anything that does not end in ".com". I simply have not seen a good enough argument for choosing "dot anything else" at this point. However, if I change my mind it is not difficult to purchase the "dot whatever" and redirect it to my ".com" website. I'm sure this point will probably change in time, but for now that's what I'm sticking with and hence my recommendation.
In closing, next time someone tells you to use your name as your domain name, first laugh loudly in their face and then get up and walk away. Making such a suggestion shows their obvious ignorance of what they are doing. And having a web master that is clueless about their job is certainly not going to bode well for your own success on the Internet.