How to Choose a Domain Name

How to Choose a Domain Name

It’s time to set up your business on the internet.  One of the very first things you need to do is decide how you want to identify yourself on the web by choosing a domain name.  This is going to be a very serious decision, and there are several things you need to consider as your choose your domain name.

Branding

Is your product or service branded or trademarked?  The ideal domain name would be of course the name or brand of your product.  You do not, however, want to use a trademarked term or word that is not your own.  If you’re offering a new service, then a brand-able ‘nonsense’ word may be the type of name that will work for you (for example ‘google’).

Searchability

If you want a domain name that is highly regarded by the search engines, you may want to choose one that contains the keywords that describe your product or service.   In certain cases this is highly desirable, but a lot of keywords strung together can be bulky for customers to type and hard to remember.   If you obtain a domain name that is just a keyword, like refillableink dot com you may receive ‘type in’ traffic to your site, which is considered by most internet marketers to be the best type of traffic there is.

 

Memorability

Pick something that is easy to remember, that is applicable and makes sense for your product or service.   You will want to type it out and see how it looks.  Sometimes when you string several words together it may say something that is rude or embarrassing.  This is not something you’ll want to present as your online image.

Availability

Finding the ideal domain name available may be a challenge.  A domain can typically cost as little as $9.00 per year if you can find one that is available for registering.  You may be tempted to use a different extension besides .com on your domain name so that you can get the exact term you want.  While this is acceptable, dot com is the most desirable extension for a domain name.  If the dot com version of your name is taken, it still may be available for purchase.  You can find the owner of the domain by doing a whois search and contacting them and making them an offer.  If they’re open to negotiations, be prepared to make a reasonable offer.  If you compare your domain name to a building on Main Street in a very busy city, then an investment in just the right address is a smart one.

Do not skimp when it comes to your online presence.   Recent sales of some domain names have been in the six figure range.  Don’t let that figure scare you off.  There are still many reasonably priced domain names available.

Just as your building and equipment in the ‘real’ world are the basis for your business, your domain name is your piece of real estate on the internet.  It will be the center of all you do, how you brand, and how you conduct your business.  It will be the most important decision you make when starting your online venture.