Many website owners regret the domain name they registered for their online business because they didn’t put much thought into it. Every time someone types it into their browser you want them to easily remember it.
Benefits of choosing a good domain name
If you think of Nike or Google you immediately understand how using your business name in your domain helps brand your business. Your domain name can even be your business name if you’re lucky enough to still find a.com business name.
Professional web address
Sometimes online business owners try to save money by using a free service for their online business such as getting a free blog at WordPress or Blogger. If the company disappears so will your web address and all its content. Registering a real domain name shows visitors you’re serious about running a professional online business and are not doing it for the short term. Even if you change web hosting companies you can still keep your own domain name.
Professional email addresses
Using a gmail, AOL, or Yahoo email address for your online business doesn’t project a professional image. Many of these addresses are automatically blocked or not accepted by online professionals because they are often used for sending spam emails that can’t be tracked.
If you register a real domain name you can include it in your email address. This makes it easy for your visitors to identify where it it coming from and which business it belongs to.
How to choose a good domain name
A good domain name is one that clearly reflects your business, is easy to spell and remember.
1. Business name
My web design business is named iSiteBuild dot com so I registered that domain name to brand it. Try to do the same for your own online business. If the name is not available try keywords associated with your business.
2. Keywords related to your business
Search for a domain name that identifies your business keywords. For example if you’re selling red widgets, register redwidgets dot com. If the obvious keywords are already taken research other keywords related to your business and use them instead.
3. Domain extensions
Most.com names may already be taken so you’ll have to get creative e.g. use dashes between the words (red-widgets), numbers (1redwidget), adding extra words (theredwidget) or try different suffixes (.net,.org,.info,.us,.biz)
4. Easy to remember
Has someone ever given you a domain name that was impossible to remember? It may have been too long or had several dashes or numbers in it. Get a domain name that can easily be passed on to others. It will stick in their minds without having to write it down on paper.
5. Keep it short
The shorter the name the easier it is to spell and remember. It will also be easier to fit on business cards and other off line stationary.
6. Hyphenated domain names
If you can’t find a domain name that matches your business, register one that has a hyphen e.g. I registered ihost-websites dot com because ihostwebsites dot com was already taken. It will contribute to your search engine rankings because every time someone links to your website the main keywords will be included in your domain name.
7. Purchase an already registered domain name
There are people whose business is buying and selling domain names. For example the person who first registered business dot com could now sell it now for thousands of dollars. If you are willing to pay for a domain name you’ve set your heart on, check if it’s for sale and how much it costs. Sometimes they are not very expensive.
8. Expired domain names
Sometimes people purchase domain names but never do anything with them because they haven’t had time to develop them or lost interest. First check if it’s available, then check who it’s registered to at whois.com. Contact the owner and ask if they are willing to sell it..you may get lucky.