The small business solution – Choosing a Domain Name


The idea to have a webpage which represents you, your family, hobby or, more often, your business, has been a novelty for the last several decades. Once you have made the decision to create a website, the next step is to register a domain name.

The domain name is an alphanumeric unique name that identifies individual web sites on the Internet. The domain can be of any length up to 67 characters, which includes the 26 letters of the English alphabet, numbers 0-9, and hyphens (-).The domain name cannot begin or end with a hyphen but, can contain one or more hyphens.

The domain names have a suffix or extention, called also TLD (Top Level Domain), which is based on the type of organization it is associated with. Common suffixes include:

  .com commercial business domain
.net commercial network
.org nonprofit organizations
.edu educational institution
.gov government agency
.mil military

Additional domain name extentions include : biz, bz, info, tv, name, etc.

How to choose a successful domain name?

More than 30 million domain names were registered worldwide in 2006 and thousands new ones are added per day. It might be hard for you then to get the name that you really like for your website. Do not get discouraged from that fact, but rather try to be creative.

Remember that you can use a combination of almost all characters (letters, numbers, hyphens) for your domain. The length of a domain name can vary, but generally speaking it should be a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 67 characters.

Here are some tips how to choose a successful domain name:

1.

Start brainstorming for relevant to your domain words.

  • List as many words as you can think of related to your preferred domain name.
  • List as many words as you can think of that are related to the content of your website.
2.

Make different combinations with the listed words that are:

  • short,
  • memorable,
  • not easily confused,
  • hard to misspell,
  • relate to the core of the business,
  • sound solid to the core of your business.

Shorter domain names are easier to remember and type, and far less susceptible to mistakes: for example lottery.com is easier to remember, type than playthenationallotteryonline.com

But sometimes there is an exeption to this rule. A longer domain can be easier to remember by human memory than the shorter one – for example tbrea.com is a sequence of unrelated letters that is difficult to remember and type correctly, whereas, if we expand it to its long form 'TheBestRealEstateAgency.com' we are more likely to remember the domain name.

3.

Pick a few of these combinations that you most like for the name of your domain.

  • Pick a few of these combinations that you most like for the name of your domain.
  • If you like a specific word to be included in the domain name, think of all its forms: noun, verb, adverb, adjective.
  • Consider also hyphens and numbers: sometimes you are a hyphen away from the dreamed domain name.
4.

Start searching for the availability of these domains.

5.

If you do business online, register your domain with as many of the extensions as available!

  • Point them all to your site
  • Let your name drive more traffic to your site.
6.

If your preferred choice is not available, do not discourage and try the next combination!

Hyphenated domains

Should you get a hyphenated name? There are a few things to consider here.

Disadvantages:

  • It's easy to forget the hyphens when typing a name. Many users are used to typing things like worldwildlifefund.com but not world-wild-life-fund.com.They'll probably leave out the hyphens and wind up at your competitor's site.
  • When people recommend your site to their friends verbally, having hyphens in your domain name leads to more potential errors than when the name does not contain hyphens. For example, how do you think your visitors will refer to your site if it is named free-online-games.com. They might say, "I visited Free Online Games dot com yesterday. It was fabulous." Their friends, remembering that comment later, might type into their browsers freeonlinegames.com.

Advantages:

  • Search engines can distinguish your keywords better and thus return your site more prominently in search results for those keywords occurring in your domain name.
  • If your primary visitor is going to learn of your domain name in print advertising then hyphenated domain names are easier to read.
  • The non-hyphenated form may no longer be available. At least this way, you still get the domain name you want.

Helpful tips when registering your domain name:

1.

Try to register a domain which contains a popular keyword applicable for your industry. This will help your customers remember your domain name better.

2.

Don't register a domain containing the digit "0" in it, unless it is going to be part of a recognizable word (like 1000 or 2000). This is because the digit "0" is often confused with the vowel "O".

3.

Try to avoid using domains that contain "2" for "to", "4" for "four", "u" for "you". Your customers will easily get confused. However, if you must register such a domain, register the expanded form of the domain as well, i.e. if you are registering only4you.com also you can register onlyforyou.com.