Choosing a Domain Name

Choosing a Domain Name for your Business

By Charles L Harmon

If you are in the market for starting a new business, putting up your first website, or even adding an additional website, there are a few things you should consider before quickly choosing a domain name. There have been many debates on which factors are most important when determining what domain to purchase.

Everyone seems to have their own ideas and that’s fine, but a few factors are ones you should not take too lightly if you want the best results from your domain name, and by extension your web presence.

Choosing a domain name should be deeply tied to the business plan and the vision of the company. A domain can be chosen for its advantages in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), a company’s brand, or as a description of a general term. One must consider a domains size or how long it is, pronunciation, how memorable it is, and if the name is taken in other similar forms or extensions. In addition, you want a domain name that is easy to spell correctly so people don’t get confused over alternate spellings.

graffiti-59For example, if one registers a domain.net name, but the domain.com of the same name is taken and developed, creating a brand for domain.net would be very dangerous and might end up being confused for its .com counterpart.

Because .com domain names are the defacto standard in countries like the USA or other countries where the country extension are not so popular you should try to get a .com name if possible. In countries like the UK, the .co.uk extension is very common or popular.

 

Search Engine Optimization Domains

The purpose of these domains is to rank high in the search engines, because the actual domain name contains the keywords being searched for. Search Engine domains are rarely brandable, and are often used as side Internet properties to redirect traffic to the main site. A company who sells green widgets would benefit from acquiring green-widgets.com and greenwidgets.com, because it is natural that people will remember such address.

Most importantly, however, that domain name has a high probability of ranking at, or very near the top of a search for ‘green widgets’. A very popular tool used to find what is being searched for on the internet is: Google’s Keyword Tool.

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Brandable Domains

When coming from the offline business into the online web, the obvious choice for brand domains is the offline brand name as .com and/or .country extension. Country extensions are used in countries where there is more popularity in their country extension than on the .com version of the name. In the case that no previous brand existed before moving online, one must be very creative and careful in creating a brandable name.

At this point in time, there are millions of domain names registered and most often one finds that the desired domain is taken. There is a consensus among most Internet domain experts that the shorter the domain, the better. But don’t let that stop you from registering keyword rich domain names that specify what your business is about. You can always use such domain names for auxiliary sites to drive traffic to your main site.

Domains that are about 5 letters long are highly desirable for a brand. However, the domain must sound right as well. Qzjpt.com would be undesirable, because it cannot be easily said or remembered by the general public. Same is true for many other very short domain names that are available for registration.

egg yolkHowever, a short memorable name such as Yolky.com might make an excellent brand name for some company and the owner (me) may be willing to sell this name, make an offer. Sometimes one can find suitable brand names from other sources, namely people who have them and are selling them. If you look hard sometimes you’ll also find short brandable domain names in domain name auctions.

 

Other Domains (not brandable)

In the Internet Bubble of the late nineties and early twenty-first century, general term domains, or those domains that weren’t considered brand domains, were the most popular choice. Many companies failed, even though they had the generic word for their market or product.

Companies like TheKnot.com refused to purchase Weddings.com, because they were conscious that they needed to focus on brand. Although this strategy worked for TheKnot.com, generic words have a value of their own that cannot be ignored. Like Search Engine Optimized Domains, which attract a large number of visitors through search engine referrals, so do generic word domains. For this reason, generic word names are still very much desired and their value continues to rise.

jewelryIn addition to single word generic domains there are two word generic domains that have an additional word that might complement the generic word and bring greater meaning to the generic word.

A name such as JewelryPassion.com would be a great name for a company or even an individual that is selling jewelry. This name would also be great for an online jewelry store. If you like this name you’d better hurry and get it for I already have a well stocked online jewelry store I just might use for a site using this name.

floral vaseSometimes the most popular generic word for a domain name is takes, but a less common term is available that connotes the same or related meaning. For example if one is in the flower arrangement business or otherwise has a business where flowers are the main component then a great name for such a business might beFloraStudio.com.

www imgCheck out some of my domain names For Sale. What can be learned from the Dot Com Bubble and later years all the way up until today is that generic domains are not the end all in a dot com business. Rather they are a valuable, but not an essential component, but are one of many variables that make an Internet business a success.

The current value of these and many other domains have risen over the years. However, if you are relegated to purchase a domain name for your company website from someone selling an existing name that fits your purpose be sure to try to bargain for the best price.

Available domain: iVignette.com

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