Whether it is for search engine optimization purposes or not, domain name selection plays a big role not only in success of our online business. The domain we pick becomes the brand we will promote for as long as our business exists. There is no looking back and undoing mistakes unless we start again from scratch and redo the whole domain name registration exercise.
So let’s pick the best domain names that represent us, our brands, our products, our services.
How? Here are some suggestions:
Check if domain name is available for your company name
That means your domain name will be your company name + extension (.com, .net, .org). Some people associate company name or web site name with its domain name. How do I know? By looking at the web analytics keyword referrals I see that some of them include the name of my blog and a dotcom. If people know Microsoft, then they will type in microsoft.com. So if your company name is Adequate Solutions, check the availability of www.adequate-solutions.com.
Check if your selection does not violate copyright laws
Avoid using terms that are identified as products or even slight deviations or misspellings of existing domain names or company trademarks. Spend time on it now instead of later, when you are asked to give up a domain name and start all over again.
Check if a .com is available
Dot com is the most popular domain extension and many people think of the following equation
domain name = brand name + .com
domain name = brand name + .biz
Check if country-specific domain name registration is possible
If you’re considering to localize your site contents, it’s good to use country-specific domains although they require more paperwork and certain conditions such as the business must have a physical presence in that country. The benefit is that these domains tend to get more visible on search results (based on personal experience) especially if that site with country-specific domain name is hosted in that country.
Check means to keep domain name short
Shorter domain names are more valuable than longer ones. It’s because apart from easier to memorize and have less tendency to be mistyped, a shorter domain name could represent multiple entities. Too bad ibm.com is taken, but do we know exactly how many businesses have initials IBM? We could constantly keep on guessing, like trying to think apple.com is a site that features different apples from around the world.
By the way, keeping a domain name short doesn’t mean it is easy to memorize. This is especially true for domains that represent company initials. Look at www.mb-gghegf.com, the local website for Marjorie Bertagne. I don’t understand why such domain name was picked when marjorie-bertagne.hk or marjorie-bertagne.com.hk are both available.
Check to make sure that once we pick a domain name, that’s it
As mentioned in the first paragraph, let’s stick to our selection. It is counter-productive if we change our mind so it’s better to register another option and redirect to the old one instead of replacing it. On some cases, new firms even consider business names based on availability of its domain name and not vice versa.
Every day, thousands of domains are registered (actually almost half a million) so there’s little time to waste. Decide which domain to use and register it now!