Selecting a Domain Name

Before you register a domain name take sometime to think about what you want to use. In most cases, you will want to use your company name, if it is available. But here are some other things to keep in mind:

Spelling – Is your company name hard to spell or often misspelled? If so, then you might want to use your tag line or something else that is memorable and easy to spell. (You can have more then one domain name pointing to your website.)

How will people learn about your domain name? Will you be advertising on the TV, radio, billboards or other places that people will see or hear your domain name and need to remember it, until they get to a computer? If so, a catchy line or complete words will be easier to remember then abbreviations.

Using Abbreviations – Often I hear people asking for a domain name to be abbreviated, rather then using the whole word. They are worried that people will not want to type it in. Unless it is 200 characters or more, most people will type it in. The key is to help them remember your domain name so that they will go to your website.

Using .com rather then .org or .net. Whenever possible you should use a .com domain name. The .com will be the first one people try if they are unsure of your domain name. Think of it as the “800″ number of the Internet. When you see an 800 number you know it is toll free. But if you see an 866 or 877 number, you are generally told that it is toll free.

Should I choose my domain name or business name first? If you are just getting started and still deciding on a business name, I would suggest you search for a domain name, and when you find a .com that you like, name your business the same way. Having your company name and domain name the same is ideal.

Don’t use dashes or underscores. When selecting a domain name try to avoid using dashes (-) or underscores (_), as they are hard to convey to customers and hard to remember. Here is an example: The Business News in Green Bay Wisconsin had the domain name “the-business-news.com”. If you read it out loud, you will hear why it is not a good choice. After a year of people not “getting it”, we changed the domain name to thebusinessnewsonline.com. Longer? Yes. Easier to remember? You bet!

To see if the domain name you want to use is available, you can search and register at www.domainsbyvirtualtech.com.

7 Responses to “Selecting a Domain Name”

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