The domain name of your website identifies your business in the worldwide web. It’s unique. That means no two websites can use the same domain name.
If your business is already established offline and you intend to expand your market reach with an online presence, the first step is to register a domain for your web site. The obvious choice is to have a domain that carries your brick-and-mortar’s business name.
Find out if that domain name is still available then register it as soon as possible before someone else beats you to it. If the domain name you want is already taken you will have either wait for years hoping it will be released or shell of lot of money to buy it back from the current registrar if she is willing to resell it.
What is a good domain name?
If business name is for instance XYZ, your customers and prospects will instinctively type XYZ.com in their web browsers to find your website unless they have your business card in hands with your web address printed on it.
A difference between your business and domain names (other than the .com) will just lead to your loosing traffic from people who don’t know your web site’s address. And who knows if those prospects will not just end up in your main competitor’s web site.
The .com extension (top-level domain to be exact) is short for commerce and is the most commonly used for commercial businesses.
There are other extensions such as .biz, .edu, .info, .net, .org or country specific such as .us for USA, .ca for Canada and so on.
If you don’t have an established business yet and just starting out online, you should wisely choose the right domain name your website.
Here are some pointers to guide you in choosing the right domain name. It should be:
- meaningful, and reflects your business and services offered
Such a domain name gives your website visitors a hint about what your business offers.
- easy for your visitors to remember
Not everybody will always have your business card in hands with your web address on it. Not everyone will also bookmark your website address after their first visit.
So, unless your company is already famous you should consider a domain name that is meaningful, simple and memorable.
- as short as possible, 16 characters or less
A long domain name is difficult to remember and will very often be misspelled by your prospects. In general the limit is 30 characters (including the extension) but a maximum of 16 characters is preferred.
- appear early in the alphabet
All things being equal, a business with a name early in the alphabet (i.e. starting an “A”) will always appear first in the listing by search engines and directories. Therefore your business will have higher chance to be chosen by a potential customers.