Choosing the best domain name is an important part of setting up your business, so take some time to research it and select wisely. A catchy domain name will be easier to remember than your telephone number and will result in fewer lost sales. Like a good business name, your domain name should tell people what it is you do. A business name or domain name like “Target-Enterprises.com” says nothing about your business. A name like Target-Archery-Supplies not only tells people what your business does, it helps you be found by the search engines.
So, begin your search for the best domain name by writing down the name of your business. Remember that short names are easier to remember. For example, salemtv.com, stv.com, salemtelevision.com. Next, list the services or products your business provides, and make a list of domain names based on those services; for example: tvrepair.com, tvsales.com, or bigscreentv.com.
If you have a personal service business, your own name is probably the best domain name. This not only helps people remember your name and find your website, it builds your personal brand and your personal internet footprint.
A spelling mistake in a domain name can be disastrous for a website. If you’ve misspelled the domain name, the only people that will find it are the ones who also misspell the name the same way. Check your spelling with a dictionary, and be very careful about your spelling when you register the name.
Once you have decided on your favorite names, do a Google search on each of them to see which might be your best domain name. If your chosen name is taken, see what variations are currently being used and what might be available to you. One thing you want to avoid is choosing a name that is so close to a competitors name that your customers end up on your competitors website. You can search the availability of your domain names on sites that register domain names, like godaddy.com. Type in the name, and they will tell you if the name is available or not. Godaddy will even suggest alternative names and organizational suffixes, like .org or .net. In general, though, you want to stick with a .com domain name because that is the suffix that people remember.
If your best domain name is taken but not in use (registered, but no website is found when you type in the address) then go the the “whois” database at whois.com and enter the domain name. The result returned will list who the owner of the name is along with their contact information. Sometimes, owners register names that they decide not to use, and they may be willing to sell you the name.
Domain names are being registered at an alarming rate. Once you have found that a name you are happy with is available, register it as soon as possible for as long as possible. If you are concerned that a competitor may register your name with a different suffix, then register alternative suffixes as well to keep your competition away from your name.
While you are registering your best domain name, be sure to get new email accounts that are directly tied to the name of your business and your domain name; having them helps to promote your business.
Lastly, it is beneficial to register your best domain name with the company that will do your hosting. It makes life simpler if you don’t have to mess around with transferring or re-pointing your Domain Name Server (DNS).
Originally posted 2011-03-08 14:12:00.