8 Tips for Choosing the Best Domain Names

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Choose Your Domain NameAre you getting ready to buy a domain name? It can be pretty tough picking a name that’s good and still available for purchase. No worries though! I have 7 simple tips for you to follow when making your domain name selection and purchase to make sure you’ll not only end up with a great name, but also save money in the future!

1. Always Buy .Com First

Domain names ending in .com are the most recognizable and most commonly associated with  business websites. If someone only remembered your company name and is trying to find your website they will try the .com extension first.

Be aware that settling for a .net version of your preferred name may result in some of your visitors accidentally arriving at the .com website, and you don’t want to send your visitors to a potential competitor do you? Buy .com.

If you’re building up your brand or starting a new business, I strongly suggest buying all TLD (top level domain) extensions; that includes .com, .net and .org of your domain name.

2. Keep It Short

Try limiting your domain name to about 3 words. That way its still descriptive enough of your business but also short enough to be easily remembered.

3. Be Original and Creative

This is important, if you do a good job here you shouldn’t have to worry about #4 and #5 below, so put your thinking cap on and start writing down words on a scrap piece of paper. Don’t do this in your head – write it down! Also think out loud, it helps. Now mix ‘em up and see what you come up with. Unique, catchy names are great for branding!

4. Avoid Words Like: Of, The, or And

Don’t clutter up your domain name with useless articles and prepositions. For example:
www.CharlestonBakery.com is a better domain than www.BakeryOfCharleston.com

If your business name includes the word such as “of” I recommend buying both versions of the domain name if both are available.

5. Avoid Using Hyphens

Domain names with hyphens do not pass the “phone test.” Imagine talking on the phone with your friend and you’re telling your friend to check out this new site you came across today www.Charleston-Fresh-Bakery.com. The problem is you have to pronounce the hyphens. What if this was your business site and each day you’re having to tell 50+ potential customers to visit your website to print a coupon, or check out the gallery?

Domain names with hyphens also hold much lower value overall.

6. Be Cautious When Using Numbers

If you’re going to use numbers, especially 2′s and 4′s, as shorthand for “to” and “for” make sure you buy both domains. For example: Buy www.buy4less.com and www.buyforless.com.

This way you also prevent some competition by buying out closely competitive domain names.

7. Protect Your Domain and Brand Image

Competition never sleeps. Sooner or later you will have someone try to position themselves as your competition. You want to make sure you take the steps to protect your business name or brand name early on. In order to do so you need to buy out closely related domain names, that includes inverted word order, as well as plural versions. For example: If you’re buying www.MiamiCarRental.com you should also purchase www.MiamiCarRentals.com, www.CarRentalMiami.com, and www.CarRentalsMiami.com.

Some registrars will automatically suggest buying your name with extensions like .me, .info or .biz as you proceed to checkout. Save your money, the only other extension worth purchasing is the .net.

8. Don’t Wait, Buy it now!

If you already checked, and the name you want is available buy it now! You have no idea how quickly it may disappear- even if you think it won’t. It’s going to cost you about $10/year – a well worth it investment if you plan on using the domain name for your business sooner or later. I use GoDaddy.com for registering all my domains.

Trust me, these tips will save you some major headaches and money in the long run, not to mention you’ll end up with a great domain name! I’ve consulted with many individuals and businesses who wish they knew better at the time. If you have any questions or feedback just post below!

Post Written By Norbert Chrzanowski

Hey I'm Norb and this is my blog. Call me a website ninja or a marketing rock star, either way everything I write about is what I know first hand and what I've learned through managing my own businesses.

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