January 22, 2010 ByBrent Nau
Choosing a domain name is probably the most important step in getting your business online. When choosing a domain name for your business there are several factors to consider before you make that final purchase.
.COM – The .com domain extension is probably the most recognized and trusted domain extension. Now if you are a non-profit or healthcare organization you may want to consider the .org domain extension. And whatever you do stay away from the .info. The .info domain extension has been over used by spammers due to their cheap “throw away” prices.
Comprehendability – A domain name that clearly reflects the product or content of the site should be used.
Length – The shorter a domain name is the better. The two or three letter domains are long gone, but you may be able to pick up a four letter domain that may represent the initials of your business.
Keywords – The use of keywords in the domain can help you achieve higher organic search engine rankings for the targeted term. Just remember you are not looking to keyword stuff the domain, because then it becomes too long and too difficult to remember.
Singular vs Plurals – Sometime it is beneficial to use the plural version of the domain versus the singular. The plural version may be searched more often and thus can lead to more site visitors. A good example of this bakedcookie.com versus bakedcookies.com. Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes and ask yourself which one comes easily to mind? It is recommended that you obtain the singular and plural versions of domain so not to be a victim of cyber-squatting.
Word Order – Another factor to consider is the ordering of the words in the domain. Look at freemovietickets.com versus movieticketsfree.com. More people would be comfortable typing in the first version.
Some of the factors to avoid when purchasing a new domain name for your business.
Hyphens – The use of hyphens in the domain name is discouraged. The hyphen makes it harder to type as well as remember.
Numbers – The use of numbers in the domain is not normal for users to type in, unless your brand is something like 1800contacts.com.
Substitutions – Avoid using alternative phrasing, such as using “sk8” versus “skate”.
The next question is where can a business register their domain name? You can register a domain name through one of these ICAAN registrars (world-wide market share is denoted in parenthesis):
- GoDaddy (29.3%)
- Enom (8.3%)
- Network Solutions (6%)
- Wild West Domains (2.9%)
- Moniker (2.5%)
- Register.com (2.4%)
Otherwise you can also acquire a domain name through a domain auction site. Some of the top domain auction sites are GoDaddy, Sedo, Afternic, and eBay.