Although, registering a domain itself is fairly simple, it’s the decision making that goes into creating a memorable domain name that can make the process a tad overwhelming to the uninitiated. Here’s some tips to get you started.
Register your domain name ASAP
Although domains are being registered at an incredible rate of over 4.6 million a day, the real rush is yet to come. Some projections are a 93% increase over the next three years. And with the passing of time coupled with the DotCom era, the majority of easily recognized domain names have already been taken. The key here is to act fast.
Avoid trademarked names
Registering a domain nametrademarked by another company is a major No-No. Not only is it unethical, but companies have spent lots of time and money creating and establishing their brand, are no longer opening their pocketbooks to get their names back. They are calling their lawyers. Also, pending legislation will soon make it very difficult to register someone’s trademarked name.
Make it memorable
Having a memorable domain name is an essential element to establishing credibility with potential customers and provides you with a global vehicle to promote your brand, products, and services. A name that sticks in the mind is what you want. Your exact business name is a good choice. If someone knows your name, then they already know your web address. Another choice is a phrase or sequence of words that explains or describes the benefit of your product; like DIYAnswerGuy or AllOfficeFurniture
Domain names that evoke a visual image can also make them easy to remember, such as BlueWaterResort.com. Shorter names are better than longer names but, if adding length increases memorability, go for the longer one.
Make sure it’s pronounceable
Once your business is on the Internet, you’ll find yourself telling people your Domain Name several times a day; in conversation, on the phone, or in radio ads. Avoid any name that only works in print, and needs to be spelled out when spoken aloud to be understood. This rules out almost all abbreviations, or the use of single characters to represent words (like ‘U’ to mean ‘you’, or ‘4’ to mean ‘four’).
With the 63-character length, all words in your name can be fully spelled out. Be wary of choosing a Domain Name that contains homophones. TwoFancy.com, TooFancy.com, and 2Fancy.com all sound exactly alike, but are three different websites (unless you own all three). Names using digits will always require explanation (“that’s the digit 3, not three”).
Avoid shady characters
A Domain Name can use only letters, numbers, and dashes for characters. Valid characters are (a-z), (0-9), and the dash symbol (-) as long as it’s contained with in the other characters. A domain name cannot begin or end with a dash.
Length can be up to 63 characters plus the extension (before December 1999 the length was restricted to 22 characters). All business Domain Names end with a suffix (called a TLD, or Top Level Domain) such as .COM, .NET, or .ORG.
Domain Names are ‘case-insensitive’, which means that they can be printed and used with upper or lower case letters and still work. If you use capital letters, they’ll be translated into lowercase — which is what the DNS recognizes. VermontFallFoliage.com will work exactly the same as vermontfallfoliage.com.
Register multiple names
Registering multiple domain names is smart thinking. Even if your business is just starting out, owning more than one domain name is great for building your business and can help you create a dynamic online identity.
With multiple domain names, you can;
- Keep your competition from registering a domain name that draws customers to them instead of you.
- Promote the different products and services you offer.
- Drive more traffic to your Web site.
- Enjoy more opportunities to market to — and be listed in — search engines.
- Create distinct advertising strategies that reach different target markets.
- Provide customers more ways to find you when searching the Internet.
- Capture common misspellings of your domain name, instead of sending visitors to an error page.
- Protect your brand and online identity from those who may have unsavory purposes.
If you have “YourName.com“, register “YourName.net“, and “Our-Name.com” so no one else takes it. You can register your full company and a shorter, easier to remember version. Many people also register common misspellings of their company’s name. For help on deciding an extension, read this guide to domain name extensions.
When you’ve settled on several available name choices, see what your friends and clients have to say. A name that make’s sense to you might be too hard for others to remember. Is your domain easy to say? Is it hard to spell? Do you have to explain why you chose the name?
Choose a reliable domain service provider
Make sure you are dealing with a trustworthy and reliable domain registration service provider.
Your domain name and all content associated with it are not something to be treated lightly. Your domain name could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and many companies on the Internet do not appropriately handle this process. Make sure your company has a track record of successful business relationships, this will indicate experience and fairness in operation.