Choosing a good domain name for your website
There are approximately 68 million .COM domains registered. That’s a lot of domain names out on the Internet that are either already taken or just parked in some obsolete spot gathering dust and all kinds of age. The most common names like Loser.com. JamesBrown.com are already taken by net investors who resell the rights to the names. Can you imagine someone having Elvis.com ? It’s just waiting on the highest bidder!
There are almost 700 possible combinations for two letter sequences. If you’re looking for “ET” then you just won’t find it! Even allowing for digits, again every single web address is taken. Of course, that’s ignoring the fact that .COM registrars now mandate a 3-character minimum length, so it wouldn’t be an option.
Many of the three-letter sequences are also taken. Adding digits to a domain name creates a number of garbage domain entries. If you’re dying to acquire great domains and unique domain names, they’ll free up sometimes only to be auctioned off through unique domain name sales.
The longer the domain name that you choose, the more that the possibilities are that it could be available presuming that you’re willing to accept an arbitrary sequence of letters and/or digits. For example, most organizations have 4 letter acronyms (WQAM.com and AFTA.org so you may have a chance using over 4 letters to get the domain name that you want in acronym style!
Of course many of the registered domains are available for visitors, like websites loading in the browser, but a huge percentage have nothing more than a “parked page” (owners pay domain registrars to put up ads for themselves on these type of parked pages). There are so many combinations and back door tricks to domain name cataloging and classification so the possibilities are endless.
The rule is to obtain a domain name that closely resembles who you are about which gives you an identity and brand on the internet.
Use common sense when choosing a domain name because your domain name, or URL, can have an impact in both the online and offline marketing of your website and business. Long or difficult to spell domain names can make people ignore your web site and it has to be pretty good for them to stick with it (for example thedolphinsmakemecry.com). Short domain names register better with people’s memory and are easy to remember. But, as seen above, they are less likely to be available for registration.
Get a domain name that will help you in your marketing niche and strategy. Like I stated before, you can use your business name as your URL. If your business name is already taken by someone else then get a URL name close to what you are doing. Purchasing a business name domain name isn’t the only way to go, and then a keyword domain name could do just fine but in this case you will most probably miss the branding opportunity.
If you plan on using the .net extension, you may want to wait on deciding your name until after you have found an available domain name that is suitable to your type of business. If you follow the steps below, you should be okay in identifying your name brand to the internet community.
Use it everywhere – Put your domain name on your letterhead, business card, printed materials; put it on your phone recording, the side of your car; don’t forget to include it in your email template.
Keep it short & memorable – Don’t get a URL that uses all 26 letters of the alphabet.
Secure a .com URL – I strongly recommend purchasing a .com domain name as opposed to a .net, .info, .biz or anything else. If your chosen domain name is not available in a .com, keep looking until you find one that isn’t taken. There is nothing wrong with the other extensions but when you have a .com extension, it sounds like you’ve been on the net a long time.
Remember, your domain name is an extension of your business and your brand of product or service. Choose it carefully for it will represent you for a long time.