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Choosing a Domain Name

Choosing a domain name, especially for ecommerce, should not be taken lightly. Your domain name defines your website. When choosing your domain name, URL, or web address you should know what to look for. This article is a must read if you are choosing a domain name.

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When it comes to your address on the Web, it is important that you set up shop right. And an important part of doing this is choosing the right domain name. When deciding on a domain name, you should consider the following:

  1. Try to use your company or brand name: It is a good idea to use your company or band name when possible. If you have an established company, see if your company name is available with a .com extension. This way, you will be easy to find on the Web, and there will be a certain level of continuity from the offline world to the online world. If you are a consultant, writer, artist or some other professional, it is a good idea to use your first and last name as a domain name. This helps you build your brand, and it makes it easy for people to find you. Of course, if you have a common name, you may have to make it a little more creative. Realize, though, that www.firstnamelastname2009.com isn't going to cut it.
  2. Keep it short and easy to spell: You may have a long company name, or it might be difficult to spell. In such cases, see if there is a way to shorten it or to make it a little snappier. If you haven't already picked a company name, it is often a good idea to choose your name based around what you are able to get for a domain name.
  3. Consider keywords and household words: Perhaps you want to describe your business, rather than put the name of your company down. If you sell scrapbooking supplies, then www.scrapbooker.com might be a desired domain name. Using keywords that you hope will draw traffic to your site as the name of your domain and your Web site can raise your stock in the search engines. And it makes it easier for others to find you. You can do a keyword search to see what's popular, and then enter it into the domain name registrar's search feature to find out whether it is available.
  4. Try to get a .com extension: While you might be able to find a .net or a .biz to use, it really is best if you can get a .com. This is because most people automatically assume that a Web address is going to end in a .com. You can, however, be proactive and buy other extension endings of your domain name, as well as buy common misspellings of your domain name. This way, even if someone makes a mistake, they are more likely to find you.
  5. Stay away from hyphens: No one likes to type hyphens into an address bar. It confuses things and makes domain names longer. When choosing a domain name, try to avoid using hyphens and other things that clutter up the direction. You want people to easily be able to type in your domain name, and find you.
  6. Keep away from trademarked domain names: It might be tempting to take a trademarked name and use it. Perhaps the company didn't get in on the Internet fast enough. At any rate, using a trademarked or copyrighted name is a good way to find yourself facing a cease and desist order from a lawyer – and maybe even getting sued. If you're going to use a trademarked name, it better be a name that you trademarked on your own, and not someone else's.
  7. Ask for advice: Before you register a domain name, it is a good idea to run it by some ordinary folks. Ask your friends and family what they think of different domain name ideas. Find out whether they think that your candidates are snappy and easy to remember. Have three or four ideas to try out, and see what works best. Getting a poll from people you know can help you choose a domain name that is more likely to be appealing.

When it comes to choosing a domain name, it is important to carefully think through things. You should be thoughtful in choosing a name that reflects your band and values, and that accurately portrays you. It should also be easy to find online, and something that is easily identified as yours. As soon as you decide on a domain name, you should register it immediately. Lock it up for multiple years – five to 10 is good – so that it is definitely yours and you can begin building your online brand around it.

Related Article: What To Expect: Domain Name Price >>

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