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If you’re ready to take your business online, you need to buy a domain name… your own piece of branded online real estate. That name can suit you well or make life miserable depending on how carefully you go about the selection process.
Buying a domain name is a process that starts with “thinking” (read: planning), and ends with the buying process.
The “thinking” part can be the toughest – envisioning and selecting the right name can take time and imagination. Don’t feel compelled to make a snap decision. It’s a good idea to approach any aspect of your marketing with thought and planning.
Here are some tips for selecting – and buying – an effective domain name for your business.
Step 1: Select A Name That Makes Sense For Your Business
As obvious as this step sounds, don’t overlook the importance of buying a domain name that reflects what your business is about.
Before you buy, take time to brainstorm ideas. Start with the most obvious… your company name. If your company name is unique enough, you may be able to buy it intact.
On the upside, buying a domain name that is also your company name provides a great branding opportunity. But be careful if your company is “Midwestern Country Fresh Beef and Eggs”. Customers will have a hard time remembering, let alone typing, “midwesterncountryfreshbeefandeggs.com” and it’ll be quite a mouthful for you every time you repeat it. Also beware of companies with similar names. If someone already owns “midwesterncountrybeef.com” then buying a name so similar might accidentally drive customers to a competitor.
Before you decide on a domain name, try typing it into a browser, printing it and saying it out loud. The look and feel of your domain name is as important as its relevance. Make sure you can use it to advertise effectively in a magazine, on your business card, on the radio or anywhere.
Another idea for choosing an effective name is to select keywords that relate to your business. If you manufacture cat-shaped pet rocks, then try “petrockcats.com” or “pet-rock-cats.com”. Be careful with hyphens though, which are harder to type into a browser and harder to speak when you want to tell people your site name. If you do use hyphens, try to stick to only one, and make sure the words you choose are meaningful. There’s no sense in buying a domain name for “my-site.com”.
Like any successful step you’ll take in marketing, if you start with good planning you’re always starting in the best possible place.
What else is important to consider when selecting a domain name for your business?
Read More In The “Buying A Domain Name” Series
- Step 1: Select A Name That Makes Sense For Your Business
- Step 2: Make It Easy-To-Use, Easy-To-Say, And Easy-To-Remember
- Step 3: Choose The Right Extension: .com, .net, .biz, .org
- Step 4: Get Online And Buy