4 Simple Steps To Selecting And Buying A Domain Name: Step 3

4 Simple Steps To Selecting And Buying A Domain Name: Step 3
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A domain name is part of your business image and brand identity. It can impact everything from your print advertising to your search engine marketing so good planning is your best ally. Here’s another important consideration before buying a domain name.

Step 3: Choose The Right Extension: .com, .net, .biz, .org

If you’re running a for-profit business, your best bet is to stick with .com. Buying a domain name with another extension is *almost* a waste of time. More on alternate extensions later, but for now, let’s discuss why buying a .com domain name is a wise choice.

The most important reason to select a .com name is because that’s what most people (your potential customers) think of, recognize and expect.

Let’s say you’re looking for the phone number for the great restaurant, the “Flying Taco”. You decide to look it up on the Internet. Quick: what would you try?

Most people would start with “flyingtaco.com”. Few would think to move on to “flyingtaco.net” if the first failed. You especially want to avoid alternate extensions if a competitor already owns the .com extension.

Since .com is so prevalent and common, even customers familiar with your site may automatically type “superproduct.com” instead of “superproduct.biz”. If your competitor owns the first, that’s bad news for you.

A good reason to buy a domain name with an alternate extension is to protect your brand. If you’re lucky enough to get “superproduct.com” then go ahead and snatch up “superproduct.net”. You might even want to buy “greatproduct.com” and “terrificproduct.com”, too. Buying similar domain names gives you multiple doors into your site and also keeps the competition from getting too close.

Secondary domains can be routed automatically to your primary domain. You’ll cover your bases and prevent competition from tailgating on your incredibly successful site.

Buying multiple domain names adds only a small cost to your marketing budget for an added measure of security and marketing power.

As for other extensions, don’t go crazy trying to catch them all. Many aren’t relevant to your business anyway, such as .org, which is associated with non-profit organizations, or .edu which is relevant to educational organizations.

Choosing a great domain name requires analysis of the benefits and the tradeoffs. Spend some time on the potential of yours before you buy.

How many domain names do you have for your business? If it’s more than one, what made you choose the extras?

Read More In The “Buying A Domain Name” Series

Carol Lynn Rivera

Carol Lynn Rivera

I'm a business owner, content creator, podcaster and marketer. In 1999 I founded Rahvalor Interactive, a web and creative services production studio, with my husband and business partner Ralph. In 2011 we created Web.Search.Social, a consulting and marketing service line for small businesses. We also cohost the Web.Search.Social Podcast where we challenge the status quo of marketing and the Carbon Based Business Units podcast where we talk about the human side of being an entrepreneur. On any given day I wear the hat of project manager, consultant, social media manager and content marketer. My true passion is writing and in my spare time I'm busy planning my early retirement to Barcelona as a famous and wealthy novelist.
Carol Lynn Rivera
Carol Lynn Rivera