You may be asking yourself “How do I start my own website?”. Well, for starters: Strategic planning and long term vision will serve you best in your choice of domain names. Just as important as choosing the name for your business, a domain name, the name of your soon-to-be website, is one of the most important factors in your online success. Ultimately you are seeking to attract customers- the Holy Grail, and good marketing (which will help with Search Engine placement also) begins with your choice of domain name.
OK, so now you’ve found the domain name you want, but someone else owns it. But you really wanted it badly. Can the domain name still be acquired? Maybe. It’s possible, but there are conditions. With some research and hard work you can get the domain name you want even if it is already spoken for. There are other ways to get the domain name you want:
Hyphenated Names One strategy to consider if the domain name you want is already taken would be to hyphenate it, as in turning ricksantiqueshop.com into ricks-antique-shop.com. Is it always the best strategy? Maybe, maybe not. For example, if the domain name you want is already taken AND well known, most likely this is not a good idea, because most web surfers would likely just type the non-hyphenated version into their browsers and thus could end up at your competitor’s website. Not a good strategy. Also, the longer the name you have chosen, the more tedious and error prone it becomes for the surfer to type in the name correctly, again foiling the chances that they will end up at your website. So, the shorter the better. But if the name you have chosen is already taken and there is no chance of getting it from it’s owner, and the owner either has no website or a poorly designed one with little traffic, this can be a good strategy in purchasing a name. But be careful: the last thing you want is to cause internet domain name confusion because you have decided on a domain name registration that is so close to a major competitor’s name that you end up losing business to them.
Longer or Shorter? If you want to, you can purchase up to a 67 character long domain name. At 63 characters, thelongestdomainnameintheworldandthensome
andthensomemoreandmore.com claims to be the longest domain name in the world, and it may very well be. Can you envision anyone wanting to type it into their browser? My website is www.StartYourWebsiteToday.com and has a domain name that tells what kind of website you will be surfing to. Good name selection can be helpful also with search engine ranking. You will want to definitely keep the name as short and sweet as possible, but at the same time let the visitor know what to expect when he surfs to your website. Shorter is better here.
Brand Name or Generic Should you give your website a descriptive generic name or do you want to use a brand name? If your business is known by a brand name, and it is a well known name, of course it is the best possible strategy to try to register that domain name. Budweiser.com is a site that is well known and gets a lot of traffic, even though there is nothing specifically in the domain name that says anything about beer. But because Budweiser is known all over the world as a beer brand, people know what they are getting when they surf to the website. If your brand name is well known, definitely try to obtain your brand name as a domain name. But if your company is Nike or Coca Cola or Budweiser don’t discount the idea of buying the domain name shoes.com or soda.com or beer.com if they are available as well. People often search the web using generic terms, more so even than brand names. A person is more likely to search the internet with generic terms like shoes or footwear or sneakers than to search by a single brand name, even one as big as Nike. So if possible cover all the bases. You can have as many domain names as you want pointing to a single website, so the more generic terms you can acquire that directly describe your business, the better. A generic name if your business is new or not yet well known can get great results, if you can find a good one. To start your search for your own unique domain name, here is a link to a domain name search engine. Good website design begins always with the wise choice of a domain name.