How do I Pick a Domain Name for My Business?

I’ve seen a few missteps lately in terms of domain name selection and management, which lead me to start assembling information for domain name best practices to provide to our clients.  Here is a sneak peak at that document.  It is not organized into topics yet, but I think it will be helpful to those in the process of purchasing a domain or thinking about changing domains or purchasing additional domains.

  • Before you select a final domain name for your business, make sure it is available on the primary social media channels
  • When selecting a name, think unique, easy to type, easy to tell someone verbally and think long term.  If today you sell bicycles but plan on adding skateboards, scooters and clothing later, don’t use the domain bestbikes.com.  Check out www.panabee.com/ to help you brainstorm domain name ideas.
  • Use www.knowem.com to check for the use of your brand, product, or personal name on other sites.  And beware of copyright laws before you come up with a cute name that includes your competitor’s name.  Don’t do it!
  • Stick with a .com domain, which are by far the most popular and what people assume when they type in a website. If you want to protect yourself, buy your domain name in the most popular extensions (such as .net) in order to prevent another company from using it.  Buy your domain for at least 3 years and make sure you are listed as the registrant, not your web developer.  In fact, don’t let anyone else purchase the domain for you – buy it yourself and keep control!
  • And when you buy it, set it up for auto renew so you don’t lose it!
  • Use the Internet Archives (www.archive.org) to see if anyone has used the domain in the past and what type of content they had on it.
  • If you decide to change domain names, leave your website under your old domain to preserve your credibility with Google and redirect the new domain to your old domain.  Call us if you want to better understand this tip:)

Sources: GoDaddy, Hostgator, BrandonGaille