What is a Domain Name?
Why do you need a small business domain name? What is a domain name? Well a domain name is the website name you type in the URL such as SilvanasCleaning.com. Each domain has a suffix such as .org (government agencies), .edu (educational institutions), and the common .com (commercial business).
How do you choose the perfect domain name for your small business website?
Choosing a small business domain name is an important part of forming your online brand. When people think of your domain name, they will think of your small business so it is essential that you represent your small business in a positive way. Using your business name as your domain name is a good idea because when people search for your business online, they will assume your business name is your domain name. For example if your business name is Punky Pizza then your domain name should be www.PunkyPizza.com if it is still available. Unfortunately for us many of the good small business domain names are already taken so I must warn you that unless your business has a very unique name, it may not be available. But don’t give up, there are still some undiscovered treasures out there so grab a cup of coffee, and start brainstorming alternative small business domain names. Ask friends and family for ideas. Here are some tips to keep in mind when deciding on a domain name for your small business web site.
Tips for choosing a Domain name for your small business web site:
1.)Keep it simple and memorable– Don’t be over complicated. A domain name such as www.PunkyBestFavoritePizzaintheWholeWorld.com can be complicated for some people to remember where as www.PunkyPizza.com is much more simple and easy to remember.
2.)Easy to pronounce and spell– Remember that spell-check is popular for a reason. Words such as restaurant, jewelry and tattoo are some of the most common misspelled words.Microsoft even bought the domain name Microsft.com (without the o) since people were often misspelling their name. The domain name for your small business website should also be easy to pronounce. Word of Mouth is the most effective form of advertising. If someone finds your website very interesting, they will tell their friends which will tell their friends and so on. You want a domain name that people can easily type in with out having it spelled for them like www.lovingyou.com.
3.)Make sure that your domain relates to your small business– For example if Punky bought the domain www.PunksinNewark.com, people wouldn’t associate that with a pizzeria; however www.PunkyPizza.com is clearly a website about pizza.
4)Extra Domain Names– It is also a good idea to purchase extra domains with keywords related to your small business. This will help your small business website get better rankings in search engines. For example Punky owns a pizzeria in Newark, NJ so he can purchase the domain name www.Pizzeria-in-Newark-NJ.com. Several domain names can lead to the same website, so you will not need a separate website for each domain name.
How do you check if a Domain Name is available?
There are several websites where you can check availability of a small business domain name; a popular one is GoDaddy.com(this is a great example of a simple and memorable domain name). On the upper right hand side of the GoDaddy.com website you will see a “Domain Name Search” box. Enter your desired small business domain name for your website and click on Go. A page will load revealing whether the domain name is available. If your first choice isn‘t available, don’t loose hope, keep trying new ideas.
You will discover that you also have the option of choosing a .net, .org, and other choices they provide you as an alternative to the common .com. My suggestion is stick with the .com. Even if there’s a domain name available with your BusinessName.net, you’re better off sticking with a .com. People tend to remember .com better. Your website may be PunkyPizza.net, but when people go to search for it many will confuse it with PunkyPizza.com. If Punky decides he wants to advertise his website by including it on menus and flyers, much of his efforts will go to waste because people commonly mistype .net websites as .com.
Registering a Domain Name for your Small Business Web Site
So you have finally decided on a small business domain name for your website? Horray…now you need to register that domain name. As soon as you have found a domain name you are satisfied with, register it quickly before someone else snatches it. Domain names are selling like hotcakes (more than 300,000 everyday!) so if you don’t buy it you might loose it. There are several websites where you can register a domain name for your small business website. Here are a couple:
Domain Name price comparison
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(Private Fee: When you register a domain name your personal information such as your name, address, and phone number will be available for the public to see. If you wish to keep this information private you may have to pay a private fee)
Tip: Many of these Registrars will try to entice you with incentives such as cheap hosting and extra features, be very critical when deciding whether you want to include it. Much of it is really not necessary. Also note down how long your contract will last for your domain name. It would be a waste if you continually market your domain name, and your clients become familiar with it and then loose your domain name to a competitor because your domain name had expired and you forgot to renew it!