Small Business Websites

What's in a Domain Name?

Written by Richard San Juan for Gaebler Ventures

The Internet now has become such a vital aspect of marketing your business, and you've got to do it right. In particular, choosing a domain name for a company website is something that must be done with best practices in mind.

When people want to find information about a product or service, they turn to the Internet.

Choosing a Domain Name

Because of this, it is significantly important that whatever representation of your small business that is on the Internet (website, domain, blog, etc.) is an accurate representation of your company's qualities and product image.

Choosing a Good Domain Name

Choosing a domain name should be a carefully thought-out process.

Why are domain names so important? For one thing, having a good domain name adds credibility to your new business.

Since the website looks more professional, there is a greater possibility that customers will see the new business as more reliable than a company that uses a free domain service like Geocities.

Moreover, a well-chosen domain will have greater visibility and thus receive more web traffic. This is especially true if it is a domain name that can be easily stored in memory of the customer because memorable domain names are conducive to word-of-mouth marketing buzz.

How to Choose a Domain Name

Now that the importance of why an appropriate domain name for your small business has been established, what are some ways to choose a domain name?

Since acquiring a domain name is one of the most important initial steps in getting your small business up and running, choosing a domain name can be a daunting task.

Buying Multiple Domain Names

The first thing to realize is you don't have to stress yourself in picking the single one domain for your can have multiple domains. Usually a small business establishes itself in the industry by marketing its own strong product. Therefore, in choosing domains, the entrepreneur can decide to have a domain with the name of the company and have another domain with the name of the product.

Go With .Com

If you can get it, get the dotcom (.com) version of your desired domain name. There is still some innate belief in the world of the Web that those who have the .com address are the elite of the Internet in comparison to those who must settle for .net or other suffixes.

The exception of course is if you are a non-profit, in which case by all means get the .org version of the domain.

Keywords in Domain Names

Using keywords in your domain name can definitely help boost up unique visitors to your website. If you own a Chicago bakery and can get the domain, for example, you will find that many the search engines will direct many people to your site when they search for Chicago bakery.

Should You Make a Dash for It?

The question as to whether to add dashes in a domain name is a hotly debated one. Some argue that dashes improve readability and that will drive traffic. For example, which is easier to read: or The majority would choose the latter. The counterargument is that many search engine spammers have bought dash-separated domain names, and these days the search engines may not treat your dashed domain name well, based on a suspicion that you may be gaming the search engines.

Short and Memorable

It almost goes without saying. Choose a short and memorable domain name. If it's too long, nobody will bother to type it in. It might not even fit on your business card!

Spelling Errors in Domain Names

Don't forget about spelling mistakes. Spelling was never a favorite subject for some people, and it's amazingly common for people to misspell domain names.

Oftentimes, when someone does not spell a domain name correctly, it will either bring up an error page or the person will be directed to somebody else's website. It would be advantageous for an entrepreneur to purchase domains that are similar and reroute them to your main page. For example, if your website is, someone looking for our website might type in Also, if your company is global and called Colored Pencils, Inc., to market towards the British market you might want to purchase

Domain Name Availability

Everything above notwithstanding, you may pick the perfect domain name only to find that it is not available. Most good domain names have been taken.

When you find that your ideal domain name is gone, you simply need to try, try again, as they say. Good luck!

Richard San Juan is currently pursuing an MBA degree with an emphasis in Finance from DePaul University in Chicago. He is particularly interested in writing about business news and strategies.

Share this article

Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs

Lists of Venture Capital and Private Equity Firms

Franchise Opportunities


Business Glossary


Conversation Board

Offer your comments, suggestions and questions regarding choosing a domain name. We appreciate your participation!

  • Lucrecia Bianchi posted on 9/22/2009
    Lucrecia Bianchi
    Thank you for a very clear and easy article to understand the importance of choosing a domian name. Specially for someone like me that is learning to create a website and I am not familiar with the terminology. I hit the jackpot today by finding this site and I'm signing up for The newsletter! Lucrecia Bianchi

Leave a Reply

Questions, Comments, Tips, and Advice

Email will not be posted or shared
Code Image - Please contact webmaster if you have problems seeing this image code

Problem Viewing Image? Load New Code