Small Business Websites

Domain Name Secrets

Written by Charles Mburugu for Gaebler Ventures

Before registering a domain name, there are things you need to know which might save you some money and time. What should your domain name say? How do you find an attention-grabbing domain name? To begin with, don't simply think of your domain name as the title for your website or business. You should see it as a headline, something which appeals to the needs, desires and wants of your target market. What are the secrets to getting the perfect domain name?

There is no harm in using your name for your website url, e.g. But is this the best move for generating cutomers?

You should think about your domain name from the prospects' and clients' perspective. The truth is, people don't really care about your name. They are looking for solutions and benefits. A great domain name tells your prospective customers what they will gain by doing business with you. The following are tips which will help you get a good and effective domain name.

Brainstorm some ideas

Create a list of keywords or phrases related to your business. Think of some emotion-stirring, powerful adjectives, or words that would arouse one's curiosity. Try combining them in different ways. Be as creative as possible.

Use online keyword tools

There are numerous tools online which you can use to search for the ideal keyword rich domain name. You could also check where you might find good ideas among the many recently deleted domain names. If your preferred domain name is taken, you can find out who owns it by searching the whois database.

Get a few people's opinions

Once you have located something you like, ask several people what they think about the name. Get an objective view from a prospective customer. How does kit sound when said out loud? If you plan to advertise on radio, ensure the name is very clear.

Check for copyrights

Before registering a name, especially in the US, you might want to carry out a free search at the US Trademark office website. This is a good way of seeing if your proposed domain name is likely to infringe a registered federal trademark. The fact that a name is available does not mean that it is not trademarked. In addition, you should also consider international and state trademark issues. Internet trademark law issues can be overwhelming to those encountering them for the first time. offers a good summary of trademark related questions.

Avoid hyphenated names

That is unless you have also purchased the unhyphenated version. Most people will not remember the hyphen, and may end up visiting your competition. Go for .com if possible. Though there are many other options for extensions, .com remains the king. People will always remember .com, and again, you won't want your prospects to end up at your competitors' website. In addition, avoid numbers as much as possible. looks and sounds cheesy, plus it causes confusion when said verbally.

Charles Mburugu writes for us from his home in Nairobi. He has a graduate degree in Business Management from Kenya Institute of Management. He is interested in writing about branding, CSR and intellectual property.

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