Small Business Websites

Domain Name Strategies

Written by Bobby Jan for Gaebler Ventures

Choosing a name for your Web site is an important decision when it comes to creating a Web site for your business. A good Web site name may promote your brand name, increase traffic flow to your business, and/or maximize the impression of your site.

Domain names are sometimes equated to web real estate.

Domain Name Strategies

Although domain names were seemingly unlimited at first, today the best digital properties are already registered.

Some of the registered domain names are even for sale in a very active marketplace for domains. The better they are deemed to be, the higher the price.

If you are looking to buy a domain name, be aware that price may vary greatly. While most domain names sell for less than four digits, some domain names are very expensive. In 2006, for example, sold for more than 10 million dollars!

Make it Sticky

The longer the domain name, the harder it is for potential customers to remember it. This is the reason why a domain name like is much more valuable than As a rule of thumb, always strive to pick a domain name that is short and easy to remember. For example, The Economist's domain name is, not

If you have no choice but to choose a long domain name, here is a tip for you: add dashes to make your domain name more recognizable. For example, becomes

The goal here is to make your domain name as sticky in your customer's mind as possible.

Brand vs. Practicality

If promoting your brand name is a very important part of your business, incorporate it in your domain name. If it is not, it helps to have a more practical domain name that will maximize the likelihood of it being searched. For example, if T-Bone Bob sells jewelry but the name of the business is not particularly important, use instead of

Protecting your Name

After choosing the right name, make sure to protect it.

When you register for a .com domain name, you may want to protect your domain name by also registering it as an .org, .net, etcetera, so your competitors and imitators may not do so. For example, if you registered for, yet failed to register for, then is open for anybody to claim. On the same line of thought, do not forget to renew your domain name as it is not uncommon for expired domain names to be snatched up.

Cheng Ming (Bobby) Jan is an Economics major at the University of Chicago who has a strong interest in entrepreneurship and investing.

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