Small Business Websites
Tips for Choosing Domain Names
Written by Charles Mburugu for Gaebler Ventures
People purchase domain names for many varying reasons. At times, the domain name is for a business purpose, such as an e-commerce website. At other times, domain names are purchased for personal reasons, as well as purchasing just to prevent someone else from accessing the name and abusing it. Whatever the reason for purchase, you should give thought to the choice of your domain name.
The following are tips which will help you select an appropriate domain name.
Personal domain names
There are various reasons for getting a personal domain name. At times it's a hobby, other times just vanity, and occasionally the reason is more purposeful and serious. Regardless of the reason, it's vital to obtain the right domain name to project the exact desired image. Keep in mind that the domain name is usually the first thing your visitors see, and it communicates a lot about you.
Most people prefer to register their name with a .com extension. This is a great way of getting people who know of you to your website. They simply identify you by your name. If the .com extension is not available, you can consider the other domains; .info, .biz, .org, .net, .ws, or .us (for US citizens). Besides, there are numerous country codes available and normally, these can be accessed by anyone without limitations. Sometimes, they are only available to the citizens of those countries.
A new, cool option is the .name domain name. These are meant for names only, with the format last.first.name or first.last.name. An example is http://james.smith.name. You could also purchase domain names that describe your hobbies or interests. For example, http://smithstavels.com could be a site describing James Smith's travel experiences.
You have worked hard on your site to perfect it. You have carried out a market survey and designed a deadly site. Now it's time to go out and do some promotion. A crucial aspect of your promotional plan is the purchase of a domain name. You must have one, since it is very unprofessional for a business to be on the internet without one. So, what kind of a domain name would suit a business? The simplest approach is to simply have the name of your business as the domain name. If the .com version is unavailable, check for the .org, .net, .info or .biz versions. This is the domain name which will be used for branding and marketing purposes. For names two or more words long, you could also consider a hyphenated business name. However, you should only get this is the name is unavailable in its unhyphenated version. It is not wide to purchase only the hyphenated version, since customers would not normally type names with hyphens.
Keyword domain names
Another good option is to go for domain names which match search engine keywords. For instance, if your site sells ladies shoes, you could get the domain name ladies-shoes.com, ladiesfootwear.com, or something similar. Keywords within domain names may improve the ratings of a site.
Another strategy is to get domain names for every product or product category that you have. You could build distinct, separate websites for each of these products.
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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