One main frustration with picking a domain name is the sparse availability of good domain names. You need to accurately display your company’s image and have a domain name that is good for e-commerce. There are several things you can do to pick that perfect domain name.
Use a .com Top Level Domain
Try to focus on getting a .com top level domain. These domains are most common for commercial website and are the most recognizable top level domain out there. I once had a client request a .biz domain only to change it several months later to a .com. Do it right the first time and get the highly recognizable .com domain name.
Keep it Short
Take a look at the web’s “Big Boys”, you will see that they all have short domain names…. Google, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Keep it short, it gives you credibility. What do you think of when you see a domain that is jims-online-store-that-sells-cool-stuff.com? It just doesn’t give your company a lot of credibilities… so, keep it short and sweet!
Use a Keyword Rich Domain Name
Search engines use your domain name as one of their primary ways to tell what your site is about. Don’t disappoint them. This is an easy way to score some SEO points. Don’t forget rule number 2 though. Keep it short and avoid keyword stuffing (adding tons of keywords to make your site look more relevant).
Don’t Get too Excited about Your Domain
Chances are if you picked a good domain name, someone else has already thought of it. Half of picking a domain name is luck. I was recently attempting to register a new domain name and found that all three letter domain names are currently registered…ALL. Some of these three letter domain names have sold for over 10 million dollars. Better yet, if you find a three letter domain name you can register, let me know about it.
You need to check whether a domain name is available before you go through the entire registration process. There are many good tools on the web for doing this. My favorite is Bust a Name. This tool uses a WHOIS search and checks whether a domain name is available before you go through the registration process.
Use an Online Tool to Select your Domain Name
Bust a Name is also great for creating a domain name. They allow you to put in several keywords that you would like to see in your domain name. They then jumble up those words in different combinations and will give you a tabulated list of the names that are available. It is an awesome tool! I have registered several powerful domain names selected using Bust a Name’s tool. It seems like that is a domain name that would not be available, but Bust A Name found it. Another place to look for domain name tools if Bust A Name doesn’t work for you is this blog on domain name tools.
Register the Domain with Someone Other than Your Web Host
This doesn’t really have to do with registering a domain name, but it is a little bit of insurance for your business. If your current web hosting gives you problems, they cannot hold your domain hostage if you choose to change hosts. I use 1and1 for domain registrations. I would not recommend them for hosting though. If you don’t like 1 and 1, you can also check out www.GoDaddy.com for a good registrar. As for hosting, I highly recommend Host Gator Web Hosting. Host Gator makes it easy for you to register your domain with someone like 1 and 1 and then host your domain. You simply sign in to your HostGator account and find out what nameservers your site is using, and then on 1 and 1 select domains in the administration panel and change the DNS settings to your HostGator name servers. It’s not too hard.