What you need to know before you Buy Your First Domain
You may have just started your business or plan to. You have a business name that fits perfectly with your vision, but you are yet to secure a domain name. All you need to do is get your business name, throw in dot com and you’re set, right? Wrong! Choosing a company name is hard enough as it is. Securing a domain name is also another struggle especially if you’re a rookie.
Don’t you worry, not all hope is lost. Here is a list of 5 things you need to do before or during your domain hunt. It will be better for your business in the long run:
1. Do your homework
You may have a fantastic idea for a domain name. However, you later find out that it is quite like a multi-million-dollar business name long after you’ve gotten your clientele and loyal website followers. You don’t have enough money to compete with the big shot company in legal matters, so you’re forced to shut everything down and start over. It isn’t fair but it is the cyber world that we live in.
Make sure you thoroughly research before you choose to commit. There are Sites that can help you find the list of registered domain names. Consult with a lawyer, do your own Google research… anything to ensure that your name will not bring you any legal drama.
2. Keep it simple. Make it sweet. Leave it memorable.
This statement goes hand in hand with the company name. It can get frustrating when you type out a long name that you can’t quite remember. Having to explain to your customers about the underscore, followed by the dash, will not be as funny as you thought it would be, when the million-dollar idea came to you.
It’s best to have your company name and domain name on the same page. If your business is Pink Table Ltd, it’s advisable to look for pinktable dot whatever it is you choose to finish with. As opposed to having Pink Table as the company and pinkfurniture.com as the domain. This may turn out to be confusing to customers who are familiar with your brand and want to find you online.
- Dot com battle
We all know that .com runs this town. As much as there are many other extensions out there, we have been brainwashed to go with .com because it’s what we’ve always known. If your domain name is available on .com, then great! Good for you. If not, try a similar name that won’t lose the essence of your brand. Maybe instead of pinktable.com, you could try pinktables.com.
If everything you want isn’t available on dot com, it’s not the end of the world. It makes no sense to start elongating your domain to pinktablewithateapot.com when you can just go with pinktable.net or pinktable.co.uk if you live in the UK for instance. Sure dot com is the cool kid on the block, but you also don’t want to compromise your brand name.
4. Be committed
Sure. Buying a URL short term is cheap but what happens when someone decides to yank your domain name? This could cripple your business if you were already growing a loyal client base. If you can’t afford to pay for ten years upfront, you should consider going for an auto-renew payment plan.
Doing this will ensure that the name will forever remain in your court. One thing to note is that many spam sites buy short term URLs. If you decide to purchase a one-year domain, you may be put in the same heap as the spam sites and appear on page 37 of the Google search. How many times do you ever go to page three of the Google search let alone 37? Be smart and strategic to protect your brand.
5. Include your location
This isn’t mandatory, but if you can, it does help to include the location of your business in the domain. Adding location may work in favour of your business if it’s focused on a geographical region. It doesn’t necessarily have to be location specific but do have a keyword that is essential in your business. It’s great to optimize the domain name to be one that users search for when looking for your product.
So, if you specialize in plumbing in the city of Pink Table, why not consider a URL such as pinktableplumber.com? Someone desperately searching for a plumber on Google will probably bump into your website first. Search Engine Optimization just might do all the advertising for you.
With all this knowledge at hand, you are ready to go forth into the big bad web and get a domain name. At this point, you will probably require a company that will register your domain name. There are so many sites out there that it could get confusing. It helps to stick to a legitimate company that will not scam you.
With all this knowledge, you are well on your way to securing your very own domain name. One parting pointer of something you should most definitely not do is to register your business domain name under someone else’s name other than yourself. It may seem harmless right now to have your neighbour’s name as the owner of the domain because he did help you set it up.
But a few year’s down the line when your company is raking in good money, and you realize you have no control of your business domain name, you may find yourself in a bit of a pickle. Think of purchasing a domain as you would a new house. If the title deed is in your best friend’s name and you have a fallout, what’s stopping her from selling your house and moving to Greenland? It’s not worth the trouble when you can just be the one running the show.