March 20, 2018 Article
Many people look for the domain name that they want and, finding it is taken, grab something that doesn’t match their image. Here are some suggestions when getting a domain name.
- Most importantly, try to find a dot-com name. Yes, they are hard to find but dot-net, dot-biz, dot-anythingelse is going to leave some of your visitors trying to find you at dot-com. I was President of a local non-profit organization. They’ve had their dot-org name for many years. I picked up the dot-com name and put my statistics counter on it. Last year I had 353 visitors going there. None of that traffic was from search engines — it was all from people mistaking dot-com for dot-org. So don’t confuse your visitors — try to use a dot-com name.
- Use a short domain that is a real word and is easy to remember. Since many of these are long gone, this may be easier said than done. But try.
- Use a generic domain tied to keywords, e.g. like car.com, creditcard.com or books.com. Again, many of these are already gone but look for a name that includes a keyword for your type of business.
- Find a domain that is easy to spell and not prone to typographical errors. If typos are likely, get other spellings of the name as well. Whether you spell Yahoo as “yahooo.com” with 3 o’s or mis-type it with 1 “o”, it still sends you to www.yahoo.com. Make sure you plan similarly. Otherwise there are those who will try to grab those names in order to steal your hard-earned traffic for their own good.
- If everything appropriate is taken, add your state or city into the name. For example, www.officerental.com was gone. But adding the appropriate city, making it hartfordofficerental.com works just fine.
- Make sure the domain doesn’t violate any third-party rights (e.g. trademark rights). Don’t try to make your domain name similar to someone else’s to poach traffic from them. They likely have good lawyers and may have deeper pockets than you do.