Choosing a domain name for your personal business or brand is one of the biggest decisions you are going to have to make. With millions of sites already on the internet and a unique domain attached to each of them, it will take you some time and effort to not only pick the perfect domain name, but also to find one that’s available.
In this article we are going to break down all of the major decision factors when choosing a domain name not only to reflect your brand and business, but also some of the best places on the internet to use for further domain research.
Your Name is Everything
The absolute best thing you can do for your personal brand and protecting your online reputation is trying to obtain your personal name as a domain name. There is a really good chance that someone else in the world already has the same name as you. Don’t let someone else grab your personal name as a domain name before you.
If your personal name is available as a domain name, register is right away. It’s also recommended that you secure any commonly misspelled versions of your name or other variations that might be available. The same can obviously be said for any existing business or brand names. Once a domain name is registered, it’s safe to say it’s registered for life.
Keep It Simple
When it comes time to think up a creative domain name, many people like to get “too creative”. As a brand or business, you want to be creative and stand out from the crowd, but not make it hard for people to find you in the process.
For example, some sites like to use the number “4” instead of the word “for” or “2” instead of “to”. Now imaging having an online business called specialdeliveryservices4u.com. Every time you told someone your domain name, they would instantly think to spell out the whole words, which would be correct, but not to find your site.
This is one of the last things you want to do when choosing your domain name. Stay away from numbers, dashes and anything that would have to be explained to someone after telling them your domain name.
As for TLD and domain extensions, a ‘.com’ name is always going to be the best, followed by .net and .org. Just because your name is available in another weird domain TLD like ‘.name’ or ‘.biz’ — DO NOT GET IT — in most cases, these TLDs were only created to make other businesses a lot of money.
In short, they are unprofessional and rarely do you s
Protecting Your Brand with Multiple Domains
With domain names have a very low cost associate with them, it’s easy for anyone to register a domain name that is closely associated with your personal name or brand. For this reason it’s important to register any similar variations of your name, brand of business.
For example, if you own YourName.com, it would also be in your best interest to secure YourName.net and YourName.org as well. Not only will this allow you to protect your name and not having it registered by someone else, but these additional domain names can also be used to redirect traffic back to your original site or even used for additional content sites.
Many brands like Walmart, McDonalds and even Taylor Swift have been actively securing a wide variation of domain names around their name and brand to protect them from potential threats and branding issues.
How to Secure Registered and Expiring Domain Names
As mentioned earlier, when a domain name is first registered, there is a good chance it will be taken for life. This is usually through the person who originally registered it or through a domain registration company that scoops it up after it expires — who will then hold on to it and try to sell it for thousands of dollars to anyone who might want it.
While it’s very hard to get a domain name that someone else owns, it’s not impossible. One method is to contact the owner of the domain name to see if they are interested in selling, or another is to use a domain name expiration notification service like Pool.com or NameJet.com, which can monitor and notify you of any upcoming changes to domain names you might want to secure. There are also premium domain name services like Sedo.com and GreatDomains.com that broker deals and have their own marketplace for exact match and high end domain names.
Your Domain Name Means Everything
No matter what domain name you end up choosing, make sure it blends well with your business model or brand, and that it’s also easy for anyone to remember and type in. It’s also important to not rush the process of trying to come up with a unique domain name. In most cases, once you start a site and use your domain name, you are going to be using it forever.
Follow the steps outlined in this article and you should have no problems coming up with a great domain name for the life of your business and brand.
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