How the Right Domain Name (or Names!) Can Help Your Online Business

Having a solid domain name strategy can play a big role in helping your online business to succeed. It all starts with choosing the right domain name, or Web address, to represent your business on the Web.  From there, you can expand your strategy to leverage multiple domain names.

Whether you are bringing an already established business online for the first time, or creating a new business, choosing the right domain name is critical to establishing your online brand.  Your Web address will essentially be your identity online, playing a prominent role when people discover, remember or talk about your website.

Choosing a domain name can require some inspiration, and there are many tools available that can help you brainstorm available domain names.  Here are some tips to keep in mind as you decide:

1. Use Keywords

Your domain name doesn’t have to be your business name. The beer maker Samuel Adams showcases this trend with their Web address BostonBeer.com. Try using keywords that describe your business, services, or brand to help improve search engine ranking. For example, if you’re based in London and want to be known for your unsurpassed quality, bestbakeryinlondon.com is an alternative option to betsysbakery.com.

2. Be Memorable

There are millions of registered domain names. Make yours catchy and memorable.

3. Use an Appropriate Domain Name Extension (e.g. .com, .net, .edu)

Domain extensions can have specific uses, so make sure to choose one that is aligned with your business, is credible, and is widely recognized. Customers should feel safe visiting your website, so a domain name extension your customers know and trust is important.

4. Protect and Build Your Brand

Consider purchasing various domain extensions, as well as alternative spellings of your domain name.

After establishing your primary Web address, you may also want to develop a multiple domain names strategy to aid your marketing efforts.  Think about purchasing domain names that represent different aspects of your business, such as product names or taglines.  These Web addresses could then be used to run targeted marketing campaigns with a specific focus for your business. For example, in addition to mcdonalds.com, McDonald’s leverages their tagline with the Web address ImLovinIt.com to take customers to a specific promotional page on their website. The athletics clothing retailer Under Armour also has their tagline as a web address, ProtectThisHouse.com, and alternatively has it redirect or “point” to its homepage underarmour.com.

One of the best multiple domain name strategies I’ve seen is with Delaware realtor Barbara Morales.  When she was first starting out, she had to figure out a way to differentiate herself from the other realtors in the area. Delaware had just been ranked a great beach resort and retirement destination so she created her online identity around those themes, registering BeachByBabs.comWaterfrontHomesDelaware.comSellingRehobothBeach.comRetirementInDelaware.com and GolfCourseHomesDelaware.com. Not only has she solidified her online brand with these themes, her domain names also consist of keywords people use for Internet searches, helping to get her websites found.   As a result, she was able to create a niche for herself in the Delaware real estate market while also expanding her business beyond traditional home buyers.  If you visit each of her sites, you’ll find that she has created a unique website for each of her domain names, but this is not required.

To get started, or to simplify your multiple domain names strategy, you can point any number of domain names to one website, similar to Under Armour. Your registrar, the company you purchase your domain names from, can help you set up these domain name redirects, also known as Web forwarding.

About the Author

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As the global leader in domain names, Verisign powers the invisible navigation that takes people to where they want to go on the Internet. For more than 15 years, Verisign has operated the infrastructure for a portfolio of top-level domains that today includes .com, .net, .tv, .cc, .name, .jobs, .edu and .gov, as well as two of the world’s 13 Internet root servers. Verisign’s product suite also includes Managed DNS Services, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Protection Services and iDefense Security Intelligence Services. To learn more about what it means to be Powered by Verisign, please visit VerisignInc.com.