Online Basics

Learn How To Register A Strong Domain Name

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Category: Online Basics , Choosing A Domain Name

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PROBLEM: How do you get a good Web address and make sure customers can find you?

SOLUTION: Follow these tips for creating - and registering - strong domain names.

When customers want to visit a store, what's the first thing they need to know? The address, of course. It's the same when a customer wants to find your product or service online. If you don't have a Web address, they can't find you. A good Web address, also known as a domain name, is essential.

Let's use Bensels Pencils as an example. They make pencils from exotic woods that are perfect for things like perking up a pocket protector or holding your bun in place.

So, how do you choose a domain name?

First, it should reflect your company or product name. Like BenselsPencils.com.

Second, it should be memorable. A short name is easy for potential customers to remember. BenselsPencils.com is much better than cylindricalportablewritingdevices.com.

Third, it needs to reflect what you do. You could use an action phrase or word that describes your business. So Bensels could also use a name like exoticpencils.com.

Fourth, remember that in a domain name, you can only use letters, numbers and the hyphen. No fancy characters allowed.

Finally, think of ways people might misspell of your domain name, like BencilsPencils.com and BenselsPensils.com. When you register misspellings, and direct them to the correct domain, it will help customers find you even if they make a mistake when they type in your address. It will also protect you from the dreaded "typo cybersquatter." Typo cybersquatters are people who register common misspellings of domain names. Like trolls under a bridge, they lay in wait to siphon off your webWebsite traffic and mislead your potential customers.

Once you decide on your domain name, it's time to find a domain registrar, a company that checks the list of existing Web domains to make sure no two people have the same one. No matter what name you choose, you'll pay the registrar an annual fee to get the name registered.

To register your name, visit the domain registrar. Enter the name and select the extension you want - like .com or .biz. Consider registering alternate extensions like .net and .info to prevent competitors from registering similar names.

Now, enter common misspellings of the name. It's very helpful when a domain registrar suggests alternatives you may not have thought about.

Finally, choose the number of years for which you want to register your names. Keep in mind that registering your names for more than one year will give you peace of mind and typically cost less per year. If you conduct the rest of your business as thoughtfully as you've chosen and registered your domain name, your business is going to be around for a long time anyway!

So let's review.

Choose a domain name that reflects your company. Find a domain registrar. Register your name along with common misspellings and alternate extensions.

And now you have your Web address, so customers can find you.

Problem solved.