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A strong domain name is the key to your Internet presence. It should be recognizable and relate to your business name, brand, product, and/or activities. Make sure it fits on a business card and is easy to remember whether seen in print or mentioned over the phone.
Use the name people know you by. Don't abbreviate, unless the abbreviation is your company's trademark. Ask your co-
Don't forget to include your domain name in your site's logo and put your domain name on all company promotional materials such as business cards and stationary.
Conventional wisdom states that a good domain name is easy for customers to remember, easy to spell, and short. That said, it's increasingly difficult to secure short domain names among top level domain names such as .com, .net and ,org. In these cases (and you have 67 characters to choose from), it's preferable to choose a meaningful statement such as Lawservice.com.au" or Hotelreservations.com.au," rather than lrs.com or hrs.com
We all know that first impressions can be crucial, so choose your domain name carefully. Domain names often come without spaces, so pay careful attention to the total package. For example, MyCarYard can look like mycaryard.
If your first domain name choice is not available choose another alternative and register a variation of your first choice.
For example, if your business name is Mrs Granny Gardening, but mrsgrannygardening.com.au and the more obvious gardening.com.au are registered, try adding a small letter such as "e" to indicate that it's an online business. Or add the word online. Or add your location to attract local customers:
Once you've got a list of alternatives for your online business, test them with your friends and colleagues to see which ones they like best. Make sure these names can be easily pronounced and spelled by your test audience. Then, rank them in order of popularity.
Consider mistakes people will make when typing your web site address and how your domain name sounds when you have to read it over the phone to a customer. Explaining special characters, abbreviations, and spelling is awkward and doesn't make good business sense. Will customers accidentally make spelling mistakes? Will they use the plural form of a word instead of the singular form, or visa versa? Make a list of possible mistakes, and register additional domain names that incorporate these mistakes.
Register all possible domain name variations related to your company name. If your company's name is hard to spell, register common misspellings. Register every domain people might use to find your company.
Take this example: Before America Online acquired Time Warner for $178 billion, it registered at least 21 domain names that might be useful to the new company, named AOL Time Warner, from AOLTW.com to AmericaOnlineTimeWarner.com. Alternatively, web sites exist that capitalize on misspellings using them as advertising vehicles and diverting customers from your site.
When users search the Internet for a particular product or service they often search by product or service, rather than business name. To increase the chances of having your site found, register extra domain names that relate to your core business or products. If you owned the hypothetical company name of Widgets & Widgets co. but you sold an array of household products, you could register generic domain names relating to all aspects of household goods. You may be too late to snap up obvious domain names such as detergent.com.au or vacuum.com.au, but a little creative thinking into alternatives can be lucrative. These alternative domains can be easily linked to your main web site.
Ensure someone else has not trademarked the name you register. You cannot register names already registered as copyright (for example, McDonalds). Like company names, domain names are unique and cannot be duplicated. Avoid registering domain names that are similar to your competition or to famous trademarks. Businesses have lost their rights to registered domain names due to conflicts with existing trademarks for off-
If your company is located in Australia, you can register a .com.au domain name even if your business activity includes export trade. If you have an international presence, a top-
Conversely, you might open a virtual office in another country. For example, greatbread.com.au could also register greatbread.com, which may "point" towards the same site, attracting a larger audience. Don't forget to check to see if a local presence is required in the country you wish to register.
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