Ultimate Guide to Domain Name Registration
The process of registering a domain name is relatively easy. However, choosing a domain name for your business can be a challenging process.
There are hundreds of millions of businesses around the world. Chances are if you have a generic business name such as Joe’s Plumbing, the first domain name of your choice would have already been registered. On the other hand, when you have a unique business name, what would the best domain name to register for your business? This guide will help you decide what kind of domain name you should register for your business in any situation.
What to Name Your Domain Name
Consider a Karate School business named Fast Kicks. Having the domain name fastkicks.com.au would be great for branding and brand awareness, however it doesn’t tell people what fastkicks.com.au may be about. Everyone has different perceptions about phrases, for example, people who are into shoes may expect fastkicks.com.au to be a website which sells shoes. Our recommendation to companies such as Fast Kicks is that in addition to registering fastkicks.com.au they should also consider registering domain names such as karateschool.com.au, fastkickskarate.com.au, fastkickskarateschool.com.au. Having what you do in your domain name will help give your potential audience an idea of what your website is about before entering it.
Location Based and Type of Business
Domain names have an ending trail called TLDs (Top Level Domain) or domain extensions. They can be .com, .net, .org, and many more. If your choice of domain name has already been taken, consider using other domain extensions that has not been registered. For example, if fastkicks.com has already been taken, fastkicks.net may still be available.
If your business is based in Australia and your primary target market is within Australia, register a country specific domain name (Second Level Domain). In Australia, we are offered SLD domain extensions such as .com.au, .net.au, and .org.au. If you have a company that provide party supplies within Australia, a domain name such as partysupplies.com.au will help your audience’s perception of your website. A .com.au domain name will say that your business deals within Australia while a .com domain name may be perceived as an American or global company.
A .com and .net domain names are the most commonly used domain extensions. Traditionally speaking, .com extensions are used for “companies” while .net are used for “internet” companies. Other extensions such as .org.au and .edu.au are restricted to certain types of entities and requires special permissions.
Hyphens and Numbers
Domain names are restricted to alphanumeric characters. There are no symbols and spaces allowed. On the other hand, hyphens – are allowed. This can be used to your advantage when your choice of domain name is already taken. For example, if partysupplies.com.au was already taken, party-supplies.com.au may still be available.
Numbers are also allowed to be on domain names. If your business name contains numbers, such as Take Five and the domain name takefive.com.au has already been taken, take5.com.au may still be available.
Length and Hard to Spell Domain Names
It may seem trivial, however the length of your domain name can help or be against you. Domain names can reach up to 255 characters. This doesn’t mean that it should be exploited. The golden rule is that shorter is better. A shorter domain name is easier to remember and it can be passed on verbally easily. If you have a very unique business name such as Arnold Schwarzenegger Muscle Works, consider creating an abbreviated domain name such as asmw.com.au.
Worst case scenario, if you have a very specific domain name requirement such as plumbing.com, you can try and backorder that domain name. A backorder domain name service is a service that will try to automatically register a domain name once that domain name has expired.
Register More Domains
There is nothing stopping you to register as many domain names as you possibly can. If you have a common business name such as Party Supplies, it is a good idea to monopolise the domain name market for party supplies. This will help build your online market share and block any attempts from your competitors to associate themselves with your brand. Take a scenario where you own the domain partysupplies.com.au, then another party supply company registers partysupplies.net.au. This will affect your business directly as your targeted audience may end up on their website instead of yours.