Selecting the Right Domain Name - Part II

posted Jan 15, 2012, 1:48 PM by Neil Levine   [ updated Feb 4, 2012, 8:20 AM ]
Bit Genesis Software welcomes you to Part II in our series of articles regarding domain name selection for your business or organization.  
If you have not read Part I of our series you can find it by clicking here:  


Once again, we continue by addressing some of the nuances of selecting the optimum Domain Name for your small business or organization.  In this article we answer some of the questions which we've encountered from our customers and also mention some things to be wary of.  As always, you can enlist us to assist you as we have significant expertise and experience which we then bring directly to you.  
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In this article we continue to address questions regarding domain name selection:
Domains
Q. Should I Choose a Domain Name Which Exactly Matches my Business Name?

A. Ideally Yes.  But, Let's Qualify That..

To begin with we will start by giving you the bad news: by now virtually every one word Domain Name has been taken by someone else as well as virtually everyone's last name.  You can also give up on: candleSticks.com, greetingCards.com, jonesDeli.com, fredMiller.com, handyman.com, and probably threeStar or fiveStar anything dot com.  You have to be realistic as you are competing for a namespace with virtually everyone else on the planet now!  

In addition, if your business does have a fairly common name such as:  "Sue's Flower Shop", "Larry's Pizza", "Main Street Market", or "Springfield Photography" then there will likely be many more businesses with the same or similar names across the US and other countries which will confound and confuse your visitors as well as those who search for your site.  There are ways to mitigate this problem which we employ, but you have to be flexible or you will likely encounter some of the other pitfalls we've seen our customer's hit in the past.

Q. How Do I Deal with Special Characters in my Business Name (such as apostrophe, ampersand, hyphens, etc.)?

A. For Starters Let's Address That By Saying That it is Normally a Mistake to Try and Include Them...

For starters, apostrophe's are not even allowed in any Domain Names.  So, if you own "Henrietta's Bridal Shop", your best case match would be: henriettasbridalshop.com (which is available at this time by the way...).  If you happen to have an ampersand in your business name, such as:  "Dewey Cheetham & Howe" (a law firm) you are likewise out of luck as ampersands are also not allowed in Domain Names.  Often times we find that the business owner is so bent on matching their business name, that they resort to replacing the ampersand with the word "and" or sometimes just "n".  In this case your best case match would then be: deweycheethamandhowe.com (also available at this time), but that is quite tedious to type, not to mention ugly to look at and error-prone to remember.  Even deweycheethamnhowe.com is not much better in our opinion.

Hyphens are allowed, so if your business name was "Jackman-Hough Landscaping" you could actually purchase "jackman-houghlandscaping.com" (which is also available).  Before you get too excited by this you should realize that most people won't remember that your domain has a hyphen in it.  In addition, if you were hoping to exactly match your business name by adding some hyphens (which don't already exist in your business name), please give that up now.  For example, if your business name is "Three Star Cleaners", it is highly unlikely that your customers will remember to find you at "three-star-cleaners.com".

Numbers are fine also, in-fact your entire domain name could be a number (not 8675309.com though, which is already taken). However, in practice this is not really all that useful for most of our customers.  Again, there is a tendency with some of our customers to try and replace "Hairshop For Men" with hairshop4men.com or "DirectMail To You" with directmail2u.com in order to exactly match the business name, which of course in our opinion is a mistake as your own customers will have to remember it and type it.