Choosing your domain name for your website is one of the most important steps you will take before setting up your own website or online business. It is the centre of your business identity and a direct way in which people will find you on the web.

These following tips from GetOnIT will help you in choosing a good domain name:

1. Brainstorm 5 Top Keywords – When you first begin your domain name search, it helps to have 5 terms or phrases in mind that best describe the domain you’re after. Once you have this list, you can start to pair them or add prefixes and suffixes to create good domain ideas. For example, if you’re launching a mobile phone shop related domain, you might start with words like “ mortgage, finance, home equity, interest rate, house payment” then play around until you can find a good match.

2. Keep It Short – Some domain name registration companies will allow you to register a domain name up to 63 characters long. Try to register a short domain name with as little letters/words as possible but still keeping it relevant to your business or services. People will need to remember your domain name so the easier it is to remember the better, try to choose a name people will associate with your website.

3. What Sort Of Domain Name Do I need – These days there are many different types of domain name extensions and country code TLDs. We would recommend choosing a .com domain name for your website as this is one of the oldest domain suffix and is usually one that most people will try first when searching on the web. If you are in the UK then a domain name extension would also be recommended.

4. Avoid Trade Mark Domain Names – Try to avoid registering a domain name which uses another company trade mark. If you register a domain name with the same name as another company you run the risk of legal proceedings should they ever want to obtain it from you. As a rule of thumb use your own unique name and be original.

5. Avoid Confusing Domain Names – Using mispelt words or hyphens in your domain name may be confusing. Also remember domain names are not case sensitive.

6. Do Your Research – Do your research by making a list of names you like and then asking friends or business associates what they think of your ideas. A name which sounds really good to you may be hard for someone else to remember, or someone you know might be able to come up with a better alternative.

Following is a list of abbreviations to consider for different styles of websites:

NET- The 2nd most popular when .COM is not available. Used for Internet infrastructure or related services

GOV- Used by government agencies

EDU- Used by educational institutions

ORG- Non-profit organisations

CO- Used for COmpany, COmmerce and COmmunity

MOBI- Viewed on a mobile device

BIZ- Perfect for E-Commerce sites

US- Creates an American identity on the Internet, associates with American values

CO.UK – Used for websites in the United Kingdom

ME- All about you, your product/used for blogs, resumes, personal pages and is very popular among the younger consumer.

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