Factors to Consider When Choosing a Domain Name for Your Small Business

By: Brian Horn on: December 16th, 2009 6 Comments

Phone numbers used to be the thing. Business owners wanted phone numbers that were easy to remember – numbers stuck in a person’s head.

What was the number for that pizza place? Oh yeah, 555-1234.

Website domains have become the new phone number. And you’re not limited to the numbers one through nine. With domain names, you have the ability to extend your brand and make it so much easier for potential customers to find, remember, and come to your business.

As simple as it seems to pick a domain name – there are still a few important factors that you need to consider. Domain names are an extension of your brand, your business, you.

They’re also important tools that you can use to attract potential customers to your services.

Should I use my business’ name?

This is one option to consider. It also depends on what your business name is. If your business name is “Cipriano and Sons Classic Family Italian Restaurant of Greater Miami” then you might want to consider another option. www.ciprianoandsonsclassicfamilyitalianrestaurantsofgreatermiami.com is not going to fit onto business cards or the sides of trucks very well.

Plus, when somebody is trying to remember your website, they might leave out an ‘of’ or an ‘and’ and then won’t be able to get to the site.

Even if you’re a Miami based Italian restaurant using the business named “Cipriano’s Italian” you will want to consider a few things. www.ciprianositalian.com might not be available – but you’ll want to think about how you are going to utilize your domain name.

There are other options to get something similar:

  • Try to pick up the “.net” version of the domain. Sometimes it is still available. Don’t go for the “.tv” or “.info” or any of the other lesser domains (however once you find your “.com” site buy up all other domain extensions)
  • Add “The” to the beginning (if WingPlace.com is not available TheWingPlace.com might be available).
  • Add the city name (MiamiWingPlace.com).

It’s easy to try to just jump right into putting together a website – but before you purchase your domain, make sure you’ve taken the time to sit down and carefully map out your goals and needs for your business’ website.

Putting together a plan in the beginning will make the process go much smoother as well as make it easy for you to focus your site on your small business’ specific needs.

Invest in your website so that it will invest in your small business marketing.

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    Brian Horn, of HornDog Search Marketing, is recognized by many as the "Glazer-Kennedy Secret Weapon", because of his role in helping not only Dan Kennedy and Bill Glazer with search engine optimization and social media, but also many of the top Information Marketers in the world. Brian shares SEO tips for small businesses over at at his blog, BeOnPage1Blog.com.

    6 Responses

    1. I counsel my local business owner clients NOT to lazily use their business name as their URL.

      To attract a lot more traffic and therefore make a lot more money, they should use a keyword-rich domain name that positions them as THE obvious choice in their market.

      For example, “Cipriano’s Italian Restaurant” would be a lot better off securing the domain http://www.MiamiItalianRestaurant.com or http://www.BestMiamiItalianFood.com etc.

      Similarly, http://www.BestPlumberInChicago.com is a heck of a lot better choice than http://www.CzaplanskyAndSons.com or .net or any other non-keyword, “me me me” type URL.

      Just my opinion.

    2. I’ve had many people comment on one of the urls we use. Our “professional” name is diadoostudio.com yet we also have boringwalls.com … although it is the exact opposite of what our service is (extreme wall makeover . com – we own that too) I had a Sherwin Williams rep tell me … “as I googled and looked down the list… I was like ‘what! boringwalls.com, I gotta check this out, and here I am today standing in front of you checking out your work” It pays to be different. It pays to think before setting up your website.

      Thank you for the article. Keep up the great work!


    3. I like that, Mr. Venetian!

      http://www.WorstPlumberInChicago.com and http://www.BadItalianFood.com might work to get some attention, too.

      Thanks for adding a couple of tools to my local business consulting arsenal!

    4. Charles says:

      taking the time to sit down and carefully map out your goals and needs for your business’ website. thank you Brian

      Steve you are right on the me me me observation. thanks

    5. Rob Anspach says:

      … in my carpet cleaning biz (I have several domains… http://www.premierecarpetcleaners.com and http://www.freecarpetcleaningoffer.com

      …in my consulting biz I have about 35 domains with several variations all pointing to my site http://www.robanspach.com

      …although using your biz name is still good to reserve your spot in domain searching it is also good to buy domains that are content rich

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