How to Buy a Domain Name; Tips to Consider When Choosing One

Choosing the right domain name is the first step to establishing your online presence. Your domain name is how your targets and search engines will identify your business and/or brand. The name you choose should, therefore, make sense to the kind of business you’re running. It is imperative that you put specific considerations into place when choosing a name for your domain.  We will share with you some tips to consider when buying a name for your domain.

Do your research

Do not go into the name buying process blind. You need to see what kind of names your competitors are using and confirm that the name you want to choose is available. It is also essential to check the last time the domain was on sale if you’re buying one that already exists.  

Checking the number of times the name has been in the market will let you know how popular it is.

If you don’t want to hassle looking for a name for your domain, you can buy one from sites like Shopify. For as low as $11 per year, Shopify will set up the domain for you. You will need to renew the subscription annually, and the best part about it is that, even if you leave Shopify, for as long as you renew the subscription, you get to keep the domain name.

Keep it simple

Do not get too creative with the name for your domain, because people want something they can easily remember. Avoid words that have weird spellings, too many characters, too many words or even symbols. For example, using a number would confuse a user on whether to type the number or use words. You will find that you keep on explaining yourself, or having to clarify your domain name to people.

Avoid hyphens if you can, because people tend to forget them while typing in the URL.  If you must use a hyphen, do not exceed one. If a competitor has a similar name without the hyphen, you will inadvertently send traffic to their website if the visitor misspells your name.

Another useful trick is to have a short domain name. If it is very long, people will not remember it, or they may misspell it. Consider adding your name so that it stands out; doing this will also give you more variety in your options.

Use simple language

Do not use slang. Remember, what may be acceptable words in one country may be an insult in another. Try to pick meaningful names that are easy to remember by both native and International clients.

Consider the extension

There are many extensions you can choose from including .com, .net, and .org, among others. Sometimes the name you want may not be available on .com platform but may be available on .net platform.  However, note that this could land you into some trouble, because the other party may claim that you are using a variant of their name thus confusing visitors.

If your competitor has the .com extension and you take the .net one, it is likely that many people will not remember your extension because they are more familiar with a.com one. The result is that you will lose out on valuable traffic to your website.

Buy an existing domain name

The advantage of buying a domain name that already exists is that it has a history.  The search engines already know of its existence, and it will, therefore, be easy to find.

However, be careful about its historical background; in case the previous use was not good. For example, if it was a porn site or a gambling site, it could mean that the search engines have banned it; the name will, therefore, be of no use to you.

Make sure you're not buying a trademarked domain

When choosing a domain name, do your research and confirm that the name is not trademarked.  You can find yourself in a legal situation if the owner of the name decides to sue you. It can waste a lot of time and money; something you would have avoided with just a little bit of research.  Different countries have different places you can search for trademark, for instance in the US you can use the platform www.uspto.gov  to get the information.

Brainstorm on domain names

You can have a brainstorm session with your friends and colleagues and list down several domain names before you begin the Domain name search.  The other option is to use online tools which will help you generate different variations to your domain name.

Avoid auction names

There are names like beauty.com or fashion.com; although they are short and easy to remember, they are generic and are often not too memorable. It is not easy to build a brand using one word; you also run the risk of not being identified by the search engines.

Also be advised that such generic names can be expensive, yet they may not offer you much in return.

Pay attention to the fine print

Like any other business transaction, you have to ensure that you understand everything before you sign anything.  Make sure you are clear on things like the renewals for your domain, domain parking, domain forwarding, and hosting options available, among others.

Do not take anything for granted, and where are you feel that you do not understand something, do not be afraid to ask.

Final thoughts

Buying a name for your domain is critical for the success of your business website. Getting the wrong name can land you into a lot of trouble and redirect people from your website onto the competitors. As you can see from our article above, it requires much more than just coming up with the name. Do your research, use the tools available to you, and keep it short, simple and easy to remember. If you feel that you would rather buy a ready name for your domain, sites like Shopify will ease the process for you.

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