Having a girl as our first born child was a big surprise, and not because we waited to find out the sex. At 20 weeks, we had our first regular ultrasound and were told we were having a boy. We received all boy cloths for our baby shower and we even had a boy name selected. That June, we were surprised when, in fact, we had a girl! She remained baby “L” until a proper name was chosen.

Coming up with a domain name for your website might not be as important a decision as choosing a child’s name, but you should still take it seriously and choose very carefully. For most of the new websites we design, update or maintain, a domain name is already set up and part of a corporate branding strategy. Occasionally, a client will come to us and need our services to provide advice on naming a domain for either a new company, a blog or new product launch. So, we would like to offer a few tips on choosing a great domain name.

The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a domain name is that people need to be able to remember it, and easily type it into their browser. In terms of simplicity, try to use your existing business name. This will help to establish your brand identity and ensure that your existing customers can find you on the web.

If using your business name is not an option, then consider a name which is relevant to your business, easy to understand and includes main key words or industry related phrases.  Another option is to choose a domain name that is unique enough that you can build a brand around it. This strategy of a made-up, clever name with a distinct identity may just pay off in the future if it catches on and becomes well known. Think of some of the best like Google, Yahoo or Facebook.

We also suggest that companies register several similar domain names. A good rule of thumb is to register your business name, individual product names or service-type designation and if you are a small company, register your personal name. You can then point all of those domain names to one website. It is best to stick with the .com extension for a business because of the credibility that comes with it plus it is easiest for most users to remember.

There’s more to a website’s success or failure than its domain name. However, taking the time to choose the perfect name may ease the teasing! Make sure to check back next week for Part Two: Domain Names and Bullies.