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How do you obtain a domain name?

You can get a domain name in two ways: 1.)register the domain name yourself; 2.)get your web host service provider to register the domain name for you.

If you prefer to register a domain name yourself, choosing a Registrar will be the first step. Choosing from hundreds of registrars can be tricky and some of them may even offer a low yearly fee. If you choose to have a web host register the domain name for you, the provider will have their own approved registrar. Since providers are doing this process many times, the essential information they need are already available. The process can save time and effort.


Why register?

Private registration is encouraged to keep unsolicited e-mails and phone calls at bay. Registering a domain without private registration will make your information accessible to the public and  you can become a likely target of companies sending unsolicited mails, e-mails and phone calls.



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Domain name alternatives

If your business is not in a place to take on the expense of a premium domain name or if your domain name is already taken, there are many other options you can consider.

  • Choose a slightly alternate version or an abbreviated version of your desired name. Get creative, but don’t settle for too long a name or anything that could be confusing or unrelated to your business or brand.
  • Use a different domain extension. According to Google, there is no preference given to .com addresses over any other extension. If your business reflects a certain nTLD and will create a memorable web address, go for it!
  • Use a slogan instead of the company name. As long as it’s succinct, recognizable, and will reflect your brand, this could be a good way to generate marketing.

Find a domain name your customers will remember

A strong domain name is important for any size business, at any stage of development. It will entice consumers with a snappy slogan or unique title, it should promote a sense of professionalism and satisfaction, and it should separate your business from others in your industry. Think of it like you’re deciding on a company logo, because the two should go hand-in-hand. Your domain name must be a reflection of your brand, simple, and memorable.



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Country code TLD (ccTLD)

A country-specific TLD can be useful if you conduct your business within a certain country. If you have a moving company in London, for instance, a domain name like bigbenmovers.uk will prompt Google to target searches locally in the U.K. directly to your site. A ccTLD narrows the focus of your business to a geo-specific region.

Premium domains

For the most part, a .com address is ideal, but if your desired domain name is not available, don’t despair. Your dream domain might still be available, but it will probably cost you.

A current operating business may be using the domain, but oftentimes, domains are purchased and never used, the company has gone out of business, or the domain was snatched up as an investment and is for sale. These are known as Premium Domains. If you are convinced that your business must have a certain unavailable domain name to succeed, investing in a premium domain name upfront could pay off in the long run.

Benefits of a premium domain

  • Simple, short, and sweet: Since just about all of the common words and phrases are already registered as a domain, going premium might be your only hope to brand your company using a succinct or catchy domain name.
  • Credibility: A highly valued domain will instantly thrust your site into the realm of the top players in your industry, and establish trust with the public that could otherwise take years to develop.
  • Attract more commerce: With a simple and direct premium domain name, such as petinsurance.com (taken by Nationwide Insurance) or visitparis.com, people looking for your product or service can bypass a Google search and simply type the address into the search bar and be sent directly to your site.
  • Highly esteemed: Most premium domains have been around for a long time, and have accrued a ton of backlinks, which drive consumers with referrals from other sites to your own. This also has a big impact on the site’s SEO ranking.
  • A solid investment: If your business grows like you hope it will, the value of your premium domain name will also increase. Therefore, it becomes a very desirable asset if you choose to sell it down the road.

The cost of a premium domain name will vary based on several factors, but consider taking a long-term view on its value when formulating your brand.

Investing in premium domains

There are many professional investors who specialize in premium domain names and will resell them later when their value increases. If you see an opportunity to capitalize on the perfect domain name, or several, this could be your chance to start investing. After all, some domain names have skyrocketed in value over the years because of their simplicity, credibility, backlinks, and other valuable advantages.

Here is a look at some of the most highly valued domain names and what they were sold for:

  • Insurance.com – $35.6 million
  • VacationRentals.com — $35 million
  • PrivateJet.com – $30.18 million
  • Internet.com – $18 million
  • 360.com – $17 million

If you think that’s something, consider that the domain name cars.com was valued at a staggering $872 million when the company was sold for a total of $2.5 billion just a couple of years ago. So, if you have an inkling for the next up-and-coming domain name, jump on it before someone else does!