Because domain names are products that carry a certain market value, trading in domain names has become a serious business in its own right. People buy and sell domain names on domain auction sites and prices vary from very cheap to astronomically expensive, depending on the perceived brand or keyword value of the name.
However, if you can choose a domain for your website that has never been used before you will be able to register it for less than $20 without having to buy it at all.
How To Choose A Domain Name
There are two approaches to choosing a suitable domain for your website: (1) Branding, and (2) keywords.
1. Branding – Use your own name or company name as the domain name of your website.
If you want to raise the profile of your company and turn it into brand in its own right, using it as your domain name is a great idea.
Take a company like Amazon.com for example. There is nothing in the domain name amazon.com to suggest that Amazon sells books, yet when you hear the name Amazon you will probably think either of a big river in South America, or a big bookstore on the Internet, and in many cases it will be the latter that is thought of first!
That is the power of brand names.
Some people choose to turn their own name into a brand name. Entrepreneurs, politicians, artists will often secure their own name as their brand name. The most famous recent example of this is now living in the White House. You can check out his website at barackobama.com.
So, branding yourself via your domain name can be a very smart move.
However, if you are just starting out, you might want to consider using relevant keywords in your domain name to raise the profile of your website. This is an excellent idea if you are promoting a well defined niche market.
2. Keywords – Choose a domain name that reflects the type of business you are in.
There are a couple of advantages to be had with a keyword rich domain. Firstly, it sends a clear message to anybody searching for the products you are selling that your website is the place to find them. Secondly, the keywords in your domain will help your website’s search engine ranking for those particular words.
Choosing a Keyword Rich Domain Name
Make a list of keywords that are related to the main theme or chief content of your website. Aim to get a domain name with one or two of your keywords in it; a short domain name is better but you will probably need to use more than one keyword to find a domain name that is available.
The easiest way to work on your domain name is to use a free domain search website such as http://instantdomainsearch.com/ and type your ideas straight into the search browser to instantly discover whether or not they are available. If your first search is not successful, play around with the keywords and try to find a good combination that (a) makes some kind of sense, (b) is a fair reflection of what your business is about and (c) is available.
Also, if you are planning on starting a business site, make sure that you get the.com extension. Generally speaking, domains that end in .com are easier to remember and look more professional. However, if your business is focused on a single country then you might want to use .co.uk, co.jp, etc.
If your chosen domain name is not available and is one that you have set your heart upon, you may be able to buy it from the owner. As I mentioned, many people buy and sell domain names as a business. Be warned, though… A domain name with a couple of high ranking keywords in it is likely to be expensive. Whereas you can register an available domain name for a few dollars, you may have to spend several thousand dollars to secure a great domain name on the open market.