The Right Domain Name

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KittenKathy sells cats.  She specializes in exotics and recently has plans to open an online store to sell and cater to these breeds.  Kathy has hired a designer for her new site; however she is having a problem finding a domain name – one that will give her store an online identity with the right public recognition.

Kathy wants her online domain identity to gel with her current store; a name that is creative with the ability to attract site visitors, one that will not get lost among the millions of other generic cat specialty sites on the internet.

Finding the right domain name for any business is challenging and can be a big decision as they are not easily changed

So what’s the best way to select a domain name with just the right image?

Here are a few guidelines to help you with that process

  1. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes or search engine in this case.  What words and phrases would you use to find an exotic cat pet breeder and supplier?  Siamese, exotics, cat stuff?
  2. As you search with those specialized key words, notate the ones that you think of that specifically relate to your business in both originality and brand recognition.
  3. Think of your brand, and how it stands out from your competition – what name would do that?  Remember for the most part an online store is worldwide and so is your audience.  Kathy’s current brick and mortar business, Kathy’s Cat House is available (as of this writing) as a .com, but the name may speak to a difference audience than her local store.  She should register this name just in case she decides to use it if she can’t find another.
  4. Registering more than one domain name for a given business is common.  The hosting company you decide to use can always forward other names to one specific domain.  For example, if you type in mailing-list-services.com you’ll be directed to mailinglistservices.com.
  5. Whether you are planning to hire a designer or design the site yourself think long term.  The more people that search for you, to seek out your expertise and products, the more your domain name will be used – both off and online.  Should you find a name you can use for multiple locations and more importantly does the name elicit exuberance?  Is the name limiting? For example, if you decide at some time to focus just on Persian Exotics having a domain like thesiamesebox.com wouldn’t work?
  6. When searching for your ideal domain name, avoid using non-alpha characters like a dash and numbers? Think memorable, can people remember your domain name the first time they hear it? Is it easy to remember, recognizable when they see it or hear it? Is it easy to spell and say?

And what about the extension, should it be a .com, .biz or a .net?  There’s so many to choose from.

The extension of your domain name is used to label your domain as a top-level domain and can hurt or help your sites SEO.  The most popular is the .com which indicates the domain is commercial where a .net would indicate the domain is a network initially developed for companies involved in networking technology such as dundee.net as opposed to our website hosting company, dwli.com 

Kathy’s research went something like this:

Siamese
Siamese

You can see that a domain name, is more than just a name.  It’s a brand, it’s you, it’s your company image.  Kathy has research ahead of her, which includes researching possible variations, alternatives to misspellings

Kathy’s research went something like this:

purrfecexotics.com  (taken)
She tried exoticfelines.com (domain for sale)
HAPPYCATEXOTICS.COM  (available.)
thesiamesebox.com  (available)
cathouseboutique.com (taken(
WHISKERSPALACE.COM  (available)

Keep in mind the Internet is home to over a billion of websites.  This means you’ll have to be more creative and maybe do a bit more research to find the right domain name for you.   Avoid trying to capitalize on other established domains, or you may be legally asked to remove it.  (such as purina.com versus purrina.com)

Out of ideas? you can use name generators, keyword searches, brainstorming or just start searching on  https://dwlistore.dwli.net/  and start your search today.

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