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Domain Name Registration Explained
How important is your domain name? If you are promoting or selling online
it is extremely important. Not only is it your company's brand name, but it's
also your address in cyberspace. Once you've selected what that name will be,
you must register it with one of the hundreds of registrars. This is not the
easiest task due to the fact that your first choice may already be taken. Here
are some tips on how to come up with an effective domain name and how to go
about registering it.
Step 1: List all the words that relate to your business idea
List all words relating to your business’ category, products, services,
core audiences, and key differentiating factors. The longer this list, the
better. Your goal is to brainstorm a business name that is striking and memorable.
Step 2: Brainstorm business name word combinations.
Chances are that each of these keywords has already been taken separately.
Now you can utilize the list previously made and begin to form two-word combinations.
Ideally, you'll come up with a business name that makes you stand out from
the crowd. While you're not quite at the stage of selecting a domain name,
the characteristics of a good domain name are as follows:
- Not easily confused with others
- Hard to misspell
- Relates to your core business
- Sounds solid to your target audience
Useful tools are also available on the Net to help you combine words and come
up with domain names.
Step 3: Check domain name availability
Only when you have developed a number of possible company (or product) names,
should you begin the domain name search. The reason is that many good domain
names will already be taken, and you may be influenced to only use domain names
that are left over.
Check all of your top name choices, and minor variations of them. Note which
domain names are available as a “.com” and those that are available
with your country designation, such as “.fr” or “.ca”.
Also note domain names that have already been purchased. These days there are
many more domain names than there are active web sites. In many cases, over
eager domain speculators have bought up blocks of names, and are having a difficult
time unloading them at the prices they were hoping for.
Step 4: Check trade-mark availability
In conjunction with deciding on a business name and a corresponding domain
name, make sure you check the trade-mark database for your country. You can
also find databases online for most countries. Make sure you cover your own
country first, then other countries where you want to avoid confusion. Some
online databases are:
Step 5: Register domain name(s)
It is recommended that you register all variations of your domain name. It
is important to claim both .com and .ca top-level domain names so you can catch
more traffic. You can also direct more than one domain to your website. This
is ideal if your company name is long, difficult to spell, or is not easily
recognized. This also enables additional search engine registrations. If you
know customers will misspell your domain name, you might want to register common
Just for information, new domains have been created. Here's a quick review
of the seven new categories:
Step 6: Purchase already owned domain name(s)
If the domain name you wish to use for your company is already taken, you
always have the option of negotiating a purchase price with the owner of the
domain. Some are concerned about the price of previously purchased domain names
getting jacked up if interest is shown. One way to handle this concern is to
find out who the owner of the domain is and then to contact them. You can locate
owners through www.webnames.ca and
by searching the “who is” database of CIRA.ca and netsol.com..
Here is an example of a possible letter:
Dear Domain Owner,
I've been thinking about starting an online business selling (your business).
I've come up with about a dozen really good possible domain names, one of
which is yours. If you're interested in selling, I'd like to see if we can
come to an agreement about price. Fortunately, since I've identified a dozen
good domain names, I'm not under pressure to purchase the one you own, but
if your price is right, it might help me select yours, and put some fast
cash in your pocket.
This way you don't sound too eager, but do show your willingness to negotiate.
The domain name owner can’t push the price up too high, because he knows
you have other options.
Useful Information Sources
CIRA - www.cira.ca
Network Solutions -www.netsol.com