Choosing Your Own Address
Cybersquatter, n. Person who buys a domain name with the intent of later selling it at an inflated price.
Some people feel that all the good domain names are taken. It's true that cybersquatters have pursued almost all the acronyms and one-word phrases they can think of, leaving the small businesspeople to scrounge for names that don't seem half as catchy as Yahoo!® and Amazon.com®.
But a domain name does not have to be the name of your business. It just has to make sense! Let me suggest some rules to follow:
Think of keywords people will use to search for your business. Including those words in your name can help boost your search engine rank, as well as be memorable. Let's consider John Doe, who sells homes in Miami, Florida. www.johndoe.com is a lousy choice for a real estate agent, because nobody knows that's what John Doe does for a living! www.johndoerealty.com is a much better choice.
Remember your locale! www.miami-homes-and-condos.com is even better for John, and is probably available. If not, he could try www.miami-condos-and-homes.com, or www.miamifloridahomes.com, or any number of variations.
Don't worry about finding a name that is easy to remember. Remember: 99% of the visits to most websites come from clicks and links from other sites, whether it is a search engine, a directory, or a previous bookmark. That means only 1% of your visitors need to be able to remember your name and type it in. Encourage visitors to bookmark the pages of homes they like so they can come back later.
You can use more than just letters - hyphens and numbers are valid, too. Also, your name doesn't have to be a .com (for company ) just because you're a business. Although .com is the most popular extension, .net, .us, and .biz are all valid for any company or individual to use.
Be careful about homonyms that might confuse people. A real estate agent specializing in beachfront or riverfront properties might think www.reelestate.com would attract fishermen, but it will probably also make some people think he just doesn't know how to spell.
I hope these rules are helpful for you. Remember, a domain name costs less than $10, and can point to an existing website with little difficulty. If you already have a website, but think of new names you'd like to use, it's very little trouble to get them up and going in less than a week.
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