We’ll start out with the first thing that any prospective customers to your website will see: Your domain name. Below you will find a collection of very useful hints-and-tips for when you are picking your domain name.


Whatever the type of online presence you decide to have (blog or website), you need to get a domain name. Don’t just hurry to register a domain name though. Take your time and choose it wisely because a good domain name can be an extremely valuable asset for your business. Take your time to consider the many and varied options available to you.


Ideally, your domain name should be short, memorable, easy to spell & type and be descriptive of your website. Choose a common domain name extension such as .COM, .NET or .ORG. It’s also strongly recommended to perform keyword research prior to registering a domain name as a keyword-rich domain name can help you rank better in the Search Engines. For example if you want your site to rank well in the Search Engines for “sky diving”, you should try to get a domain name that contains the words “sky” and “diving”.


Once you have a few domain name ideas in mind, go to a domain name registrar like Afiahost.com and perform a few searches.
Once you found one you like, register it! After you purchase your domain name, you will need to point it to the name-servers of your web hosting, if you already know them.
We’re often asked how to go about picking an effective domain name and we’re only happy to oblige with our essential domain name checklist below:


1. What’s the purpose of the domain name?
How are you planning to use this name? If the domain name will be your primary company website, try finding the closest version to your company name that you can. If you’re just starting out, choose your business name and domain name with care. Make sure your visitors know what your domain name means or, if it’s an acronym, what it stands for.


2. Brainstorm a list of ideas of the problem you’re trying to solve or the solution that you have.
A domain name that clearly indicates what you do (AfiaHost.com), or a problem that you solve, or a solution that you have to a problem will give a visitor a fairly clear picture of what he’ll/she’ll find on your website. Visit the domain checker at the AfiaHost website, and just start plugging in the names you’re brainstorming until you come up with 3 or 4 that are available.


3. For Search Engine Optimization (S.E.O.) purposes, it helps to have your keywords in your domain name.
Before buying your domain, make a list of keywords that someone might use to find you online. This list could include your industry, your target market or niche, a problem your target market has, or a solution that you can offer.


4. Shorter is better, if it’s to be your primary domain.
If the domain name is going to be your primary domain where your primary email address will be housed, you want your domain name to be as short, catchy, and memorable as possible. After a few times of spelling out your lengthy email address, you’ll come to appreciate the beauty of a short domain name. Your domain name can contain up to 67 letters and numbers (although we would encourage you NOT to have one of this length) and can contain no special characters other than hyphens.


5. Purchase your given name as a domain name.
It pays to purchase your given name as a domain name, as well as any common misspellings of your name. Once you’ve purchased your name as a domain, you can redirect it to your primary website. This means that when someone types in a domain, they land at the website to which you pointed that domain.


6. Buy the .COM version of the name if it is available.
When people hear a domain name, they “hear” .COM whether it’s .NET or .BIZ or .ORG or whatever. So, it pays to find a domain name that you like that is part of the .COM family. If you just can’t get the name you want, try a hyphenated version of the .COM name. Many S.E.O. specialists state that Search Engines like hyphenated names, and many online business owners use hyphenated keywords in their domain names to be more attractive to Search Engines. Some domain name holders may be willing to sell you the domain name that you want.


7. Consider owning other versions of your primary domain name.
If you are registering the .COM version of a domain for your business, you may also want to secure variations of the name, alternate spellings, common misspellings, and the .NET and .ORG versions of your domain and re-point them to your main site to keep them out of the hands of your competitors.
There. Your domain name is the beginning of the establishment of your presence online; take some time and put some thought into the process so that the domain name serves you well in the years to come. It is an effective tool for helping you get more clients online!