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Ten Tips For A Great Domain Name

Location. Location. Location. That’s the common phrase you’ll hear when it comes to considering a physical location for your business. It’s what will have a significant effect on the price you pay for your brick and mortar business  location, too.

Just as you needed to take time and carefully consider naming and locating your physical business, you’ll need to do the same thing when it comes time to establish a business on the Internet. You will need a Domain Name – the common English representation of your online business. If you’re new to the online world of business, commonly referred to as  eCommerce, here are some pointers for you to consider when naming your online enterprise.

1. Make It Unique

Be sure to make your domain as unique as possible. The more unique your name is, the better it is for branding purposes. Also, make sure that the name is not too close to an existing domain name or does not contain a  trademarked name or phrase. Choosing a name too similar to one for an already established firm is going to work  against you.

2. Dot-Coms FIRST

Whenever possible use only a “.com” extension. This will save your potential customers a lot of confusion. Despite what the originators of the internet intended when creating the various extensions (.com, .biz, .net, .org, .info, etc.) people still make an automatic assumption that all domain names end in “.com”. So use that to your advantage.

3. Think Of The End Result

Search Engine Optimization is a field unto itself – but it simply means doing everything you can to have your website listed at the top of the major search engines for your chosen keywords. These key words should describe what your  website will be about.

Put yourself in your potential customers position. Try to think of what someone looking for the product or service you offer would type into a search engine to try and find it. For instance, if you have a service to help people with their  resumes, they might type (I Need A Better Resume). Your domain name could be something like BetterResume.com or  ResumeHelper.com

4. Make it Easy to Remember

Your domain name should be something that most people find easy to remember. Think of if you have to tell  somebody what your name is. Will they be able to remember it without writing it down.

5. Keep it Short/Simple

Keep your domain name short and to the point. Having a shorter name plays into how easy it is to remember, and how easy it is to type correctly. Remember the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle.

6. Avoid hyphens and numbers

Stay away from hyphens or numbers in your domain name. Domain names can only be letters, numbers, and dashes.  Using numbers (such a 4 instead of for) can add to confusion and lost opportunities.

7. Make it Relevant

Try to keep your domain name descriptive and relevant to your content. When someone hears it, or sees it for the first time, it should give them a general idea of what your website is all about. In other words, your domain name should be  a bit intuitive. This will help people find you when searching for what you are selling.

If you are selling dog collars, a domain like woof.com, while being “in the vicinity,” does not really tell them that you are selling dog collars.

8. Skip Something Trendy

Don’t try to be trendy or hip or catch the latest fad. That is, unless your website is specifically targeting those people who think they are trendy and hip. Or you are selling something related to the latest fad going around.

What passes for hip now will likely fade into the background and work against you in the long run. Remember that your domain name is quite possibly the very first thing your potential customers see or hear of you.

9. Watch for Dual Meanings

Some people have registered and used domain names without really looking into other ways in which they could be interpreted.

therapistfinder.com can be thought of as “therapist finder” OR “the rapist finder
penisland.com can be seen in two ways as well “pen island” OR “penis land
madriver.com might be either “ma driver” OR “mad river

10. Register Using a Major Registrar

Stick with one of the major players when registering your domain name. You might pay a few dollars more for the  name, but those few extra dollars might save you from hours and hours of trouble in the long run. Don’t go to some out  of the way place who you’ve never heard of just to try to save a few bucks.  Your domain name is not the place to try  and save.

Who are some reputable registrars? My favorite is NameCheapOthers are Network Solutions, Go Daddy, Bulk Register, eNom and HostGatorto name a few.

There you have it, my tips on creating a long-lasting, great domain name.  If you’d like help brainstorming your domain name, feel free to contact me using the Contact link above.

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Posted by Steve Maziarz - May 11, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Categories: Business, Other, Start Up   Tags:

Protecting Your Idea

So, let’s say you’ve got a great idea for a Facebook Application, Online Game, WordPress Widget, iPhone App, etc.  that you think has a lot of potential to make money.  But, you are not a programmer or software developer. What do you do?  How do you realize any money from just your idea since you personally do not have the skills to pull it off?

STEP 1 – Establish Ownership

Back when I was a young pup facing a similar circumstance, I had the good fortune to run into an old and wise attorney in my town who suggested that I do something fairly simple to prove that my idea was in fact mine.  He had me go home and write my idea down on paper and then come back to his office.  He added a small paragraph to the bottom of the document where I swore that it was my original idea.  He made three copies.  He had his secretary notarize all three copies. I kept one copy, he kept one copy and the other was mailed to me via certified mail with return receipt requested. The return receipt went to his office.

When I inquired as to what all this was about, he explained that this would clearly establish that it was my idea and when I had it.  He and his legal assistant were both witnesses to the whole thing and could also testify in court as to the authenticity of the documents should the need ever arise.   Plus, having the sealed certified letter containing an exact copy of the document would be “icing on the cake.”

Ever since that time, if I have an idea that I think has the potential to generate revenue and I elect to pursue it, these are the first steps I take to establish my idea and ownership of it.

Now, you can go even further and pursue a patent on your idea and concept. But this is costly and time consuming and is, in my opinion, only worth doing if there are millions at stake and you have some investors that can foot the bill for the patents.

STEP 2 – A Confidentiality Agreement

Once you have established your idea as yours, you’ll want to have a Confidentiality Agreement at your disposal.  This is a legal document which protects your idea even further.  In your search for a partner to help develop your idea for you, you are going to have to tell them what you want them to do.  But, BEFORE you tell them your idea, you have them sign a Confidentiality Agreement.  In essence,  it states that they will not use your idea for their benefit and will not tell anyone else about your idea.

Any competent developer with ethics and morals will have no problem signing such an agreement.  Especially if it has a few key clauses in it that protect their interests as well.  Remember that you may NOT be the only one who had such an idea.  What happens if, after you tell the person or company your idea they say, “We are already working on that.”  With the right clause in the Confidentiality Agreement, they are protected.

However, it’s been known to happen that they lied when they said, “We are already working on that.” They saw the huge potential and they wanted to claim the idea as their own. It’s happened more than once.  That’s where what you did in Step One really comes in handy.  Can they PROVE when they had the idea and started working on it?  Maybe not.  But YOU sure can!

In another post, I’ll give you some tips on finding the right developer to help bring your idea to reality.

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Posted by Steve Maziarz - December 16, 2009 at 8:09 am

Categories: Business, Start Up   Tags: ,