A domain is more than just a name…

The one decision you make when creating your website that will have the most long-term impact on generating site traffic is the selection of the domain name itself, says Jason Otis, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for Axletree Media.

“You cannot underestimate the importance of narrowing down an effective name,” Otis said. “Your website address should be displayed on almost everything you print – whether it’s invoices, business cards, or even decals for truck vehicles. You’ll also want to be able to tell someone over the phone how to access your website, which means you need an easy spelling. So think of how you’ll be using your website address and choose something that makes sense for multiple purposes.”

Now that the Internet is approaching the 100-million mark for domain names in use around the world, finding a non-duplicated selection could take some time.

In the old days, locally owned businesses were doing what they needed to do to avoid confusion when they steered clear of using company names similar to others in their region. Domain names are another matter entirely – because you’ll sometimes find people vying for the same name from the tip of Maine to the tip of Florida and on to the coast of California and pretty much anywhere else in the world.

Still, you can’t set up shop on the web without one, so let the search begin.

Keeping the following tips in mind will help:

  • Choose a domain name that is logical, memorable and as short as possible.
  • Select a name as close as possible to your business name.
  • Avoid using hyphens or other symbols.
  • Consider registering misspellings. For instance,,, and all take you to the site for Carrabba’s Italian grill.