You have a great idea. You have chosen an excellent business name. You have created all the concepts and the systems to run your online business to success. You have the team to run the online business.

Next – you have to choose a great domain name. If it’s merely ‘good’, your online business is only half the potential. Period.

Choosing a great domain name is just as important as choosing a great business name. Fail to do so in the first place will damage your business potential.

You might ask, what’s in a name? In business, as well as in our daily life, a name can command respect, trust, and worthiness. Just to make my point, you simply don’t want to name your child Lazy or Stupid, do you?

What to look in a domain name

Having your business name as your domain name is not always a good way to go.

If your business name is Amazing Retail Company selling laptops, choosing AmazingRetailCompany.com might always seem logical to do.

However, in my opinion, this is not the best route to take.

I recommend you to have keywords in it.

What’s in a keyword? Choosing the right one for your online business will almost always guarantee more organic traffic and better position in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).

For the above example, I would prefer to choose AmazingLaptops.com than AmazingRetailCompany.com.

Where to look for a domain name for you

I highly recommend you to use domain name suggestion tool, such as AptDomain.name.

I use AptDomain.name to look for domain names with the keywords of my choice. The site will suggest you the domain name filled with the keywords you specify, if any. If yours is available, you can buy the domain name from the site.

In my opinion, AptDomain.name is better than most domain name suggestion tool out there because you have more control in your domain name suggestion, such as adding your custom prefix or suffix, as well as choosing keywords in several languages.

Another way is to look for your domain name in domain name marketplaces, such as Sedo.com. Choosing this route, however, will definitely cost you more money, and choosing the one that really suites your brand name is difficult.

Webmaster forums, such as DigitalPoint.com forums are great source for available domain name. Watch for scams, though.

How to choose a great domain name

I have some tips on choosing a great domain name:

  • Always consider dot com over any other TLDs.
  • Always look for a shorter domain name, formed with no more than three words – AmazingRetailCompany.com is ok, but AmazingRetailCompanyinOrlandoFlorida.com is sick :)
  • Always look for domain name with meaningful keywords – xjpzm.com is plain awful.
  • Choose the one that you would like to stick with forever – just like brand names.

Your domain name, your online business

To conclude, let’s say your domain name is your online business.

Online, your domain name is far more important than your brand name – this is why many online businesses have their domain name as their brand name, not the other way around.

Spend your time to look for the right domain name for your business. This could very well your best investment of all.

Ivan Widjaya
Domain name