Purchasing a domain name is typically the first step, and an important one, in building your online presence. There are a few things you need to know prior to choosing your domain name that will help your company grow online. Let’s Start With The Basics: -A domain name is simply an identification label that provides a memorable name for your website that replaces the IP address. Instead of your customers, clients or subscribers having to remember a string of numbers (IP address) to access your website, they simply type in the word sequence that is your domain name (www.lineberrymarketing.com). -Domain names are purchased through domain registrars. A registrar is simply a reseller of domain names that accesses the Domain Name System to check your requested domain’s availability. If the domain name is available, the domain name is then registered with the domain name system keeping your registered domain reserved for your use only. Multiple companies, individuals or entities cannot have the same domain name as this would obviously cause confusion and access issues. What You Need To Know: -If possible, try including keywords in the domain name that relate to either the services you offer or the geographic area your company serves. By including related keywords in your domain name, you will help influence search engine rankings for your website when people type those keywords into a search engine. For example, a photographer may want to buy the domain name as www.yournamephotography.com, or a custom home builder may want to buy www.companynamecustomhomes.com. -In addition to the domain name that includes your company name combined with service or geographical keywords, you may also consider purchasing a simpler domain such as www.companyname.com. Your web design or internet marketing company can place a permanent redirect on this simpler domain automatically redirecting visitors to the operational domain for your website. -Purchase your domain name for at least two years. There is evidence that the search engines will place a bit more emphasis on a domain name that appears to have staying power, in other words they don’t appear to be a fly-by-night company that is here today but may be gone tomorrow. -If you come up with a domain name that works well for your company and you check the domain’s availability with a domain registrar, PURCHASE IT IMMEDIATELY. Don’t go back to the registrar a few minutes, hours or days later and try to purchase it then. Once your domain’s availability has been checked, you are essentially alerting the registrar that you are interested in this domain. If the registrar feels the domain is a good one, they will purchase it and then try to sell the domain name back to you at a much higher price. If you have any questions, comments or would like more information, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post or submit your question through our Contact Form.