One of the first things an entrepreneur should consider is registering either a single domain, or multiple domain names. Registration can be expensive at first, and unless you know what you are doing, you can make some costly mistakes. When my company first began registering names in 2006, we purchased hundreds before settling on a fraction of them shortly thereafter. And while we stuck with many of them, it’s easy to look back today and regret that we didn’t choose better names.

Getting Started

I’ve found that a good way to start your entrepreneurial endeavor is to start blogging on a free platform such as Blogger, Tumblr, or WordPress before jumping in to the world of domain name registration. This way, you can test your mettle and see what works. Once your blog has begun generating traffic, you can easily transfer your url from xyxyxy.blogspot.com to a domain of your choosing.

There are several things to consider once you’re ready to make your initial purchase. The first question you should ask yourself is, what is the primary keyword you want to target? While search engines have gone great lengths, and continue to try, to limit the power of exact match domains, using your primary keyword in the url will play a critical role in your ultimate success.

Choosing Your Domain Name

It is helpful to choose a domain with your primary keyword paired with another more general or self-branded term that doesn’t pigeon-hole you to a specific type of content. For instance, if you plan to write about shower curtain rods, don’t choose a domain name like plasticshowercurtainrods.com. This will limit your ability to write about any other variation you may desire in the future.

You must also consider recent algorithm changes in the major search engines and the direction in which they are going. Google’s latest update puts an added emphasis on click-through-rate (CTR). You are doomed before you begin if you choose an ugly domain name like best-pink-shower-curtain-rods.biz. Users aren’t going to click on a site with that name, Google will take note, and your search engine ranking position (SERP) will plummet into the depths of nowhere. Search engines reward shorter domain names and punish lengthy, ugly, and multiple word urls. Pick a domain name that will be intriguing enough for users to want to click through to see what you have to say, and easy to remember when they want to come back.

Purchasing

Take your time. You might be disappointed to see just how many names have already been registered. You may have to go with your second or third best option. It’s important to brainstorm as many ideas for names as possible to avoid this from happening. Remember, your name will be your identity and a critical part of your success, so don’t rush the process or take any shortcuts.

Whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap of accepting any of the suggestions your registrar makes after you enter your top choice. Never buy a hyphenated domain, or one that ends in anything but .com, .net, or .org.

It’s incredibly easy to transfer your blog to your new domain once you have completed your purchase. Here is an easy guide to doing so on the Blogger platform.

You should now be ready to go!