Your Web Site Domain Name is one of the most important elements of your Web Site. It is the Cyberspace equivalent of your street address in the Real World. This makes the choice of your Domain Name one of most, if not the most important decision you will make about your Web Site.
But why is it so important? Because it helps your customers to find you. If you customers cannot find you, how will you be able to make a sale? This is true in Cyberspace, as it is in the Real World.
If you owned Greg Jones Motors, the most practical Domain to chose would be www.gregjonesmotors.co.za. Because if someone wants to find Greg Jones Motors on the Internet and types in www (World Wide Web) gregjonesmotors (the name of the business dot co dot za (Country South Africa), they will be taken to the Web Site. Choosing the business name seems the most logical, unless the Domain already exists.
So how do you choose a domain name?
Generic or Brand Name?
Never use a brand name as part of your Domain Name, unless you own that brand. When choosing a Domain Name, using your brand or business name is the most logical step. Should you decide to use one of the many free hosts to create a Web Site, you are most like going to have to use a Generic name - http://yourname.thehostname.com. Whilst this may save you money, it is most unprofessional.
DOT COM or DOT COZA?
The Internet is both local and international. If you target International Web Sites, DOT COM makes sense. However, if you target South African audiences, DOT COZA makes more sense. The same holds true, if for example, you are targeting audiences in the United Kingdom, you would choose DOT COUK.
Keep in mind that DOT COM (Commercial) is the most commonly used domain and finding a suitable domain name may be difficult.
With the Local Internet having come to the fore recently, all sites with the suffix ZA, will be searched when you do a local search using a search engine, such as Google or Yahoo.
Variations. When the Domain Name you want is not available, using under score or hyphens, 'the', 'my' or a plural could work but is not ideal.
So what are the alternatives? You could approach the owner of the Domain that you want and find out if he is prepared to sell it. Another way is to make a list of how you clients perceive or refer to you.
Whatever Domain Name you choose, try to keep it simple and put on on your letterhead, your outgoing emails, if fact every single piece of paper or electronic communication you produce.