It seems these days that everyone has their own website with their own unique domain. But how do you come up with a good domain name? What if someone already owns it? Here are some tips to keep in mind when registering a domain name.

Decide on several different options- While the name of your company may be a great place to start searching domain names it’s a good idea to have a few alternatives as well. For example, let’s say that the name of your company is ABC Plumbing. Well what are you going to do if ABCplumbing.com is taken? You could try something like abc-plumbing.com or you could then look into the .net extensions or .biz extensions. Though they aren’t as valuable in the long run, they do offer more options for domain names, especially if a .com is taken.

Do a background check on the name- The last thing you want to do is buy a domain that someone once had that has been banned from Google AdSense or has some other negative action attached to it. This is particularly important if you are buying an existing domain name, which we will cover later. Check with sites such as archive.org or dogpile.com to find out what your domain could have possibly been used for in the past and avoid those domains that could be connected to anything morally or ethically questionable.

Know what your domain is worth- There are a number of sites available online that will do a quick appraisal of your new domain for free. While not as accurate as a full business valuation report, it will give you a decent idea of what you can resell that name for later if you choose. After all, domains are nothing more than online real estate, and they can be just as valuable as the brick and mortar variety. Some highly sought after domain names can be worth millions, should you decide to sell and any savvy business person is always looking to the future. Remember that .com names are always worth more than .net or .biz or any other extension. The reason is because the population automatically defaults to .com. So say for instance your name is ABC Plumbing. If your domain is ABCPlumbing.com, chances are that more of your customers will find you. Most companies try to make their domain name the same as their company name and that is a really smart move. But if you end up with ABCPlumbing.net, you could end up with your customers going to your competitor’s website, and that is not good at all.

Once you’ve done all the leg work and you have a clean, unique domain name you can go to any number of sites to purchase it, the prices can vary widely between the sites so do a little research as to who offers the best prices. After you’ve registered your domain, make sure that you get a site up as soon as possible. A domain name doesn’t do you any good if there is nothing there to attract people. Remember that your domain is a powerful resource. It’s up to you how you make it work for you.