A domain name is your online address. It’s often the first interaction a customer has with your business or product, and plays a crucial role in establishing the credibility and purpose of your brand. You want to make sure it sets you apart from the crowd and helps you stand out.

Domain names are used in URLs to identify specific web pages. For instance, in the URL http://www.dictionary.com/, the domain name is dictionary.com.

Whether you’re starting a business, creating an online community, or securing a piece of the internet for a future project, it’s important to carve out your digital identity with an effective domain name.

Here are three simple ways to secure a domain name and stake a claim to your cyber identity.

1. It all starts with an ending 

The dot-com space is the main preference, but a new wave of domain endings has arrived in recent years. Dot-coms are becoming increasingly difficult to find, and more expensive to obtain, as more and more people move to the internet. New domain name endings are rapidly growing in popularity, as they provide consumers with the flexibility to get creative and specific with how they use domain names to tell their story.

Your domain name should reflect your brand — if you own a guitar shop, why not own a dot-guitar domain name? This enables you to harness the power of a name to solidify your presence within an industry and project a targeted image to potential investors, people surfing the web, or the online community in general.

“Everything on the Internet begins with a name,” says Frank Schilling, the domain name entrepreneur and Founder and CEO of Uniregistry, the fastest growing domain name registrar and aftermarket sales platform in the world. “Very few people understand their importance to commerce, branding, marketing, and business development.”

Frank is behind the creation of dozens of new domain name endings (such as .cars, .photo, and .game), and contends the expansion of the domain name arena will drastically shape how future generations interact with the web and get online.

2. Make it short and memorable

It’s best to keep your domain name short, memorable, and to the point. Consider Facebook.com, for example, which came into existence as thefacebook.com and soon downsized. Long or confusing domain names will be harmful to the success and impact of your online identity, whereas a catchy domain name that reflects the essence of your brand can bring in more attention.

URL shorteners such as Bitly or Goo.gl are also useful tools to trim your domain name, making it easier to share on social media or in email to friends and family.

3. Cut off competition

Even if you have a great domain name, it’s useful to secure common misspellings of your domain name while they’re still available. If you were hoping to register dictionary.com, for instance, you would consider also buying dictonary.com, dictionarys.com, and dictionry.com.

In addition to protecting your brand against competitors, buying common misspellings or foreign language spellings of your domain name will protect you from URL hijacking, also known as “typosquatting.”

Another powerful step you can take it to co-opt domain names associated with your brand. With dictionary.com, you might try to obtain word.com or meaning.com to broaden your virtual reach. (For an example of this, check out what happens when you type happy.com into your browser’s search bar.)

Next Steps

Make sure you choose the right home for your domain name. Your privacy should be your priority and shouldn’t come at a cost, so look for free WHOIS privacy options where your personal details will remain out of public view. And be careful to avoid the trap of continuous up-sells, which drain excess dollars.

Uniregistry offers these services, in addition to innovative products that anticipate your needs and make the process of getting online effortless.

IVY Magazine readers are eligible to receive 25% off certain domain registrations when they use the code DOM25 at checkout here — take control of your online identity today!