So you have allocated a certain amount of money for a domain name and you are wondering where to begin. Currently there are over 200 million domain names registered and picking a domain name can be a complicated process. There are a variety of factors that you may want to consider before starting your search including your budget for an acquisition, the nature of your business, and the level of demand in your particular industry.
You may have noticed that the domain names mentioned in a majority of television, magazine, radio, and internet advertisements all end in the .com extension. This is no coincidence as there have been billions of dollars poured into the branding and promotion of .com domain names in the past 15 years. The .com top level domain extension has been and continues to be the most popular extension and we highly recommend that you consider purchasing a .com domain name if your budget permits. .com domain names vary widely in price from hundreds of dollars to millions of dollars. For example, if you would like to purchase a 3 letter domain name (LLL.com) you should expect to spend at least five figures. If you would like to purchase a generic .com domain name with a high search volume (calculated by the amount of search engine queries) you should expect to pay at least six figures. For companies with lower budgets we would recommend purchasing a domain name in the .net or .org extension. Domain names in .net/.org extensions typically sell for anywhere between 3% and 15% of the .com value.
The nature of your business, your target audience, and your planned methods of promotion can be a valuable guide to finding a perfect domain for your company. If you are a non-profit organization you may want to consider a .org domain name. .ORG stands for organization and has been used since the 1990s for non-profit entities (however you are not required to be a non-profit to own a .org domain name). If your company plans on spending a large amount of money on advertising (either online and offline) we would highly recommend a domain name in the .com extension that is short and memorable. This will add to the stickiness of your brand and greatly increase the ROI of your advertising spend. If you own a small, local company and do business primarily in your city/state a geographical type domain name may be the top choice for you (for example: KansasCityRoofing.com or OklahomaLighting.com). However, if your target audience is wider and you will be servicing the US and possibly other countries you may want to consider purchasing a one or two word .com domain name (such as Lighting.com or Roofing.com). This will give you the flexibility to expand globally and distinguish yourself among other competitors.