According to the article “5 Tips to Choosing Your Winning Business Domain Name” by Verisign on www.marketingland.com, your company name is the face of your brand, and it can either help or hinder your success. Since names are the first thing a potential customer will see or hear, you need to make an impact with an attention-grabbing or credible-sounding name.

And, in the digital age, your brand name online is just as important as what it is offline. As such, Verisign offers these five tips to creating a domain name that will bring you success:

  • Choose your domain name before registering your business. It doesn’t matter if you’re just in the thought stages, developmental stage or a year away from opening the doors — register your domain name as soon as you can and hold onto it until you need it.
  • Be flexible with your naming options. Your domain name may be the name of your business. Or, if there are multiple businesses with that name and domain name, you may need to choose another option. You can localize it (nyccarwash.com), use a keyword (waterlessdetailing.com) or a phrase (drivingclean.net). (Please note that these are example URLs and not active ones.) Be creative — you never know what you can come up with when the creative juices start flowing.
  • Think about the future. Don’t settle for a name, and don’t come up with a placeholder now, only to think, “I’ll get the domain name I really want once the business grows.” Create a domain name now that won’t limit you as your business expands. For instance, incorporating a city or state into the name makes sense if you want to stay local, but if you want to expand across state lines in the future, will that work? Should you promote the main service you have now when you may offer additional services or products in the future?
  • Don’t get creative with the domain extension. What’s on the right of the dot is just as important as what’s to the left. If you want to be creative, use that creativity on the left side of the dot. Use a top-level domain that’s common and trusted, such as .com or .net.
  • Use a domain name generator. If you’re having trouble coming up with a domain name on your own, try a domain name generator, such as NameStudio, to help you brainstorm some ideas.

Related: Wash Wisdom: 11 online branding mistakes to avoid

Read the original article here.