There isn't a business in existence these days that doesn't need a website and a registered domain name in order to survive. Registering a domain isn't just a technical process. Your domain name is a business and branding investment. Doing it incorrectly could prove to be a costly mistake.

Domain Name Selection

You should select your domain name from a branding standpoint. That is, it should be the name of your business in some form or fashion. If you haven't named your business yet, then jot down a few ideas and test them for domain name availability. You want .com names wherever possible, because few people take domains like .biz or .net terribly seriously. People also default to .com--so you may miss a lot of business by being at a different extension.

Your domain name also needs to be very easy to remember. If you place it on marketing materials like business cards, brochures, radio ads, etc. then you'll want people to be able to go back and type it directly into their browser. A memorable domain name also increases the chances that you'll get repeat visitors. You don't want to rely solely on a visitor's desire to bookmark your site.

Use bulk domain registration to test ideas

There are few website owners who aren't familiar with the process of coming up with a good domain name only to discover it's taken. Testing each name out, one at a time, is a tedious and frustrating waste of time. Fortunately, Go Daddy has the answer-a bulk domain registration tool. This tool will allow you to test up to 500 ideas at once-and to choose the best ideas out of the pool of remaining, available ideas. You waste less time getting frustrated and spend more time making a good, lasting decision for your business.

Register your domain with your chosen web host

Go Daddy may be the big name in domain registration, but if you're planning on using another web hosting service for your website, such as Host Gator, you'll find it easier to simply register the domain through them. Hosting your domain in one spot and registering it in another one simply adds time and headache to the process, as well as giving you two sets of bills to pay instead of one, streamlined bill.

Pay up front for at least a year

Google gives a site more weight if it knows for sure that the site is likely to be there tomorrow. We're all used to monthly payments, but a domain that's registered for years simply conveys stability and trustworthiness. Besides, as distasteful as shelling all that money out at once may be, it ensures that a competitor won't swoop in and steal your domain name if you accidentally allow your credit card to decline the payment on billing day. Even automatic payments can't protect you from an expired credit card.

If you register your domain correctly, you shouldn't have to think about it again until renewal time. Registering your own domain allows you to own your own piece of web business rather than relying on other services to hold all of your information for you. You cannot get by without taking this vital step for long, so factor the costs into your business plan and jump on top of this detail as quickly as possible.