Our headline today is not random characters or cell phone text messaging gibberish; those are different types of domain name extensions that you could actually get instead of the typical .com.
Most likely, if you are reading this you already have an operational website of the .com or .net or .biz variety, and registering more domain names is the furthest thing from your mind. This was a perfectly understandable philosophy until 2008 when domain name registrations opened us up to so many additional possibilities.
Have you noticed in the last few years how advertisers have gone from using http://www.domain.com to www.domain.com, and now it's common to simply use domain.com?
Our recognition of website domain names has become common place, and the various extensions are less and less misunderstood every day. Naturally the .com extension is the one you should have for your business, then go for the .net, then either the .us or .biz. But what about the new alternatives; do you want one?
By the way, these domain name extensions are officially called "Top Level Domains" or TLDs for short.
Here are some common domain extensions and reasons you would want them.
* .org was once exclusive for not-for-profit groups, but you should grab it to protect your branding.
* .biz should be acquired simply to protect your branding.
* .mobi is more commonly understood now as a website designed exclusively for cell phones. Going mobile on your website? Then go .mobi with it.
* .info is available to you, and generally it's misunderstood. Use this domain name on specific ads where someone might be sitting at a PC or they might be mobile. The .info should be a basic information website with links to either the .com or the .mobi site you own.
* .me is a good extension to get for your personal name if you are in public view and are worried about reputation management.
* .us should be acquired simply to protect your branding.
* .co is newly available and it has an obvious representation for "companies." This is another one you should grab to protect your branding.
* There are literally dozens of additional extensions that we're not covering here.
The important thing to realize is that domain names are cheap, and your competing local jeweler can easily purchase your similar domain names and redirect all of them to his website. Call your web guy and have them look at all the possible TLDs and protect yourself.
Of course then you can have bragging rights and sound tech smart when you tell your friends and LinkedIn buddies that "I have all the popular TLDs for my business domain name."