Step 1. Select A Domain Name

A key component to establishing a web presence is choosing a Universal Resource Locator (URL) and a domain name (i.e., www.computersrus.com). As with URLs aimed toward the domestic market, a URL for an online exporter's website should be short, simple, descriptive and memorable to customers in the target market. ICANN Accredited Registrars will concurrently register your URL and domain name for each country in which you register.

Using Country-Level Domain Codes

Every country (and a few territories) in the world has a reserved, two letter country code domain (e.g, The United Kingdom has the domain .uk; see http://www.thrall.org/domains.htm ). An online exporter might want to choose domain names localized for their target markets. Locally branded domain names can increase brand awareness, website address recall and even impact brand sales and loyalty. In addition, most local search engines display locally relevant content by filtering the search results to include local country-code domains only... something to consider when deciding whether to localize or internationalize your site. Companies that want to have a local domain name should research the rules for the particular country, as registration requirements vary. (See www.iana.org, which lists domain name databases and http://www.iana.org/cctld/cctld.htm, which includes information on country code top-level domain names.) The link to Top Internet Markets on the right provides information on registering domain names in a few international markets.

Internationalizing Your Domain Name

Companies seeking foreign customers may also consider an "internationalized" or "multilingual" domain name. Such domain names are web addresses written in characters other than the Roman alphabet. For example, a company called "Bright Light Bulbs" wishing to sell in China could have a domain name that would use the Chinese characters for Bright Light Bulbs in its website address. Internationalized or multilingual domain names allow customers to search and access sites in their native language. Again, most ICANN Accredited Registrars can assist you in researching domain names in various countries.

Step 2: Register with Search Engines