Have you had a business idea sitting in your head for a long time? Do you know that you've got the solution to something that could make you a living while making thousands, maybe millions of people happy?

What about the website? Can you see it in your head? Just imagine people typing it in and really enjoying your site and services?

Well, even if your visions of entrepreneurial excellence may seem like they are a long way off, one way to get the ball rolling is to buy the web address, or URL (uniform resource locator) you could be using.

I bought paulwozniak.com in 2005, and did nothing with it until 2009. I just paid (then) under $10 per year to keep it, because I figured that it could come in handy someday.

If URL's with words become a thing of the past, and you have bought one that refers to your business pretty accurately, a lot of your search engine optimization work is already done.

Or, if branding is important to you, your business, or service, getting that URL before anyone knows you want it could be key.

Here are a few tips when shopping for your website address.

1. Search for them in the basic URL bar in your browser

Don't go to GoDaddy, or another web address provider to search for it. Rumor has it there are trolls that can see what we are searching for, and then they go and buy it so that we have to pay them a higher premium for it. Look for it right in your browser. If a 'Page Cannot Be Found' error comes up, good news, it's probably available.

If the URL you want is available, it would look like this

If a 'Parked' or other website comes up that says something like 'Click Here! This Address is Available!' bust out the checkbook. Somebody already bought it.

If someone owns it and wants to charge you a higher premium, it could look like this

Note - I have heard all different kinds of amounts when it comes to what these squatters want. Sometimes, a larger amount of money could be worth it. It just depends on how much money the site will bring, and how much the actual URL matters to that.

I could envision a time when all the names of websites will be taken or mostly taken, depending on the category or what it is. In the future, when we open a new website, I think there is a great possibility that it will just be a randomly generated code. Websites with words in the URL could become very, very valuable. This is just me imagining and prognosticating, but it does seem possible that the name of many sites of the future won't matter as much as the search terms that take us there. So if you have a business idea, (or, like me, your name) that you think you should buy to make sure you have it, I have to agree.

2. Temper dreaming with sensibility

I once drank a 12 pack of beer and woke up with 5 URL's that I didn't need.

I remember thinking, "Yeah, I could probably use that someday!" when I was buying them. I never did.

Because I invented the word 'Radventure' for one of my projects, it stood to reason that I should have all the corresponding 'Adventure' URL's that related to it as well. I bought 'Radventuresofnico.com' and 'adventuresofnico.com' so that I could redirect people who were confused by my made up word. I have yet to encounter any problem like that, so I basically paid about $35 for nothing. Live and learn.

3. Dreaming, however, can pay off

Someday, I will develop my url adventuresofdogs.com and monetize it. Or, I'll sell it.

In 2008, I dreamed of a kids book series that was focused on dogs. So I bought adventuresofdogs.com. I have yet to use it, but because it is a good URL, I am hanging on to it. If I never do anything with it, I was told that I could get up to $500 for it at an auction, and I may do that.

What I really want to do is develop the series and make more like $500,000 from it, but we'll see how that goes.

The point is, some dreamy-eyed visions are good. Very good.

4. There are very few sure things

My kids books apps and chapter books are among my main projects, and with title changes and name changes come URL changes. It's a part of the process. I am currently on my second iteration of greenradventures.com, and I'm still not totally sure that is the way to go.

It's a bit of a game and it's a bit of a gamble, but it's a fun one and a good way to help to clarify the vision you have for your business, website, or future.

If you need any help on this or any other part of your website, contact the pros at Townsquare Interactive.