Choosing the right domain name for your business is a big decision. Your domain name is more than the words you type into the browser, it’s the foundation for your online identity.
Many business owners mistakenly think of a domain name as just an address for their website. Consequently, there are a number of factors you should seriously consider when brainstorming domain name ideas. Below, we give you a quick rundown of 10 tips for selecting a great domain name. Below you’ll learn how to choose a domain name for your business that’s smart and effective by sticking to these simple guidelines.
1. Choose a Domain That Wins Customers
Your domain name is a huge part of branding for your company, and it must be done right. Think about how you’ll want to talk about your company in the future, as well as URL extensions and keywords when you brainstorm a name. Customers will find your website URL on flyers, search queries, newsletters, and other websites so making the address stick is key.
2. Make It Brandable That Really Works
Make it Brandable means that when you see or hear your domain it sounds like a brand (your targeted business). By looking at your business domain name your visitors should be able to understand what your website is going to be about. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to spell out exactly what your business does with a list of keywords but instead try to capture the essence of what you do.
Also, make sure your site should deliver what it says on the label, and your domain name is the label. Don’t make it confusing for your visitors to figure out what your business does.
For example, When a customer sees a name like itnuthosting.com, they have one expectation in mind: this website is going to help in deciding which hosting packages right for me.
3. Make It Pronounceable Like A Professional
Pronounceability is still important for choosing a right domain. This is because of something called processing fluency: the ease with which our brains can process information. Names that don’t require a person to think too hard are usually the easiest to remember, and also more likely to inspire positive associations.
When people routinely misspell your domain name because it’s too hard to figure out, all of that potential traffic is lost. Most people will give up searching for your brand’s site quickly; they don’t have the time or desire to try multiple Google searches of possible spellings.
The lesson here is simple: make it easy and professional for your customers to find you!
4. Start with “.com”
When it comes to extensions, being unique isn’t always better. While new extensions like “.me” or “.pro” may feel hip and eye-catching, “.com” is still the easiest to remember and most often used. In fact, ¾ of all websites use a “.com” extension.
If you can’t get the “.com”, go with other well-known extensions like “.co” or “.net” or “.org”. Then plan on acquiring the .com in the future. Of course, you’ll need to check who owns the .com first. If a big brand already owns your preferred .com, you won’t be able to afford to buy it from them down the road. Unless you make megabucks.
5. Keep it Short to Easy Remember
When in doubt, make your domain as short as possible. This will help with making your brand more memorable. The fewer characters your domain has the easier it’ll be to type, say, and share with friends.
On the other hand, going too short can have the opposite effect. Compare “DigitalSchool.com” to “DigitalSch.com”. Thanks to the abbreviation, the latter is harder to both pronounce and remember, despite it having fewer characters. The first version works fine.
6. Make it Instantly Intuitive for the Better Engagement
The ideal domain name should give users a good idea of what your business is all about. For instance, Rand Fishkin uses “PastaPerfected.com” as an example of an intuitive domain name for a site all about pasta. Right off the bat, a potential customer can make a good guess as to what they’ll find at that site (perfect pasta!). Your domain name should have the same effect.
Additionally, instant intuitiveness gives bonus points for memorability. When people can grasp your site’s concept just from the domain name, you can bet that it’s going to stick in their minds.
7. Use Keywords Sensibly for Search Result
It’s true that having some keywords in your domain name can help. However, you shouldn’t bend over backward to include exact match phrases. Doing so can actually hurt your brand.
Google caught on to this spammy tactic, so an exact match keyword domain isn’t much of a ranking factor anymore. Besides, many users have developed the impression that such sites are spammy and low-quality. Which men’s athletic shoe domain do you think sounds more professional and trustworthy: SportsDirect.com, or BuyMensSportShoes.com?
Our advice: avoid using generic keywords and phrases exclusively. Not only are they hard to remember, but domain names based solely on generic keyword strings don’t carry the same SEO benefit they used to.
8. Scoop up other Domain Extensions
When you register your .com domain name, pick up top-level domain variations like .biz and .net if you can. Redirect them to your .com site so visitors who type in the wrong domain will still find your site.
For example, sephora.biz, sephora.net, and sephora.info all take you straight to Sephora.com.
9. Don’t Make It Awkward or Abbreviations
Domain names don’t include spaces, and using hyphens in domain names is a terrible idea, so whatever you choose shouldn’t look awkward written as one word.
To see what we mean, consider the real-life URLs for the following legitimate company names:
IT Nut Hosting – “www.itnuthosting.com”
Digital Marketing Fair – “www.digitalmarketingfair.com”
Money Exchange – “www.moneyexchange.com”
The Art of Creative – “www.artofcreative.com”
Clearly, carefully reviewing your final selection before hitting the “Register” button is always a good idea!
10. Stay clear of copyright issues
If you’re pretty much settled on a domain name, then you need to spend some time looking into the past of your domain. Ask yourself the following questions:
<>Have there been any associated domain names that have a negative public opinion?
<>Does your domain name contain any words that have a double meaning?
<>Are there any existing trademark issues with the words used in your domain?
The last thing you want is to find and register the perfect domain name, only to realize that your domain is creating brand confusion, or that you’re accidentally stepping on someone’s trademark.
Double-check social media, too. You want to make sure any relevant social media handles are still available. This will help you build brand consistency and make it that much easier for your visitors to find your business on social media.
We hope that these 10 tips help you zone in on the most effective domain name for your site. If you’re currently juggling a few domain name ideas, feel free to share them in the comments. We’d love to hear what you’re considering and can help your business establish a thriving web presence. We offer services like website design and search marketing, all engineered to give you a leg up on the competition.
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