How to Choose the Right Domain Name for Your Website
Choosing the perfect domain name for your business is a huge step. After all, your domain name is more than just your digital address; it’s how you start to develop a foundation for your online presence. Without the right domain name, you’ll never be able to attract the attention of the right audience members, and even the best business brokers in the future when you’re ready to sell your site.
Choose the wrong name, the wrong spelling, or even a bad domain extension, and you could be doing your company a disservice from day one. However, if you choose the right domain name, you’ll find that it’s instantly easier to access online success. The question is, how do you choose the domain name that’s right for your business and blog? The following tips will help you out.
Stick with “.com”
There are dozens of different domain extensions for people to choose from today, ranging all the way from .info, to .org. The extension that you choose for your business can depend on multiple things, and it’s tempting to go with something that’s creative and unique. However, it’s always a good idea to choose .com first.
No matter how impressive other domain extensions might seem, .com will always be the best-known and most popular option. People already have a pre-built affinity with this TLD, so they’ll automatically assume that when they’re searching for your website, they should throw a .com at the end of your name. You can always buy other extensions too – but make sure that .com is your first choice.
Pick a Domain that’s Easy to Remember
Since you want people to keep coming back to your website as often as possible, it makes sense to choose a domain name that’s easy to remember. People will find your website URL in a multitude of different places, from advertising flyers to social media, so make sure that the address will stick from the moment they see it.
The most memorable domain names are the ones that are short, clever, and lack anything that would make it harder for customers to figure out what to type. That means that strange spellings are a no-go, as are numbers and hyphens. Think about some domain names you already like on the web today – from Google to Twitter – the names are simple, and they roll off the tongue. They’re also short too – as shorter names are easier to keep in your mind.
Choose a Name that’s Brandable
If you can pick a generic dime a dozen name, or something that’s unique, then you should always go for the most innovative choice. A brandable domain name is something that instantly sounds like a brand from the moment you hear it. When someone looks at your domain name, they should instantly be able to see what your website is all about. This doesn’t mean that you need to spell out what your company does for your customers, but at least try to capture the essence of what you do.
Choose a name that helps customers to see what they’re going to be in for with your website from the moment they see your URL. If it helps, you can always try adding a keyword, but it’s important not to use too many key phrases in your URL. Not only will adding multiple keywords make the domain name longer than necessary, but it also makes your site look spammy. Only use a keyword if it seems to flow naturally with the name you’ve chosen.
Make Sure It’s Easy to Pronounce and Type
The human mind is more likely to retain a word it can pronounce, than one it’s never heard before. If you can’t pronounce your domain name, then there’s a good chance that your customers are going to struggle to spell it. If you think of some of the most popular websites in the world, like YouTube, Facebook, and Amazon – a common trend is that they’re all very easy to pronounce and spell.
Choosing a domain name that’s easy to type is a good idea because it means that people are more likely to end up on your website when they’re searching for you off memory alone. Also, a smooth and punchy domain name is easier to talk about when people are referring your website to friends. You’re not going to get a lot of word of mouth referrals if your customers are always saying: “I found this great website, but I can’t quite tell you what it’s called…”
Avoid any Copyright Problems
If you’re settled on a domain name and you know it’s going to be great for your business, then you’ll need to make sure that you’re free to use the domain you’ve chosen. You’ll have to spend some time searching online for any names that are too similar to your choice. Not only will choosing a name that’s too close to another URL cause you problems with trademark infringement, but it also makes it more likely that customers will end up on someone else’s website instead of yours.
The last thing you want is to register your domain name and then discover it’s causing confusion for your brand. Check everywhere to see whether your name is available – including social media. This will ensure that you can create a consistent presence across all channels. Additionally, if a domain name has been out of use for a while and you want to bring it back to life, make sure that it wasn’t previously associated with anything negative that could ruin your reputation before you get your business going.
While it can be tempting to opt for names that take advantage of current trends at first, it’s always better to choose a domain that’s going to stand the test of time. The chances are that you’re going to stick with your domain name for a long time, so don’t jump into any commitments without thinking about your options carefully.
When deciding whether a domain name is right for you, remember not to limit yourself to something too restrictive. For instance, if you just sell women’s clothing right now, a domain name like ClothesForWomen.com might seem great at first. However, if you might expand into men’s and children’s clothes in the future, then you’d have to change your entire brand. Keep your business plan in mind, and any strategies you have for future growth when you’re choosing a domain name.
Be Ready to Compromise
Sometimes, you’ll find the perfect domain name, and it simply won’t be available. At that point, you need to be willing to compromise. Either you can change your domain name until it’s just different enough to be trademark-ready, or you can go back to the drawing board.
Whatever you do, don’t decide without thinking it through first. Your domain name is going to have a significant impact on the success of your website, so put time, thought and effort into choosing the right name.
By Jeff Guest on Friday, July 6th, 2018