Before committing to a domain name, it’s crucial to understand how it will influence your company. Ideally, your website domain is determined at the same time as your business name. They should be similar, if not identifiably connected. In other words, can you tell the domain name is attached to the business name without prompting?
The domain name that you select will be the starting point of all contact for your potential customers. It’s the first thing they’ll see of your brand, so it needs to stand out. Changing the domain will cost you precious time, energy, resources, and branding down the road – choosing the right domain from the beginning is vital. To help you choose the best domain name for your business, here are ten tips you need to consider before purchase.
Always Choose .com Whenever Possible
While the .com is the same as virtually every other extension, it stands as the default option when browsing online. Considered to be the classic option, opt for something memorable instead of new and trendy. The .com TLD is currently used by over 47% of all websites, meaning most people are familiar with the traditional ending.
If the .com domain is not available, you’ve got two options. The first option is attempting to purchase the current domain you’re interested in owning. This purchase can be expensive (especially if the other website is popular).
The second option is to purchase another TLD domain. More commonly, .net, .org, or .edu, but there are many different options available. Whenever possible, opt for your regional TLD (for example, a .de if you’re in Denmark or .ca if you’re in Canada).
Find Something Brand Worthy
When choosing a domain name, the last thing you want to do is disappear in a sea of competition. That’s why it’s important to select something unique but easy to spell. It can be a word you’ve created or a play on words. You want to choose something that will build with the brand over time without being challenging to memorize. As a rule of thumb, ask five to ten different people to sell your company’s domain. If multiple people have different versions of the spelling, find something else.
Keep The Domain Short Whenever Possible
There isn’t an exact science as to how long a domain should be, but studies have shown the most popular domains have between eight and fourteen characters. This popularity is defined as the total number of visitors to an individual website on any given day. Consider the top five websites you visit regularly; chances are the characters fall in between 8-14 digits. Avoid long and monotonous domain names; most people won’t spend the time memorizing your company – they’ll move on to another location.
Consider Including A Location
Your domain will have an impact on both keywords and geographical locations. If your website caters specifically to a region, adding the city to the domain name makes sense. For example, a domain including the phrase sugar daddy Miami tells visitors what the website is about and the geographical region.
If your company caters to multiple locations, you have a few options. Creating individual websites with specific regions can attract local traffic, particularly if each area won’t overlap with other regions. Alternatively, you can create one based website with outlined geographical locations included on the platform. This may be easier for companies wanting to expand over time.
Use Extreme Caution When Buying Domain Names
Sometimes the perfect domain already comes with an extensive history, especially if you’re buying a previously owned domain. Before purchasing any domain, always run a few checks on Google, as a black-listed site will be banned from search results entirely. Enter the domain with site:YOURDOMAIN.com. Review the results to determine what content, if any, has already been indexed.
Try Saying Your Domain Out Loud
Once you’ve decided on a domain name, say the title multiple times out loud. Our brain may process information differently when reading something compared to saying it out loud. Check the domain for any hidden words or phrases that could be embarrassing. Also, ask a few friends to read the domain aloud; different dialects or accents could change the fluidity or make it difficult to pronounce.
Avoid Hyphens and Numbers in the Domain
Including special characters and numbers in a domain can make it less user-friendly. It can also make it more difficult for individuals to share verbally. Having to explain how to spell a domain repeatedly makes it rather tricky for sharing or customer service. You want to have a platform that’s both easy to spell and access.
Consider Using Niche Keywords
If your customers are continuously looking for specific terms, it may help your SEO overall. Consider using niche keywords or content as a domain title. Whenever possible, put keywords at the beginning of your domain, as they can directly impact your ranking online. Try to keep the domain simple to type while staying within your industry for the domain.
Avoid Anything Trademarked Or Used
While having the perfect domain is essential, being shut down for trademark infringement is devastating. Make sure that the domain chosen isn’t connected to another famous brand or company, including many title variations. Websites can be removed from search rankings or banned for infringing on trademark or copyright; it’s not worth the risk even if the play on words is funny.
Have Fun With It
Building your own company is a fun and exciting time. Finding a domain name that reflects your business should reflect that. Spend a few days brainstorming words from within your industry, along with researching significant competitors. Determine what type of company you’d like to run. Are you professional and elegant? Fun and exciting? Let the vision of the business influence the name of the domain.
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