Whether you’re just launching your first business or you’ve been in business for a while, having a website is essential in today’s digital landscape.
Websites are a great way to promote your brand or organization, showcase your products or services, and allow potential customers to get in contact with you.
However, before launching your website, you’ll need to choose and register your domain name.
Below, we’ve compiled a quick guide on choosing the best domain name for your business.
A domain is the name of your website, while a URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator.
The URL directs web visitors to the specific page they want when entering that in their browser’s address bar; on the other hand, domains are more than just links. They also provide you with an easy-to-remember online identity and allow people to find you through search engines or social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter.
Choosing the right domain name is important because it will help you attract the right audience.
For example, choosing a domain name like "kidsclothesonline" would be great for an online clothing store that sells kids’ clothes; but if your intent is to create a business blog about parenting and education, then something as simple as "parentingblogger" might work better.
Below are several tips to consider when choosing the right domain name for your business or personal website:
First, you want to come up with a unique domain name for your website and brand. If it's too generic, it won't stand out amongst competitors and it'll be difficult to outperform them or build your brand.
Secondly, you'll want to make your domain name easy to pronounce and spell. If it's difficult for people to say or remember, they won't visit it as often or remember what to type in their search browsers to find you.
Thirdly, you want to ensure that your domain name is clear and unambiguous. You don't want people to mistakenly type in a different website address or misspell the URL without being able to find what they are looking for on your site.
Special characters like ! or @ are confusing, both to users and search engines. You want to make sure that your domain name is all lower case, words are separated by hyphens, and don't contain special characters.
This ties in with our previous tip, but it's important to note that you want your domain name to be mobile-friendly. Mobile users are growing in number and will make up the majority of traffic on the internet by next year, so it’s worth choosing a domain that is easily accessible from any device.
When considering your domain, you may want to include the city or state that your business or brand operates in.
For example, if you're a car dealership, you may want to include something like "autonationchevroletdetroit.com". This helps users understand that you operate in a specific area, and it helps with SEO as it gives Google context of where your business is so that it can appear for localized geographic searches.
Before you register your domain, be sure to do a quick search to make sure it’s not trademarked or already in use by another business. The last thing you want is for someone else to have the rights and claim over something that should belong to you!
You also want to check out social media channels to make sure that other businesses don't currently have your brand name in use before you purchase a domain.
If a marketing agency had a domain name like “www.smallbusinessmarketingandbrandingservicesjustforyou.com,” how would it make you feel?
I bet you’re almost red with anger that a company dared to choose such a long and tiresome name for their website.
Not only does a domain like this make people mad, but long, tedious domain names are hard to remember and also increases the odds of a person making a spelling error while trying to find the website.
Plus, most people won’t even bother trying to type this into their browser.
In other words, make sure to choose a domain name that is short, simple, and easy to type out!
In the eyes of consumers, it doesn’t matter what your domain name is.
However, as far as search engine optimization goes, it’s highly recommended that you use relevant keywords or terms in your domain name.
This won’t give your site a huge SEO boost, but it will help provide search engines with some insight into what your site is about.
So if we use the same example of a marketing agency, it’d be a good idea to choose a domain name like “www.thebizmarketingman.com” or “www.smallbusinessmarketing.com”
Note that these domains are most likely already taken!
On the same note as keeping it short and sweet, it’s also essential to ensure your domain name is easy to remember and that it fits in with your overall branding objectives.
Studies show that consumers have shorter attention spans than ever before.
Therefore, you must choose a domain name that your potential customers will see once, and they won’t be able to forget it.
Additionally, make sure your domain is related to your brand in some way.
For instance, as a marketing agency, you’ll likely want to choose a domain name that contains words like “marketing,” “business,” “branding,” or “sales.”
After all, you wouldn’t create business cards with your logo on them, would you?
Today, you’ll see all sorts of domain name extensions, like .ca, .org, .edu or .gov.
You’ll even see topical domain name extensions for businesses like .pizza, .service, or .help.
However, it’s important to remember that .com is still the most common and most renowned domain name extension.
This is important for two reasons; for starters, consumers are less likely to trust domain name extensions (like .pizza) that they’ve never heard of before, and secondly, internet users, especially those who aren’t the most tech-savvy, are likely to type in .com simply out of habit.
In other words, when shopping for domains, it’s highly recommended that you buy a .com domain rather than anything else.
Although it’s often overlooked in marketing, a business domain name is an essential aspect of making your website memorable in the consumer's mind.
That’s why it’s essential to keep it short and sweet, use keywords to boost your SEO, make it something that’s both memorable and brandable, and don’t forget to stick with a .com domain.
Doing these things will ensure that you choose the absolute best domain name for your brand!
Choosing a domain name can be done before or after you build your website.
If you’ve already started building your site and are considering changing the domain, it may not be as easy to change names down the line if you need to make changes in how customer information is gathered for marketing purposes, URLs of pages on your website and more. Unless there's an urgent reason that requires re-naming (e.g., trademark infringement), we recommend waiting until all primary content has been created so that any unforeseen issues with choosing a new name become less likely.
You also want to be cautious when purchasing an existing domain name. When you purchase a domain name, it's important to note that this does not give the purchaser rights to any of the site content currently on the website. You may want to contact an attorney before purchasing in case there is some kind of trademark infringement or legal issue with buying and owning a particular domain name.
It can also have a negative impact in the eyes of Google - if the prior domain had any manual penalties levied against it, this can carry over to your website, which will negatively impact your keyword rankings or search engine visibility until you rectify those existing penalties. This can cause a lot of work and headache if you aren't aware of these pre-existing issues before you buy an existing domain to use for your own business.