A domain name can have a huge impact on your online business. When you choose a domain name, you not only want it to reflect your company, but to help market yourself. After all, your domain name affects everything, from your social media handles to your search engine rankings and offline advertising.
Whether you’re starting a new company, rebranding an existing one, or taking your business online for the first time, choosing the perfect domain name will help your brand grow. Here are 10 tips for getting started.
1) Keep it short
You want to keep your domain name short so that it’s easier to type and remember. If you make it too long, people may not remember it, which decreases the likelihood of your website being shared by others. Try to limit your name to 2-3 words. This will also help it perform better in search results.
2) Make it clear
While it’s tempting to use a catchy name, a clear one is easier for people to remember. Your goal should be to explain what you do quickly. Also, you want to avoid things like numbers and hyphens, as these elements are often misunderstood or forgotten.
3) Research the name
Ensure that your domain name doesn’t sound too similar to that of an existing business. Visitors may become confused if they search for your domain and find another business instead. You want to make sure that your brand stands out from the rest.
Researching your domain name is also important because you don’t want to infringe on any copyrights or trademarks. Do your homework now to avoid any unexpected legal conflicts in the future.
4) Integrate keywords
Including a keyword within your domain name can help boost your search engine rankings. However, don’t go too keyword-heavy when you choose a domain name. Search Engine Journal explains that Google and other search engines won’t give you any advantage if you have an “exact match domain,” or a domain created solely with the intention of ranking on a certain keyword.
5) Target a local area
If you have a brick and mortar or service-based business, think about including your location in the domain name. For example, if you have a plumbing business based in New York, consider using newyorkplumbingrepairs.com.
6) Make it sound like a brand
Make your domain name sound reputable and not like someone’s personal website. Things like personal names and catch phrases may sound unprofessional. Instead, focus on choosing a short and unique name that reflects your business as a whole.
7) Steer towards a .com extension
Yes, WordPress.com offers many domain name extensions, but .com is the easiest to remember, and the one that most people will guess if they aren’t sure what your extension is. In fact, 75 percent of all domain names use the .com extension, according to FirstSiteGuide. Using .com will make it easier for you to reach your audience.
8) Make it easy to pronounce
Simple pronunciation is another way to ensure that your domain name is easy to remember. Yes, you want to be unique, but if people aren’t sure how to pronounce a name, they probably won’t know how to spell it either. If they can’t spell it, they’re less likely to visit your site.
9) Don’t use abbreviations
It’s easier for people to remember an entire word than an abbreviation, unless your name has an extremely common abbreviation (like USA) within it. For example, if your brand is called “Easy Street,” it’s better to have the domain name easystreet.com instead of easyst.com, as most people will spell out the word “street.”
10) Leave room for growth
You never know when you’ll want to pivot your business, so don’t choose a domain name that limits your growth. Choose one that is specific to your industry, yet general enough so that it’s not tied to one of your particular products or services.
Having a unique and memorable domain name is essential to drawing in more visitors and establishing your brand. Use these ten tips to choose a domain name, and you’ll be well on your way to solidifying your reputation as a professional business owner.