Choosing a domain name is a combination of art and science. The URL should not only reflect the essence and culture of your company, but it should also help with brand building, search engine optimization, and sales.
Businesses frequently make the mistake of confining themselves to established domain extensions. The rise of descriptive domains provides businesses with hundreds of options for being creative and clever as they create their own, picking extensions such as; careers,.games, or one of the many others accessible.
Use these six steps if you're ready to start your business but haven't yet decided on one yet:
Choose a Descriptive Domain
Your domain name should tell the story of your brand. It should be memorable and spark visitors’ interest, but not so much that they become confused. Your domain should not only explain what your company is about but also set expectations for the brand experience.
Typical extensions may lead you to believe you must pick a URL that emphasizes your company’s name and one that underscores its brand promise or focus.
Consider a more descriptive name if you want your company to stand out online.
Something like Yummy.catering could be more remembered for clients and prospects for a bakery. A local clothing store may select a descriptive domain such as PrettyinPink.boutique or Sustainablefashion.style, which may seem more appealing and produce more clicks and leads.
Stand Out From Competitors
Another rule of thumb when picking one? Choose nothing that even closely resembles a competitor or a widely famous brand.
This is a formula for unwittingly sending potential clients elsewhere. It also does not distinguish your organization in terms of branding.
Don't Forget About Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Choose a domain name that is not ambiguous. Avoiding numerals, hyphens, unusual spellings, and terms that are difficult to spell or easily misspelled will help you improve your SEO.
You should avoid using double letters in your domain name (think Chiccookies.kitchen or Jamesshoeshop.sale).
Another SEO-friendly strategy is to find a happy medium between a name that search engines will adore and one that amounts to shameless keyword stuffing.
In any case, Google’s search algorithm does not favor overly keyword-rich domains, so it’s best to mix a unique word for your brand with a high-quality phrase to produce the perfect domain name.
Brevity is Best
Keep your domain name short and sweet. Avoid adding extra length to your domain, which may impede readability and possibly SEO.
Longer names are often more challenging to remember, so keep your domain name short and sweet.
However, with typical extensions, this is not always possible. According to one survey, when users search for their chosen two-word domain name, they only discover an exact match with a standard extension 13% of the time.
Descriptive domains are more effective.
Make it Easy to Pronounce
If your domain name is hard to pronounce, it’s probably even harder to type.
Think of it this way: if you forgot your business card and had to verbally share your domain name with a prospect, how easily could they find you?
Protect Your Business With Multiple Domains
Unscrupulous operators may attempt to mislead your clients by registering a domain name identical to your company name or an existing domain. They may register domains that sound similar to yours, known as homographs or homoglyphs, or that contain similar letters.
To avoid this and protect your clients from phishing schemes, buy many domains and register common misspellings to prevent someone from purchasing a similar name.
Now you know how to choose domain name, let's cover a little bit about several mistakes you might make while going through the process:
You Aren't Doing Your Research
People typically choose their domain names hastily. They register whatever is available, including their business name, without checking to see what else is available.
This can be detrimental not just to your expansion prospects, but also to your SEO.
If you own a clothing store called The Rad Boutique, you should probably use the domain name www.radboutique.com. Is it, however, the best option?
Check to verify if radclothing.com is still available, then make a list of additional possible names, including Sponsored Top Level Domains.
You Aren't Thinking Big Picture
Consider how your company will look in five years when selecting a domain name. Before choosing a domain name that will limit your business, ask yourself these questions. Will you be franchising? Or will your retail services grow by then?
For example, if you own a sushi restaurant in Reno, Nevada, and decide to register the domain www.sushirestaurantreno.com, you will be considerably more limited than simply choosing sushirestaurant.com.
Using a city domain name will provide some localization benefits for SEO, but if you expand, you’ll scramble for a new domain name later.
You Are Buying a Domain that Doesn't Match Your Business
I know it sounds silly, but it should relevant to your business or industry. Consider your domain name while naming your new business if you are just starting.
If you locate a name you like, check to see if you can purchase it from a registrar. If it is, go ahead and buy it; if not, go back to your drawing board. When people try to register it, they frequently discover that the business name they choose is not available.
Many business and domain names can be confusing for customers and detrimental to your bottom line. The same is true for your industry. If your business name does not clarify your industry, consider adding it or adopting a TLD that explains your business.
Let’s use the previously mentioned garment firm as an example. If the name was “Rad,” and you wanted to make the service supplied known, you might attempt registering rad.boutique or registering the domain radclothing.com.
You Are Unwilling to Pay For the Domain You Want
Specific domain names will be more expensive than others. This is a fact that cannot be avoided. Donuts.com may cost more to register than haileesdonutsandcoffee.com, but it will save you money in the long run.
A targeted and memorable name will necessitate less advertising and promotion. It will also be easy to locate online when someone searches for doughnuts. You want to ensure your domain allows you to attract new clients to your company by being visible online. Short, simple domain names can help with this.
Also, remember that just because a domain name isn’t available doesn’t imply it’s not for sale. If you locate one that you desire but already use, contact the owner and found out if you can work out a deal for them to sell you the name.
These missteps can be detrimental to your business and ultimately affect your bottom line.
Investing more time upfront in considering your domain name and what it means to you and your organization could spell the difference between success and failure.