Your website is the face of your business. Whether you’re a B2C or B2B company, it will most likely be the first place potential customers look you up.
A major part of establishing your web presence is choosing the right domain name for your website. A good URL address will be easily looked up, memorized and play an integral role in your branding.
If you’re currently in the process of choosing the right domain, you’ve come to the right place. These are the most important factors you should consider:
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Important Tips to Choose a Domain Name for Your Business
1. Check availability
Picking a domain name isn’t always simple, and there is a great deal of importance as to what you end up choosing. A common issue business face when picking one, is availability.
While brainstorming, you’ll most likely come up with a large pool of ideas. Before sifting through and finding the right one for you, it may be best to check which are available and which are taken.
To simplify this process, you can use online name generator tools. Type in your chosen name in this business name generator to automatically check its domain availability and secure your exact match URL immediately.
2. Your domain should match your business name
Above all else, your domain name is there to make your business accessible. You want your website to be easily found and avoid confusing potential visitors.
The best way to achieve these goals is by using your business name, exactly as it is.
Unfortunately, not all business names translate to good domains. The ones that do, may already be taken. If this is the case, you can use alternatives. Depending on your company name, you may be able to use a shorter or alternative form, such as an abbreviation or spelling it without vowels.
Changing your name’s form to fit a domain can be risky though. If you choose this option, make sure it’s in line with your branding efforts. It’s better to remain consistent and on-brand than having a great, but confusing domain.
3. Go for a short domain
Memorability is the name of the domain game. Your ideal URL should be simple enough to stick to people’s memories. If they have to keep going back and Googling your company name every time, you probably overly complicated your address.
The best way to make your domain memorable is by keeping it short and concise. Technically, you can go for up to 63 characters, but the recommended length falls somewhere between 3 and 12 characters long.
Shorter domains have the added benefit of being simpler to type in. A misspelling or mistyping your domain decreases the likelihood of people finding your website, especially potential new customers.
While larger companies can afford to own misspelled domains (such as Netfliix.com), smaller businesses may not be able to afford the luxury.
4. Incorporate keywords
Using keywords relevant to your business or industry is a proven method to increase traffic. For smaller, lesser-known businesses, you can give your online presence a boost by using one or two in the domain itself.
If you own an auto repair shop, for example, you can incorporate it into your address. A domain like “bulldogautorepair.com”, maybe clearer to customers than “bulldog.com”. Additionally, if your company name is rather generic, this could be a good way to find an available domain.
Besides making your domain accessible for visitors, keywords also help on the SEO front. A domain that includes the words “auto repair” will likely rank higher on search engines when people search for it.
5. Avoid numbers or symbols
A good tip to allow easy access to your site is to avoid using digits, i.e. “5” instead of “five”. Sticking to alphabetical letters helps reduce confusion, especially when people hear your domain name out loud and are expected to then accurately type it in.
The same is true for symbols such as hyphens or underscores. These are much less common in domain names and most people will not intuitively think to use them.
The goal is to make it as easy as possible for customers to find you. Sticking to the norm ensures the correct version will be the first they look up.
6. Consider domain extensions
Domain extensions are the suffix of your address. Everyone knows the common .com or .net. But these days, there is an endless variety to choose from.
As a rule of thumb, it’s always a good idea to use the tried and true options, the top choice being a .com extension. But this depends on the industry you’re in. Some extensions have specific purposes, like .org for organizations or .gov for government agencies.
If your business happens to fall into a specific category, one of these suffixes can be a good idea and increase your available options as well.
If you operate in a local market outside of the U.S., you may want to use a localized extension such as co.de for Germany or co.jp for Japan. This can be especially useful if your business caters to a specific non-English speaking country.
Keep in mind that lesser-known domain suffixes might be viewed as less trustworthy and may deter certain customers based on a gut feeling.
Domain extensions offer you some wiggle room. While .com domains tend to be less available, others are less so. This trade-off is something you should consider.
7. Localize your domain
Though most people tend to think of global companies when talking about branding, most brands are far from it. A local business may actually want to flaunt their locality as a part of their brand identity, which can go a long way in driving business in your country or city.
The most obvious way to target a local audience with your domain is by using a local .co extension. But you can take it one step further by incorporating the name of your country, city or even street in the domain itself.
For brick and mortar businesses this can be a great way to add clarity and ensure people find you online, rather than competitors.
Finding the right domain address requires quite a bit of brainstorming. Luckily, name generators can also help with this process, offering you a variety of available domains that could be relevant for your business.
Good domains get snatched up daily. Whether you’re just getting started or already deep into the process, you should head over to a name generator tool and start browsing obtainable domains asap.