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10 Tips to Remember When Choosing a Domain Name

10 Tips to Remember When Choosing a Domain Name

By: SMITH THOMPSON

Nowadays everyone is searching for the perfect domain name. Going as far as filing a lawsuit if someone feels their intellectual property is at risk. Furthermore, people will pay a premium, bidding out any users trying to take the same domain.

It may seem that domain names are more important to the one creating it than the one it is intended for, but domain names impact the user more than they realize. They are one of the many costs of creating a website, and it is best to get the most bang for your buck.

It is also important to note that a domain name depends on your goals as a business. A domain name may be different for a company aiming to create a brand rather than one that is interested in a universal approach.

Below we break down 10 tips to remember when you are choosing your business or brand URL.

#1 – Make Your Domain Name Memorable

Suppose you want to have a successful domain name that gains traction. In that case, you need one that will stick with your audience. Choosing something easy to remember will ensure brand awareness and increase a client’s likelihood to share it with others.

A good tip for a memorable domain is something short, sweet, and to the point. A good example of this is Ford Motor Company. Their domain is simply ford.com. They just summed up a massive organization in 4 letters. A domain like this can easily be displayed in an ad and will make it easier for clients to visit their website.

You may not be as fortunate to have a convenient domain like Ford, and that’s okay; however, this example will get you thinking in the right direction.

#2 – Short Domain Names are Easier to Remember

You can’t have a memorable domain without having a short domain. As with the Ford example, this doesn’t mean you have to sum up your brand in one word. However, it does mean that a website like surnamsurnamandname.com will be difficult to read, remember, and use for an advertisement. A good rule of thumb is to aim for two words at most.

A short domain can also be useful for branding. In fact, some of the top brands can be summed up in one or two words (Nike, Coke, Apple, etc.). Some companies may not be interested in a branded approach for their domain name. In that case, you can take a more generic approach that is clear and informative, like “columbusbakery.com” for example.

#3 – Keep It Related to What You Do, or Be Super Clever

Your domain name should go hand-in-hand with the industry you’re in. For example, if you are a personal injury lawyer, it may benefit you to have that in your domain. Like our example in the previous point, a domain like “miamiautorepair.com” is directly related to the service that it offers. This will ensure that clients can easily identify who you are and what you do before they even get to your site.

If your domain name doesn’t connect with your industry, it should be clever and have a story that connects with your branding/positioning.

You may want your domain name to be the same as your business name. If you don’t have your business name picked out yet, make sure you check business name availability before you choose your domain name.

#4 – Make Sure the Domain Name Transferable

Unless you’re focused on building a personal brand, it’s best to use a name that is not attached to one person. This will provide versatility rather than being pigeon-holed to a particular brand or position.

Additionally, keep the future of your business in mind when you select your domain. Try not to narrow in on a specific niche. Think of the industry you are in rather than a single area of that industry. If you branch out into other areas, your domain name will be misleading.

For example, if you have the domain “kathyscupcakes.com,” your name could be misleading if you’re branched out into all baked goods. An alternative could be “kathysbakedgoods.com.”

#5 – A .com Domain Extension is the Best Option

There are new domain extensions every day. All of which have merit. However, regarding a successful domain, it is better to be safe than sorry. An online international survey concluded that 95% of consumers were most aware of .com.

Although this may seem obvious, it plays a huge role when it comes to credibility. Clients are more likely to trust a site that they are familiar with. Hence the use of a familiar domain extension.

According to SEMrush, alternative domain extensions don’t directly impact search rankings; however, they may affect the audience’s perception of a brand.

#6 – Make Your Domain Unique and Separate from Competition

With numerous domains and thick competition, it can be hard to find one that has not been used before. Furthermore, if you find one that isn’t used, how closely related is that to a competitor?

If you choose a domain too much like the competition, you may find it hard to attract potential clients. A generically broad domain like “columbusbakery.com” can help with keywords, but there might be a chance that this domain isn’t available.

This is where the benefit of a branded domain comes in if this is best for your business. When you have a branded domain that is unique, it is far less likely that others will have one similar. The only downside is that if you don’t have an established brand, your audience may be more inclined to view the associated domain with what they’re looking for.

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#7 – Include Keywords in Your Domain Name

Including keywords within your domain is a good SEO-minded approach to domain creation. Having keywords in your title is an important ranking factor on Google because it conveys what you do and connects that with what people are searching for.

Try to include locational terms and terms related to what you do. For example, “houstoncoffee.com”.

If you’re wondering what Google loves about your website, enhancing the user experience is one. And you can do this through an informative domain name.

#8 – Be Mindful of Appearance

So, you have the perfect domain name. You get it registered and type it in only to find out that it doesn’t appear like you thought it would in the search bar. You forgot to consider how it would look without spaces. This is a common mistake, and it can be hard to notice if you aren’t looking for it.

However, it may be the first thing potential clients notice that can deter them entirely. If you have an art website called Speed of Art, you may be disappointed when you see speedofart.com in the search bar.

#9 – Do Research Before Choosing a Domain Name

Research is an essential part of the domain name process. When you choose a domain, research the history of that domain, no matter how unique or harmless it might sound.

A domain with a bad reputation will deter potential clients and make them question the legitimacy of your site. Furthermore, see if your domain exists in any other domain extensions like .org, .gov, or .biz. It may be smart to buy these domains and redirect them to your domain extension of choice. This will prevent others from taking the same domain you have with a different domain extension.

#10 – Avoid Numbers and Hyphens

Going back to our initial point of being memorable, using characters like numbers and hyphens can throw a wrench in your marketing goals. You may be doing this to differentiate your domain but be aware that it will only make it more difficult for potential clients to remember.

Numbers add a layer of complexity to domains because it can be hard to determine if the domain is using the written version of a number “four” or the number itself “4”. Furthermore, hyphens can also constitute different meanings depending on its usage. Because of these reasons, it is best to make your domain as simple and easy to understand as possible.

Utilizing these tips will avoid the need to change your domain in the future. This will put you on the fast track to brand awareness and will give you a domain that is as clever as it is functional.

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