Choosing the right domain name for your company is so important – ultimately, it’s how your audience will find and remember you.
A custom domain will help your website stand out from the crowd and possibly even boost your SEO. But with over 360 million domain names registered, it can be hard to find one that is unique.
If you are having trouble brainstorming or finding that all of your domain name ideas are already in use, you’re not alone. Luckily, there are several steps you can take to help craft the best domain name for your business or blog.
What is a domain name?
A domain name is the address people type into a browser to reach a site. Much like a fingerprint, each domain name is unique to a specific website. Domains were created as a part of a larger Domain Name System (DNS) that enables users to input a combination of words instead of a lengthy set of numbers.
A lengthy URL may seem like a red flag to customers. Moreover, if it’s hard to remember, users might be less likely to revisit your site. Therefore, your domain name should be short and memorable.
Note that changing your domain name can be challenging. It’s not impossible, but it can lead to unwanted outcomes such as a loss of traffic and unnecessary downtime. With this in mind, you’d be wise to carefully consider your domain name from the get-go.
How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Business
If you are ready to establish a presence online for your business, you’ll want to choose a domain name that matches your brand. This way, customers can easily find and trust your site. There are a few steps you can keep in mind when choosing your domain name.
Use Keywords in Your Domain Name Search
Keywords play an important role in a domain. By using keywords in your domain name, you tell the search engines what your website is about. Together with quality content and good user experience, keywords in your domain can help you rank higher in Google.
It is very hard to find a good domain with your target keywords, that’s not already taken.
You will need to be creative and combine your keywords with other words to make your domain stand out.
Keep Your Domain Name Short
While keywords are important, don’t go overboard with domain length. It’s better to have a domain name that’s short and memorable. If your domain name is long, it’ll be harder for people to remember, which could spell out less traffic for you.
We recommend keeping your domain name under 15 characters. Longer domains are harder for your users to remember.
Beyond that, a short domain name isn’t helpful if it is hard to spell or pronounce, as users will likely lose their way when trying to type your website URL.
Avoid Hyphens, Numbers, and Doubled Letters
Each of these elements is another hurdle for users to attempt to jump just to access your website. It’s not exactly intuitive to keep these characters in mind, and doubled letters can make the domain name messy and hard to read.
Not to mention, all of these elements are susceptible to becoming typos as users try to search the internet for your business website. If you’re sharing your website via word-of-mouth to clients, it’s also much harder to convey the domain name clearly when it is jumbled with hyphens, numbers, and the same letters back-to-back.
Make it Easy to Type and Pronounce
Your business name is unique, but if no one knows how to pronounce it or type it as a URL, your traffic numbers might suffer as a result.
If a domain name is confusing, it’s more likely that users will have typos and get lost as they try to find your site. Make it easy for them, and avoid hurting your traffic numbers, by choosing a simple, clear domain name.
Keep it Unique and Brandable
Keep your business name and what you sell at the front of your mind, and dig into your niche to make sure your domain name is also attracting the online audience you want.
Brandable domain names are unique, catchy, and memorable.
Do Your Research
Your domain name must be unique, so you can stand out in your readers’ minds. It’s smart to research competitors in your niche and find out what domain names they’re using. There’s nothing worse than dreaming up what seems like the perfect domain name only to find yourself in hot water for unknowingly infringing on a trademarked domain.
Ensure your chosen domain is truly original to you to avoid dealing with legal troubles and the painstaking process of finding yet another unique, SEO-friendly domain name.
Consider Domain Extensions
Your domain extension is imperative when marketing your business. If you are working toward an international or global brand name, we would always recommend a .com extension. Otherwise if you are a local brand and only selling nationally, then you may consider a local extension. For example:
- United Kingdom: .co.uk
- Ireland: .ie
- Canada: .ca
- Germany: .de
- China: .cn
A more comprehensive list of country code top level domains (CCTLDs) can be found here.
Please note: you must pay for your domain in intervals, whether that be yearly or longer (as you see fit). You can own multiple domains which redirect to your website. While this is a great strategy to reduce the risk of competitors or other companies using a similar URL, they may cost more in the long run.
With millions of domains online today — and additional names getting registered every minute — once you’ve decided on a domain name, don’t hesitate to register it.
Domain names are hot commodities, but they are also pretty affordable. As long as your idea isn’t trademarked or already in use, grab it before it’s gone! You can always change it later if you decide it just isn’t working.
Leave Room to Expand
It’s smart to choose a domain name that’s related to your industry / niche because it gives users some idea of what your website is about. But you also don’t want to limit your long term options too much.
For example, a florist might choose a domain like orchidandbloom.com, but then they start focusing on other flower arrangements beside orchids. In that case, the domain might prevent you from attracting visitors interested in other flowers.
Properly moving your site to a new domain can be a frustrating process, and it can cause you to lose search rankings if you don’t do it right. That’s why it is important to pick a flexible domain name from the start.
Your domain name might seem like a minor detail in the grand scheme of creating a website, but it reflects your business to potential customers or audiences right away.
If you are starting a business for the first time or are looking to rebrand, then speak to a member of our team! Our Creative, Marketing and Web Teams are always on hand to help you build your online presence.