What’s In A Name? How to Choose The Right Domain Name For Your Business
Written by Mario Flawless
The right domain name for your business…Whether you are considering a new venture or looking to expand into the online world, choosing a domain name for your business can have a significant impact. A domain name is simply the name of your website, and it’s used by search engines to find that site. Hitting on a good domain name can have a big boost while a lackluster or poorly chosen name could sink your online presence quickly. Obviously, this is a very significant decision for your future success. Here are some things to bear in mind.
Keep it Simple
When people are trying to visit your site or search for it, the last thing anyone wants or needs is to type in something that is either long or complex. That’s if they can even remember it. Keep your name between one and three words long, and keep the words on the shorter end of the spectrum. Additionally, avoid hyphens, asterisks, special characters, and even numbers. Anything that can change the flow of your domain name or make it hard to say out loud will cut down on your web traffic.
Register Your Domain Name
It’s vital to register and renew your domain name because, even if you change hosting platforms, your URL will stay with you. Having your domain name change can severely disrupt your business. It is also possible that a rival business could register your name if you fail to do so, directing potential customers to themselves instead of you.
In addition to your main domain, you may want to consider registering others that either sound similar or could be a common misspelling. This will allow you to control the flow of traffic around your domain, directing it all to your main web page. Regardless of the domains you decide to use, make sure you stay on top of their renewals so that a competitor cannot swoop in and steal them away.
Be Consistent With Your Brand
In addition to being simple, a good domain name should reflect your brand, your business and your product. Having your brand be synonymous with your domain name can make it easier to remember and reach. It will also keep competitors away. For an already existing business, take the key parts of your business name and try to incorporate them into the domain name. For instance, if your business name is Paul’s Produce, a domain name of paulsproduce.com would be a solid choice. If you are starting a new business, you may have a bit more freedom to be original or unique with the name. Think of companies like Google or Yahoo, brands that were built essentially from scratch into the giants they are today. In this case, it is likely best to have your name reflect the product you sell so they can build synergy with each other. One thing to consider is typing your brand into Google to see what pops up. If your brand will compete with big corporations, you may wish to alter it to something a little more unusual.
Use the Best Extension
Web extensions are those little .com, .org, .co and other markers at the end of a domain name. While most modern search engines like Google do not require them to be typed in, extensions can still make a difference. If possible, the best choice for a business is generally the standard .com. While other, newer extensions may seem bold or hip, they rarely are better for business purposes. One potential exception is country-specific extensions. If you will primarily be doing business in a single country, using that extension may help your business stay localized. If you cannot get a .com address, you can go with an alternate, but you may want to consider slightly changing your domain name to keep the .com.
Be Wary of “Bad” Domain Names
Common sense would dictate that certain words are off-limits. Anything that includes swearing, cursing or vulgarity is likely to be a large turn-off for all but a few particular businesses. However, there are cases of domain names that may sound or look fine at a casual glance, but they display as something that doesn’t quite work as intended. You should always take another look and see if dividing the letters where you hadn’t meant to could render an unfortunate result. Make sure that multiple people review the domain name for any accidental issues that may pop up from odd pronunciations, unintentional spellings or downright bad combinations. If you do find an issue, you may need to bend the “rules” and add a hyphen or otherwise make a change to prevent problems. Choosing a domain name for your business is one of the biggest and most important decisions of your foray into the online world. A good name can get you off on the right foot while a bad one will sink you quickly. Fortunately, between best practices and name generators, you can find a domain name that fits your needs.
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