How to Select the Best Domain Name for Your Website
Digital presence is indeed essential in today’s day and age. As some of us rely on our brick and mortar business models, the world is moving towards digital means to establish, promote, grow, and sustain businesses. If you have not felt the urge or need to establish your online presence as of yet, you may have to do it sooner than you think, not just due to the increasing competition and the difficulties faced when struggling to survive, but also because of the market that is already an overblown bubble, waiting to burst. You not only need to think about your digital presence, but also the brand name through which you will be known to the world.
Taking Baby Steps to Establishing an Online Presence
Change is difficult but inevitable, therefore, you need to adapt to it at some point or the other. Establishing an online presence comes with its own set of problems, but nothing that a good research and directed efforts cannot resolve. Now that you have finally decided to take the leap of faith and make your business available to the online audience, you will have to think about a website.
A website cannot represent you unless it has a relevant yet interesting ‘domain name.’ If you are wondering what a domain is, this blog post will help you clear your concepts from A to Z. While a domain refers to the area of operation or specialization, combining the two words, “domain” and “name” will give you the name of your business.
By definition, a domain name is a part of the network address, which belongs to a specific domain. For example, if you are planning to open an online grocery store with the name, “Shop Easy,” this is the brand name, which will become your domain name and will ultimately be used by internet users to view your products and services online.
Since the time that the internet seeped into our everyday lives, we seek convenience and flexibility in everything we do, whether it is buying a bottle of shampoo or an insurance plan. People do not have the time to run or drive to the supermarket, browse through several aisles and then wait in a long queue to get the product or service they desire. Browsing and buying have become easier with online platforms. With a website, you will not just bring your business at the same level as your competition (or even higher), but also make it available to the masses, often referred to as the modern, ‘internet consumers.’
How to Select the Best Domain Name
A domain name is very important, which is why this entire blog post, especially this section, is dedicated to helping you select the best domain name for your website. You do not want it to be too long, but you also do not want it to be so short that it does not reflect your business ideology. You would also not want to select a domain name that does not sound right once you take your website live, forcing you to then change it. It should be interesting, catchy, and the right length to be considered worthwhile.
Here are a few tips and tricks you can use to make sure that you select the best domain name possible.
.com is the Best Way to Go Live!
Once you explore the world of the internet, you will come to know that there is not just one, but several domain name extensions like .blog, .pizza etc. Although the extensions, .net and .org have become popular over the years, .com is still the most widely used and considered the norm when creating a website; even if you come up with new and clever extensions that go well with your business, you may end up regretting it.
Dot-com is also memorable, which is why you will find yourself typing .com for any network address you hear about and then pressing backspace once you realize that the website goes by some other extension. Moreover, new extensions are often typed with .com at the end, which results in errors and the users getting frustrated. Therefore, the best way to go, in most cases, is to use Dot-com (.com).
It Should Be Easy to Type
This is the most common mistake new businessmen make when going live. An easily typed address is the most critical to digital success. Using slang words or different spellings to common words (for example, luv for LOVE) can create confusion and misunderstanding. This will ultimately lead to customers going around in circles when searching and ending up clicking on your competitor’s website. Therefore, make sure that you keep your domain name (website name) simple and straightforward.
Does Using Keywords Sound Interesting?
Have you ever heard about a powerful SEO strategy? If you do not conduct business online, you might not be familiar with the terminology, but you must have practised this in your everyday life while using the internet. Keywords make it easy to find a website or bring up relevant websites in search results. For example, if you work in the tools industry and cater to people’s plumbing needs, you may want to go live by the name PlumbingNeeds.com or PipeRepair.com, because that is what people will search for.
A powerful SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy entails the use of specific keywords that link to your business, products, and services, which will also be used in the content on your website. Through the use of these specific keywords, customers will be able to track your website and use the services, in addition to improving your website’s ranking on search engines, which in turn leads to more traffic, translating into more customers.
Limit Your Domain Name Length
Keywords are important, but this does not mean you can stuff the domain name with them, making it a complete sentence. Try to keep it under 15 characters, not words – this normally qualifies as memorable. Longer domain names may be more difficult to remember, hence lowering your chances of getting the desired web traffic. Moreover, longer domain names create a greater probability of typing errors, which again means you are missing out on potential customers.
Be Unique and Interesting
We can’t stress the importance of the uniqueness of your domain name enough. If you are starting a blog, for example, you will have a unique way of talking about issues or giving reviews about products and services, therefore, you would want a unique name that creates a strong brand image. Remember, you can always research other blogs and websites and match the theme in their writing with their brand name to understand how they have associated one with the other.
On the other hand, you need to make sure that you do not use a name which is already a trademark. You will instantly be accused of plagiarism and trademark infringement, in addition to losing out on potential customers who will never return to you, no matter how credible you become after the mishap.
So, keep in mind – your domain name should be CATCHY, UNIQUE and MEMORABLE.
Protect Your Brand
No matter how cleverly you have thought about your domain name, there is always a chance that someone else will be cashing in on your popularity by simply adding a letter to your domain name.
For example, if you go by the name, LavishPlanner.com, you may find yourself in competition with LavishPlanners.com. The letter ‘s’ here can cost you a fortune, in revenue and in customers. The smart thing would be to purchase misspelt versions and the various domain extensions that can be associated with your domain name. This will reduce the threat of new entrants by a huge margin, ensuring that you are the only one known by the domain name you are operating under.
Try to Avoid Hyphens and Double Letters
You can always use a hyphen when you are defining something or in an essay, but why use hyphens in domain names when they are meant to be concise? Often, you will find hyphens in spam domains, therefore excluding hyphens will be a good idea. Moreover, hyphens often result in mistakes in typing, which is not what you want when you have just gone live and have put everything at stake just to receive a positive response from the online community.
Similarly, double letters are another problem – they create unnecessary confusion and frustration. In the brand name Cyberrats.com, for instance, it includes two ‘r’s side by side, from cyber and rats. Although the name is unique and instantly grabs one’s attention, the double letters can result in typing errors.
Do Not Curb the Opportunity to Expand
You will want to make sure that you always leave room for expansion. For example, if you are an active blogger and you blog about the Xbox, but may also decide to start blogging about the PlayStation, it would be better to keep a name that covers the entire domain of gaming, instead of just Xbox games or PlayStation games.
This is one of the most common problems bloggers, as well as small business owners, face when they go live with a limited scope in mind, but then decide to expand their horizons. An expansion is always a good thing and so, planning for it, even if you have just started your business, will give you the energy to move forward.
Not Going with the “.Com” Extension Could Work Sometimes
You might be confused reading this point, especially when we talked about quite the opposite just a few minutes ago, but it will all make sense if you read a little bit further.
Although .com is the most used and preferred domain extension, there is an exception to this and here it is: if you are a local business owner and have no plans to take your business to the global platform, it might not be such a bad idea to go for a local TLD, like ‘.au’ if you are serving the Australian market. This will not only create awareness amongst local users that the business is locally owned but will also boost the trust of the local internet community because of the values the business has upheld.
A better idea would be to purchase both extensions and link them to each other so that no matter which extension a user visits, they will end up on the same website. Purchasing both domain extensions will give you room to expand once you have achieved your local and national goals, and have now decided to take your operations to a global platform.
Register Your Social Media Doorways
Social media is the fastest way to spread the word today, don’t you agree? Whether you like it or not, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have daily visitor counts measured in billions, which is why you need to be present on these platforms too. The best way to do this is to create social media doorways with the same name as your website’s domain name. If they are already taken, you can add a prefix or suffix like “JimmyGreat” for Jimmy.com or “BusinessNewsHQ” for BusinessNews.com on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
The Final Step in Selecting the Best Domain Name
Now that you have come up with a domain name that you find to be the best match for your brand and business, it is time to register that domain name with a domain registrar. Some popular and trusted domain registering services include GoDaddy and SiteGround. In selecting a domain registrar, the cost will be an important factor. You can always compare the costs of different service providers and then make a choice that satisfies both aspects, cost and trust.
A domain name can affect the success of your website and ultimately your business in this modern era where the online community is larger than physical shoppers. Putting in a small amount of well-directed effort can lead you to the best domain name, resulting in the online popularity that you deserve.