How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Business
One of the first steps in creating a website is to choose a domain name for your business. A good domain name increases visitors to your site by being short, memorable, and on-brand.
Here are some tips on how to choose a domain name:
1. Try Your Brand’s Name
First and foremost, make sure your brand name is available for use in order to maximize brand recognition and URL retention. This also works in reverse. If you haven’t decided on a name for your business yet, ensure sure the domain name you want is available, as well as all connected social network handles. If this isn’t possible, short terms like “Its” and “The” can help.
- Consider pronunciation: Consider how a domain name sounds when spoken aloud before deciding. Brand retention and word-of-mouth marketing might be hampered by a difficult-to-pronounce name.
- Consider spelling: Take into mind spelling in addition to pronunciation. It’s easier to select a domain name that’s easy to spell. If you have the funds, you can also acquire the variations of your domain so that they all lead to your main URL.
2. Create an Alternative List
The chances of the domain name being available are limited unless you have a really unique business name. Prepare a list of at least 10 additional ideal domain names before you begin your search.
- Avoid hyphens: Hyphens make your domain name more difficult to remember, and the more difficult it is to remember, the more likely people are to make mistakes while trying to find it.
- Avoid acronyms: It’s better to avoid acronyms unless your company is known by an acronym. If you utilize an abbreviated form of your company’s name, potential customers are unlikely to find your domain name.
- Avoid double letters (or more): If you double up on letters (unless it’s in your brand’s name), your visitors are more likely to type your name incorrectly. All Learn, which utilizes the domain name All-Learn.org, is an example of this (instead of AllLearn.org). Using a hyphen in this example really makes their domain name easier to spell.
3. Use Keywords That Describe Your Brand
Including relevant keywords in your domain name not only improves brand retention, but it can also improve your search engine ranking. Choose keywords that describe your brand and tell both human visitors and search engines what your site is about. Use a keyword generator to help you come up with terms and phrases that clearly show what your company does.
- 15 characters max: The longer the name, the more likely it is that your visitors may forget or make a mistake. For best retention, keep your domain name to 15 characters or less.
- Don’t be too specific: It’s a good idea to choose keywords that represent your brand, but don’t get too precise. For example, if you’re launching a real estate office in New Jersey, the name ApartmentsNJ may work for now, but not when you expand to include houses.
- Drop unnecessary words: Articles like “a” and “the” aren’t vital for search engine optimization (SEO) and add extra length to your domain name, so feel free to leave them out.
4. Choose the Right Extension
The root domain isn’t the end of your domain name. The right domain extension is an important part of how to choose a domain name. The correct domain extension enhances the credibility of your complete domain name and can also hint to the industry in which your company operates. For example, the most common (and competitive) domain extension is.com, which stands for “Commercial” and may be used for nearly any type of business.
- Commercial entities: A.com extension may and should be used by businesses in any industry. This is the most reliable and extensively used extension, so try it first before moving on to other options.
- Web and technology: The term .net stands for network, and it was first used in the technology industry. It’s now becoming more popular among organizations in various industries that can’t afford a .com domain.
- Organizations and nonprofits: The.org suffix is frequently used by charities and organizations; choosing between .com and .org is simple because using .org signifies that your company is a nonprofit.
- Other popular extensions: Aside from the prominent extensions listed above, there are further options such as.edu (for educational organizations) and.io (an alternative to .net). You might also use a country-specific extension, such as .us or .ca for the United States and Canada, respectively.
5. Research Domain History
To avoid surprises after the acquisition, you should have a thorough understanding of the history of a domain before purchasing it, just as you would with physical real estate. Consider it a domain name version of a home inspection.
- Backlink checker: This can help you monitor the backlink profile of the domain. It provides understanding and gives you some information on your domain’s history.
- Disavow links: This means removing any unwanted links that point to the website. If you believe that low-quality links that you don’t control are harming the site’s ranking. You can ask Google not to take them into account when assessing the site by disavowing the backlinks.
Having the correct domain name is the first step in increasing traffic to your website. Don’t just write down whatever comes first to mind. Ensure that your domain name is easy to spell, pronounce, and has the appropriate domain extension for your sector to keep it on-brand and memorable. Finally, before heading to a registrar to acquire the domain, perform a brief review of its history.
If you plan to take your business branding to the next level, we might be able to help!