Have you considered how important your domain name is or will be for your business? It could be the first thing a customer sees when he or she encounters your company. In addition, you’ll use that domain name as part of your advertising campaigns for years to come. So, you’d better like what you choose! We’ve put together five smart tips to help you choose a winning domain name.
- Be Brandable – Your domain naming system is more than just the address for your website—if you have a strong online presence, it becomes a recognizable part of your brand. Think about companies like eBay and google—they likely would have had a more difficult time gaining a foothold in their niches if their domains were not ebay.com and google.com, but were instead ebayonlineauctions.net or googlesearchtheweb.biz. While it may be a little harder to get those short, punchy .com domains today than it was in 1997, it is still important to make it brandable.
- Make it Easy to Spell – When you’re sharing your domain verbally, imagine spelling your domain to someone over the phone—would it be easy, or insanely hard? That’s something to keep in mind. While adding extra ZZZ’s or changing a C to a K may make the name look clever, it will have you constantly correcting spelling and may inadvertently send your customers to a competitor.
- Go Short (But Not too Short) – Shorter can be good, but if you go too short pointlessly, it can be confusing. For example, if your company name is Chicago Building Supply, the domain ChicagoBuildingSupply.net might be a great choice, but CBS.info not only probably isn’t available, but it likely would not resonate with your customers as having anything to do with your company.
- Choose .com if Possible – There is nothing inherently wrong with a .net or .org, but .com extensions are the preferred option. If you can find something you like, that “checks all the boxes” in a .com, go that route. You’ll find your visitors find it much easier to find you this way.
- Think Keyword Savvy – While it’s not necessary, remember that if you’re struggling for domain ideas you can incorporate a valuable keyword into your domain. For instance, if your company name is Smith Plumbing, you may not be able to obtain smithplumbing.com, but perhaps you can get smithplumbingchicago.com. In doing this, you still have a memorable domain, and you added the local keyword that may help with your search rankings.
While domain names are important, remember that many of your customers will simply be typing your “domain” into Google anyway, so as long as they get close, they will find you—so having something unique and memorable is best. Spend some time finding the ideal address for your site but realize it is just one of many things that goes into making your website a success.