Choosing a domain name is equally as important as choosing your company or business name. It is absolutely critical to own a domain name that contributes to the online success of the company. Ideally, your choice of domain name must be easy to remember and specifically designed to meet brand goals and objectives.
The domain name must provide answers to the search queries of visitors. Visitors initiate decisions on the relevance of a website through its domain name. Choosing or acquiring the perfect domain name for a company has five benefits:
- Increase in traffic
- Increase in subscribers
- Backlinks and shares on social media
- Clear brand imaging
- Blog interest
These five benefits are just a few of the many benefits of choosing an effective domain name. Clarity is key; your domain name defines your website for potential visitors. Learn how to choose the perfect domain name with these tips.
Short domain names produce better results
The most important requirement from a domain name is for people to quickly grasp the identity of the website. The domain name must be straight to the point. However, most of the shorter domain names containing 1-4 letter words have been utilised. The online landscape has grown to an astonishing 1 billion websites, meaning that the more direct domain names with top-level domain extensions have now been taken.
Domain name availability shouldn’t hinder your search for a shorter domain. The method of finding websites has completely changed from simply typing it into the address bar to social media links and Google searching.
A company must be ingenious in choosing its domain name. A combination of two or three keywords that aptly describe the company should be chosen. Avoid the use of acronyms except where it is highly catchy or popular.
A short domain name helps users easily remember and correctly type it. The domain name must be easy to retain and spell for the user; otherwise, the benefits of acquiring a domain name are lessened. Future visitors who incorrectly spell the domain name will be redirected to another website, possibly even to a competitor, reducing the traffic generated. Flickr.com had to acquire the domain Flicker.com in 2005 at a huge cost to the company, in order to redirect visitors who were spelling the domain name incorrectly.
Use a top-level domain extension
75% of all the world’s websites have a .com domain extension. It is the most commonly used extension as a lot of users have been programmed to assume the .com extension after the domain name. Other domain extensions should only be considered when the .com top-level domain extension is unavailable.
Domain extensions have evolved to address specific uses. Nonetheless, the first choice should be a .com domain extension. A high number of top-level domain extensions such as .me, .co, .info, .org, .biz and .net also exist for specific purposes. If the .com extension is unavailable, then choose an extension that is easy to remember.
Although Google and other search engines now prioritise search results by the location of the IP address, the .com extension still offers the most benefits if available. There is no need to build a website for each domain name extension either, as additional domain extensions can be forwarded to the primary website.
The domain name chosen must not violate the trademark of any company or organization. Do proper research to avoid a future legal battles that could kill off your website or business. Trademarks will usually not be allowed as part of a domain name.
Apart from avoiding future legal tussles, check for the availability of the domain name on social media sites. Using the same domain name on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram contributes massively to the brand parity of the company.
The use of a domain name with hyphens or numbers will cause confusion to the website user. These should totally be avoided. The choice of a domain name should be classic so that it can span generations of users. This will aid the website’s ranking, branding, return on investment, and traffic generated.
The domain name will represent the brand and the company. Purchasing and using different domain extensions and misspelt versions of the domain name will contribute greatly to the healthy performance of the website.
The other domain extensions and misspelt versions of the domain name will prevent competitors registering other versions, which redirect to their websites. Traffic and consumers can be lost because of a misspelled domain name or an incorrect extension.
Choose a unique name
The most important consideration for the success of a domain name is its uniqueness. A short domain name won’t serve a good purpose if it’s generic and uninspiring. Ideally, it is advisable to choose a name that directly markets the business. Combined with a domain name extension, a unique domain name is a powerful branding tool for a company.
The uniqueness of the domain name can be applied to social media. A simple search on Google, Bing, and Yahoo will show if a proposed domain name exists as a plural or a slightly different spelling. If it does, combine new words to show uniqueness or add a domain extension such as “. co.uk” that localises the website.
The most important part of choosing a domain name is to register it. Act quickly to acquire the appropriate domain name that defines your business and its long-term goals. You may not be able to get your country TLD with every domain registrar. If you need Australian or New Zealand domains then try Umbrellar. If you need a European domain this site has the most. If you want a .com extension, then just about every registrar will work. Have an open mind to using alternate domain names and extensions if your first choice is unavailable. Finally, remember that you need a long term plan to keep your domain viable before it is even registered. Commit to responsive design and ensure proper onsite and offsite backup of business data.
Author’s Bio: James is a business psychologist and serial entrepreneur, with over a decade working in finance, IT, marketing and recruitment sectors. He has helped many CEOs develop strategic marketing processes for their brand and is online marketing ambassador for some of New Zealand’s web hosting and offsite backup companies.