There was a time, not too long ago, when a website was considered an indulgence. Then came a time when people began seeing a website like an online business card – a necessity to get their business name some online exposure. Today, most businesses depend on their websites to increase awareness about the business among new potential customers. Modern web technologies have redefined what websites can do, users expect more than a business brochure online, and websites have become the virtual offices of many businesses around the world.
Whatever the business you are in, a website today is not an option – it is essential. The very first thing you need when starting a website is a domain name for your business online. It may seem like a simple thing, but your business domain name is something you should pay more than just a little attention. This article provides few tips to selecting your business domain name:
Tips for Selecting Your Business Domain Name
Cover the bases while selecting a business domain name: How would it be if you registered “mybusinessdomain.com” and then found out that someone else – maybe your competition – had registered “mybusinessdomain.org” or “mybusinessdomain.net”? If they SEO the site well, it could end up as being a serious competition that could have been avoided. It makes sense to book the other domain extensions for your business domain name, like .net, .org, and your country extensions and so on. This prevents anyone from abusing your business domain name.
Park your business domains together: If you register multiple extensions of your business domain, or if you register multiple domain names, it is always a good idea to park all your business domains with the same service provider. This will make administration of all your business domain names easier than if they are all parked with different service providers.
Don’t get tied down: Let’s say only the .org domain name extension is available for your preferred domain, what do you do? If only one domain extension is available for “yourbusinessdomain” then it means that the other extensions have been booked by someone else and yours will not be the first or the only website with the name “yourbusinessdomain”. Instead of registering the only extension available, it may be better to check for variations of your business name or other domains that may be available, that will represent your business adequately.
Cast the net wide: Think a few years down the line. Would you be doing the exact same business or is there are chance of diversification and expansion into other or related areas? Choosing a business domain name that defines your business too narrowly may end up being restrictive in the long run.
A brief business domain name is better: A short domain name is easier to recall and there are fewer chances of someone misspelling it while typing it in the browser. Try and keep your business domain name as short as possible.
Use hyphens judiciously: If you have to tell someone your business domain name over the phone, saying “mybusinessdomain” is easier than saying “my hyphen business hyphen domain”. It is also easier to recall and there’s a lesser chance of someone typing it wrong. However, if the domain name is so important that you cannot consider an alternative, then you can consider a domain name with a hyphen. Avoid using more than one hyphen in the domain name if possible.
How important is the keyword really? Well, it is important but not having a keyword in the domain name isn’t the end of the world. Having a keyword in the domain name doesn’t mean that your site will automatically start ranking for the keyword either. The bigger question is, does the keyword reflect your business or is it there only to appease the search engines? If it naturally finds a way into the domain name, it will be useful when you do the SEO of the site. However, sites like Amazon, eBay, IBM and many others do not have a keyword in their business domain name and do just as well in search engine rankings.
Know what you can and cannot use: You can use letters, numbers and dashes (hyphens) in your business domain name. You cannot use a space between words and you cannot use special characters like $, %, #, etc. You can use both capitals as domain names are not case sensitive. For instance, MyBusinessDomain is the same as mybusinessdomain and MyBusiness-Domain is the same as mybusiness-domain.
Try not to be a me-too: Avoid using a domain name that contains an established brand name. Many times, use of a trademarked name can land you in trouble, even if it is used harmlessly. If you sell shoes and call your site “BestNikeShoes.com” or “NikeExclusiveStore”, it may still become tricky in future.
Keep it up to date: If your contact information changes, update the details for your domain name as well. It is your responsibility to ensure that the domain information is accurate, although your domain registrar may remind you when the domain comes up for renewal. If you have registered the domain for 5 years or more, then even the reminder may be a long way off.