Many people would think that the name of your business is the obvious choice for your domain name. While this may be true, if you are an established brand name in your industry but for most businesses, this is not necessarily the case.
However, choosing a domain name wisely can potentially give your business an impetus online. Not only can it help you establish a link with your target audience, it can also help search engines associate your domain with your business. In turn, this would mean better ranking in search results and more visitors to your website.
15 Tips for Choosing a Domain Name
Choosing your domain name wisely can give your business a head start online. Here are a few questions to ponder: What does your domain name convey to your target audience? Does it establish a link with your business? When hearing the domain name, would your audience associate you with what they are looking for? Is your domain name easy to remember and spell? What is the chance that people typing in your domain name into the browser could make a spelling mistake? What if your desired domain name is already taken?
These are just a few of the questions you should look to answer before registering your domain name. This article by Ballistic Domains provides 15 tips to choosing the right domain name.
Choosing a Domain Tip 1 – Brainstorm
Your domain name is a marketing decision that should not be taken hastily. You are going to live with the domain name for years, and this will call for marketing brainstorming to get the right domain name. Make a list of 5-10 terms that would best describe your business. Consider what you think would identify your business with your target audience. This list of terms would be the starting point of your domain search.
Choosing a Domain Tip 2 – Keywords
The best marketing communication is that, which talks to the audience in its language. This rule of marketing applies to your domain name as well. Keywords are terms that your target audience uses while searching for products or services you offer. If your domain name contains the keyword that best describes your business it automatically creates an association with your audience.
When others link to your website, your domain name is most often used as the linking text Having a keyword in your domain also helps your website’s SEO by getting a keyword into the linking text
The ideal situation would be if your main keyword IS your domain name. However, most highly searched terms have already been registered as domain names. If your preferred keyword is not available as a domain name, consider a combination of your business name + your keyword. For example, if your business name is Ballistic, and you sell domain names, then a perfect domain would be BallisticDomains.com.
Choosing a Domain Tip 3 – Marketability & Brand appeal
Imagine your domain name in an advertisement, on the radio, in publicity material, etc. Do you feel your domain name has a recall value? Do you think it would create a resonance with your target audience and have brand appeal? Do you think your domain name could develop as a brand over time? Examples of this are Google, Twitter, Nike – each of these names is a commonly recognized brand name today but what did these names mean to the target audience when these websites started?
Choosing a Domain Tip 4 – Short is sweet.
Be it Google, Yahoo, Bing, Twitter, Nike or other brand names you easily recall. Most of the brand names are short and simple. A short name is easy to remember and recall. The fewest characters used, the less there is a chance of someone making a mistake typing your domain name. Try and keep your domain name as short as meaningfully possible.
Choosing a Domain Tip 5 – The spelling issue
Think of ways in which your domain name may be misspelled by your target audience. A name that can be spelled in different ways or one that people are likely to spell incorrectly is a bad choice.
Choosing a Domain Tip 6 – Singular or Plural
Should you opt for the singular or plural if your domain name ends with a keyword? For instance, should it be Ballistic Domain or Ballistic Domains? Many times, the availability of the domain name decides it. If both are available, it is advisable to register both versions. This way, you would be preventing someone else from registering it and running a pseudo website with your business name.
Choosing a Domain Tip 7 – Hyphens
Imagine telling your domain name to someone over the telephone. Conveying BallisticDomains.com is easier than conveying Ballistic-Domains.com. Avoid hyphens. They are not easy to remember. If your domain name has more than two words, where to place the hyphen can also cause common errors. However, if the keyword is extremely important to your business and the only version of the domain name available is with a hyphen, it may be something you register as a compromise. A hyphenated domain name should never be your first choice.
Choosing a Domain Tip 8 – Numbers
Avoid numbers in your domain name. Use “to” instead of “2” Use “For” instead of “4” Use “One” instead of “1”. Using the numeral 0 can result in someone thinking it is the letter “O”. Using numerals can confuse your target audience, especially when someone verbally mentions the domain name. It can also result in your domain name being typed incorrectly.
Choosing a Domain Tip 9 – Slang
Similar to the use of numerals, use of slang can confuse your audience when your domain name is verbally mentioned. It would be better to use “you” instead of using “U” or “and” instead of “n”. Keeping your domain name simple and devoid of gimmicks is the safest way to ensure your target audience is going to remember you.
Choosing a Domain Tip 10 – Go easy
Keep your domain name unique, try and include keywords, avoid numerals and slang and at the same time, try and keep it easy for your audience to understand and remember. A complicated domain name is never easy to describe, understand or remember. Keep your target audience in mind when imagining how easy it would be for them to accept and remember your domain name.
Choosing a Domain Tip 11 – Jargon
Every industry has its own jargon. If your website is targeted at the masses, then the average internet user may not be aware of your industry jargon. However, it is alright to use jargon in your domain name if it is targeted at a niche audience that will easily associate the jargon with your business.
Choosing a Domain Tip 12 – Copyright issue
Make sure your domain name does not result in copyright violations. If the domain you want to have is an established brand name that has somehow not been registered already, you may land up in litigation over the ownership rights of the brand name. If the brand has been around longer than your business, then it is a battle you may end up losing. Copyright infringement is a common problem online, and it is best to steer clear of it.
Choosing a Domain Tip 13 – Domain extension
The most popular domain extension is the .com. Most browsers automatically try and locate a .com site if a user just types the name and forgets to enter an extension. As such, try and get a .com extension for your domain. If your business is local to your country, and if the .com extension is not available, you may want to consider the extension of the region your website serves. For example, if your target market is the UK, you can consider a .co.uk extension.
Choosing a Domain Tip 14 – Price Factor
Registering a new domain name is inexpensive. However, if the domain name of your choice is already registered, you may want to consider buying the domain name outright or participating in a domain auction. If the domain name contains a competitive keyword, then the price factor may come into play, and the domain can cost you even hundreds of dollars.
Choosing a Domain Tip 15 – Deliver on the promise
Every domain name conveys a brand image. Once your website goes live, its personality and content will convey an image and create expectations in the minds of your target audience. Make sure you get a domain name that you can deliver on. This is especially so if your domain name contains superlatives like “best”, “superior”, etc.
Last but not the least, there are hundreds of domain names being registered everyday. Selecting the right domain name while it is available can give your business a head start on the internet. As you delay your domain registration, you may be running the risk of losing your domain name to someone else. Act now and choose wisely.