The Name Game: Picking the Right Domain for Your Website
Choosing a domain name for your business is neither clear-cut nor simple. For any business to succeed, a domain name is a necessity, and the internet is loaded with them as a result. It may seem as straightforward as registering yourcompany.com. However, just going with your business name, if it’s even an option, may not always be the best business decision. To create a domain that will differentiate your business, and maximize traffic to your site, consider these tips first.
Think like a search engine. As the market becomes inundated with .coms, especially those made from short, common words, creating a domain name based on your keywords may be a better option for increasing organic traffic results. Weigh the varying match options when honing in on the right one for your professional position in your industry:
EXACT MATCH – This is a worthwhile choice to draw in internet searchers who may not have heard of you yet. It’s a great option, especially if you’re the new kid on the block with a limited advertising budget.
PARTIAL MATCH – These domain names are successful in that they still benefit a business more from keyword searches than those with no keywords at all, but they won’t generate as much traffic as an exact match.
NO MATCH – Businesses with an established brand and significant presence in the industry will find branding value from this choice, but if you’re new, you will need more online support strategies than just your website alone to survive.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Your goal is to stay in the minds of your audience, and while a unique and catchy name may get their immediate attention, if it’s too obscure, they’re likely to forget it. Don’t let overdone creativity rank you into obscurity.
- A name with less than 15 characters is ideal
- Avoid hyphens and numbers
- The shorter, the better
- Make it easy to spell
APPLY YOUR BUSINESS STRATEGY
Use your domain name to enhance the industry nature, marketing strategy and business brand. Let your company and its future help shape your domain by using local or global market indicators, the right extension for your purpose, and a feel that suggests the overall dynamics of your business.
CONSIDER LOCALITY-DRIVEN TRAFFIC – If your business has a local storefront, or operates and does business locally, use that to your advantage. For instance, look at a domain like sdequitypartners.com, which is a San Diego hard money lender.
In this example, the chosen domain name clearly illustrates to their potential customers what area they service. If your market is global in nature, consider a domain that highlights this reach, or possibly your product offering.
USE THE RIGHT DOMAIN EXTENSION – Choose an extension for your domain that showcases your industry. Applying the wrong type of extension can send the wrong message to your audience and ultimately hurt your business. Consult this list to choose the right option:
- .com – for commercial, used for profit-based companies, and most common
- .net – for technical, and internet infrastructure sites
- .org – for nonprofits, and non-commercial sites
- .biz – for e-commerce and business sites
- .info – for resource, informational sites.
- .me – for personal blogs, resumes or personal sites
REGISTER MORE THAN ONE – Get the jump on misspellings or typing errors and if it’s in the budget, purchase those domains too. You never want to worry about lost traffic to a .org, or a common transposing of letters. If you foresee an issue with a name you must have, look into purchasing the alternates, and re-direct them to your intended site.
Registering alternate sites also secures your online business. Especially in a high competition markets, purchasing your domain and varying versions of it protects your site from competitors using versions of your name to direct traffic to their site.
CONDUCT THOROUGH RESEARCH
CHECK FOR TRADEMARKS – Prior to spending any money on a domain name, research your top choices for existing trademarks to avoid unnecessary fines or potential lawsuits as a result of domain name trademark infringement.
AVOID CONFUSION – Many domain name generator sites exist to help you come up with creative options when your choices appear limited. Take a few minutes to do your own search on names that may be close to the ones at the top of your list, to avoid choosing a name that may be confused with another site.
While there are no hard and fast rules to coming up with the perfect domain name, it pays to spend time finding one that’s a good fit for your industry and that will grow alongside your business in the years to come.