Choosing a domain name is an important part of establishing an online presence for your business. But there are a few important considerations to take into account when selecting your website address. Choosing the right or wrong domain could mean the difference between potential clients finding you, or being lost to the sea of over 1.1 billion websites that exist today. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the perfect domain name for your online business.
Use Your Company’ or Brand Name
Your business’s or brand’s awareness is at the center of your marketing plan. Your mission is to get brand recognition, so the best choice for you is to register your brand or company name as your domain name. Although certain factors can determine whether that’s the best choice in the long run, like the length of your company’s name or if you think you will change your company’s name in the future, in almost every case you will want people to match your company’s name with the URL they type into their address bar.
Choose Your Extension Wisely
The best domain extension for almost any website is going to be .com – it’s the most common and the most recognized on the internet. But if the .com isn’t available, then you have a few options. You can choose to go with a domain address that is an abbreviation of your company name – so if your company were Johnny’s Speedboats and Marine Equipment and johnnysspeedboatsandmarineequipment.com were taken (which may be a blessing in disguise, since that domain name is probably too long to be useful anyway – more on that later), then you could go with johnnysspeedboats.com or jsame.com. If using an abbreviation doesn’t float your boat, there is a huge number of generic top-level domains, or gTLDs, to choose from. These can have great branding power, indicating to your potential audience the type of market you’re in. Have a look here to see just a few of the fun and exciting options that are available.
Keep It Short and Sweet
Not all of us are fast typers, and there are even those among us who still use the hunt-and-peck method of typing. That being said, no matter how fast you type, no one wants to type an epically long domain name into a browser’s address bar. If you can, try to keep your website address as short as possible when choosing your domain name.
One of the biggest factors that will affect how well your site attracts new visitors will be your SEO, and one of the places SEO places a lot of weight is keywords. You want to put your most important keywords in positions like your site title, site headers, first and last paragraphs, and – you guessed it – your domain address. If your company’s name already has keywords in it, like our friend Johnny above with his speedboats, then you are already ahead of the game. If not, think about adding a keyword to your site’s address to maximize SEO – just watch that length!
The Pen Is Mightier
Remember that episode of Saturday Night Live that had a sketch about Sean Connery on Jeopardy where he pronounced all the names of the categories incorrectly? That’s something you will need to look out for when choosing a domain name, since capital letters aren’t used in URLs. Even though you know very well what your company’s name is, a new customer might not, and if they get confused when reading your site address they could mistake your company’s service or product with something completely unrelated. Make sure that doesn’t happen either by altering your site address to something 100% safe, or by utilizing periods between words to make your site’s address crystal clear.
Use the tips above and you’ll establish a strong foundation for your company’s online presence.
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