Your domain name is the first thing people see when they find your website. As such they have a huge impact on your click through rate, brand identity, and advertising, both online and offline.
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The right domain name will help your business grow, ad the wrong one could really damage your businesses chances. For this reason we’ve outlined some of the key things you need to consider when choosing your domain name.
1. Use a Domain Name Generator
If you’re in need of some inspiration and ideas creation for your domain name then check out this Domain Name Generator that will help you find thousands of ideas and available domains.
2. Consider Length
You want to keep it short. The shorter the better. There’s a very simple reason for this; people have short memories. The longer the name is the less likely it’s going to resonate with people, and the less likely they are to remember it.
On top of this, longer names are often harder to spell, harder to say and thus talk about and, this one’s key, more difficult to type into google.
3. A Brandable Domain
This point links neatly with the previous one. By brandable, we mean something original, fun, unique and short. It should be something that people can easily remember, but more than that, it should, through associative references and connotations evoke an emotional response in the reader.
For example if you were opening a bakery:
- Bread&Butter – Bakery.com – The alliteration is fun, and the use of the idiom ‘bread and butter’ makes it easily memorable. However, the hyphens make it challenging to say and difficult to brand. It’s also too long and not particularly original.
- com – This is an interesting name as it implies great things, godly things of your baked goods. HOwever, deity is a bit of an obscure word that is difficult to spell.
- com – This would be a great name. It’s short and fun playing upon ‘take away’ which makes it easily memorable, easily searched and interesting to bring up in conversation.
4. Be Descriptive
When thinking about your domain, you want to ask the question, would a complete stranger be able to guess what you do? If the answer is yes then you may be onto a winner. However, if the domain is a little bit random you might want to rethink it.
Your domain should relate to your branding in some way, and it should relate to your business.
TheMuffinMan.com for example is pretty clearly a bakery that specialises in muffins.
5. Say it out loud
When you meet new people, whether potential investors or just interested in what you do, are you going to feel comfortable telling them your domain name out loud? Would someone intuitively be able to spell after just hearing it once?
Word of mouth can gain you valuable customers, but not if no one can, or wants, to say the name.
On top of this, if it’s hard to pronounce its harder for people to remember.
6. .COM is still King
Whilst there are lots of different TLDs (Top Level Domains) out there .com is the most used one. This means that is someone has to guess your domain they are going to try first and foremost ending it with .com. It’s the most likely.
If you want to build up a very brandable domain name, .com is your best choice. However, because it’s so common, getting hold of the right .com domain can be difficult.
If you can’t get .com though, which unless your domain name is very unique is unlikely, it’s perfectly acceptable to use another TLD. Try location, for example Canada is .ca, France, .fr, UK, .co.uk. Alternatively use one of the following gTLDs:
- .co : an abbreviation for company, commerce, or community.
- .info : for informational sites.
- .net : this is for technical sites.
- .org : nonprofit or non-commercial organizations.
- .biz : for business or commercial use, like an e-commerce site.
- .me : this is for resumes or personal sites like personal blogs.
7. Using Keywords
If you’re not going for a company brand URL then you want to make sure your domain appears in all the right searches. You can help this by using keywords. This will help optimise your website domain and make it more Google friendly.
However, it’s not as simple as it used to be. You can’t just stuff industry keywords into your domain. Google has got a whole lot more intelligent, and Keyword targeted domains no longer hold the weight they used to with search engines.
Instead you want to use broad keywords that in some way describe what your business does.
For example I would avoid a domain like EasyBakeRecipes.com and instead opt for something a little more dynamic and creative. DelightfulBites.com or perhaps TheBakersRoom.com.
8. Avoid Trademark Infringement
Before you settle down on your final choice, do a quick trademark check. The reason being, trademark owners can legally attempt to sue domain name owners if they think the domain name could in some way be confused with their trademark, even if they legally bought the domain name and are using it for a non-competing business.
On top of this, it could cause extra hassle and confusion for your brand identity down the line. So, to avoid any of these potential problems it’s definitely worth running a quick trademark check.
Be creative, but think long term. You need a short brandable domain that’s easy to remember and that search engines will like. Do a bit of brainstorming and create as many captivating phrases as you can before you hone in on that perfectly nuanced name. Try and imagine how it’s in keeping with your brand identity.