When you choose a domain name, you need to find something that will stand out. Even if you have the best product or service available, your business’s success on the internet will depend to a big degree on the domain name.
In this article, we will give you expert tips on how to choose a domain name that will guarantee visitors flocking towards your website. We’ll be covering the following factors:
- Explanation of What a Domain Name Is
- How and Why is a Domain Name Important?
- Expert Tips on How to Pick a Domain Name
What is a Domain Name?
In the same way as you would have a physical address for your business in a city, you need an address for your business on the internet. The domain name is the address, or URL, that potential visitors will type into the browser URL bar to be able to visit your website.
To identify different online addresses, an IP address (Internet Protocol) is allocated to each domain. It typically looks like this – 56.321.66.3. Trying to remember the numbers of all your favorite websites might be problematic, so domain names were invented to solve this issue.
When you create a domain name, you have the option of choosing .com, .net, or .org extensions. Top-level domain types are usually followed by ‘.com’, ‘.net’, ‘org’, and ‘.edu’. If you want your address to be country-specific you can choose a domain extension like ‘.jp’ (Japan) or ‘.us’ (United States). Almost 50% of domains use ‘.com’.
You shouldn’t confuse domain names with a website or a website hosting service. A website consists of the images, files, and content you see when visiting a domain address. Whereas web hosting is the place where your website resides. To have a functioning domain name you need both a hosting service and a designed website.
How Important is a Domain Name for a Business?
The importance of the right kind of domain name should never be underestimated. It has a direct effect on the amount of traffic driven to your high-quality website as well as your brandability. Here are a few reasons why choosing a domain name with impact is so important:
Creating a website using a free web hosting site is very easy. WordPress offers free hosting as a great start-up, but if you don’t purchase your own domain name, you will have a complex domain name like – www.wordpress.com/myowndomain.
With the number of fraudsters and scammers out there, many people are becoming quite careful who they do business with online.
When a potential client sees a domain name like this, they are most likely to turn the other way. Since domain names and hosting plans cost money, you are showing that you are a credible service that is willing to invest in an online address. People associate complex and free domain names with businesses that aren’t well established or successful.
Attracts Organic Traffic
When you have a good name for your site you are bound to attract organic traffic. People are interested and curious to find out more about catchy domains and websites. Especially if your target market is searching for services that you provide, your domain name might just pop up on their search results.
If your service is plumbing and you choose a name like ‘www.superstar.com’; just by looking at your domain name your target customer won’t be able to figure out what service you provide. A good website name for a plumbing service will be something like www.superstarplumbers.com. When potential clients search for ‘plumbers’, your domain name might come up.
This will not only increase your SEO rankings but also attract organic and even walk-in clients.
Branding has become just as important as the products and services provided by businesses. When you think of a large brand like Amazon or Google, it is easy to connect them to their domain names – Amazon.com and Google.com. Imagine if their brand had different domains like www.biggestshoponline.com or www.yoursearchparty.com. The value of a domain name is in how easy it is to remember and whether it reinforces your company name. This will make customers return and even recommend you to their friends and family.
Investing in business domain names allows you to easily change web hosts. This means that you can easily switch to your own VPS hosting server instead of using a separate web hosting service. When you migrate from a shared hosting plan to your own VPS hosting, you’ll have all the control over your domain data. This basically means that you don’t have to pay any ‘rent’ fees to a web hosting company anymore.
How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Business
Choosing the right domain name is vital to your success. It’s important to know that once you’ve chosen a name, it can be quite difficult to change it down the road. That’s why you have to put some thought into choosing the right one.
Follow our expert guide on choosing the perfect domain name for your business:
Deciding On the Right Name for Your Business
It goes without saying that if you want to build a brand, that your business name should correlate with your domain name. This doesn’t mean that your business’s name should be the business domain name. But if you want to build a brand, you’ll have to make sure that your business name fits your domain.
If you have a lengthy business name like ‘Richards and Owens Attorneys at Law’, you should pick something that connects closely to it. For example: roattorneys.com.
Let’s go over some specific domain name tips you can apply.
Keep it Short
Choose something short, memorable, and punchy. Many experts advise that your domain name isn’t longer than 15 characters. We recommend keeping it even shorter – aim between 6-14 characters.
The shorter it is, the more likely it is for people to remember the name and spell it correctly when typing it into the URL bar.
Choosing .com, .net, or .org extensions
The extension of your domain name depends on the type of domain you want to purchase. ‘.com’ is by far the most popular and highly recommended extension to use.
Here is a list of what these extensions stand for:
.com – commercial business
.net – network
.org – organization
.co – commercial
.uk/.jp/.us/.za/.de – country codes for the United Kingdom, Japan, United States, South Africa, and Germany
.gov – government
.edu – education
.biz – business
.me – personal
.info – information
You might have seen a combination of extensions for example ‘co.uk’ – this means it’s a commercial business within the United Kingdom. You’ll have to pick one of these extensions depending on your geographical area and the group you are targeting.
When in doubt, stick to ‘.com’. Without even thinking people will automatically type ‘.com’ at the end of a URL search. If it isn’t available, choose domain name extension alternatives such as ‘.net’ or ‘.org’. Avoid complex and uncommon extensions like ‘.pizza’ and ‘.brush’.
Use Keywords and Niche-Specific Words
Keywords are extremely important. Using specific kinds of words in your site’s content and in your site’s name can help users to find you. Including a smart short keyword in your domain name will automatically inform the search engine what your site is about. As a result, you will pop up higher in the search rankings when people are looking for your kind of products or services.
Websites within the fitness niche, for example, can use words that specifically describe their industry. Do some research and even pull out the thesaurus to identify catchy words or phrases that are associated with fitness. The same goes for all other niches when looking for ways on how to choose a domain name.
Avoid Abbreviations and Cutesy Names
When you use abbreviations like ‘4u’ or ‘2in1’, the user may wonder whether they should spell it out or use numerals. These kinds of business names end up looking unprofessional. Don’t try to be smart with the spelling or create something too complicated. When it comes to choosing a domain name, ‘less is more’ and ‘bold is better’.
Unique and Easy to Remember
Unique brand names are easy to remember and stand out from the rest. Don’t add any hyphens or overly complex words. This also includes domains that have double letters for example: wiseearth.com. This can only lead to users misspelling your domain name.
When looking for specific brandable names, take time to research other blogs and websites within your niche. Make sure that you choose a name that differs from those of your competitors.
If you are struggling to come up with something short and brandable, ask friends, customers, and colleagues for domain name ideas. There are many free domain-name generators online that you can also refer to.
Don’t be afraid to create your own interesting name. If it’s made up but is easy to remember and catchy, then it will be an excellent branding tool. Look at Bing and Yahoo.
Take Time to Research
After you’ve decided on a domain name, you should browse through different search engine platforms and social media networks to see whether there are other brands working with your name. Sometimes, a social media profile might have a big following using a business name without them actually having a website. Feel free to tweak your chosen name a little bit.
Leave room for growth when you are deciding on a good website name. Someone within the fitness niche might be currently focused on yoga and choose a name that reflects that – e.g. yoga.com. But perhaps later, you’d like to expand into other fitness areas or products, and then it will be difficult to change your name.
One of the best tips is to think long-term. If you want your business to grow, your name should be able to attract consumers who are interested in a broader niche.
Domain Privacy Protection
Once you’ve registered a domain name you are going to need decent privacy protection. No matter which ecommerce hosting service you use, all of your personal details are stored in a WHOIS database, which is a listing of all domain names. To protect your information and ensure customer privacy, you need to purchase a good privacy protection plan.
Picking a domain name can be a lot of fun. As long as you check your options, find a catchy name that isn’t too cluttered and complicated, you’ll be able to brand your business and grow. Regardless of whether you choose a VPS hosting, ecommerce hosting, or reseller hosting service, your name will be part of your business’s identity on the internet.
If you implement all our domain name tips, you’ll be able to find the perfect brandable name for your business.
Yes, to some extent. If your domain name reflects your services and products it will be recognized by a search engine. It’s not the only thing that affects SEO, however. Websites should also focus on SEO-rich content and blogs to attract even more organic traffic.
One of our best tips in this guide on how to choose a domain name is that the shorter the domain name is, the better. WordPress suggests a domain name no longer than 15 characters, but we’d like to encourage you to choose an even shorter name – between 6-14 characters.
The domain registration process can last between 24-72 hours. You will get the domain for 1-10 years, depending on the option you choose during registration. Renewing and extending your domain name is always an option.