Choose a Website Domain Name That Gives Your Business an Edge
Author: Jeremy Harrison
Choosing a website domain name is not for the fainthearted. The process will underpin your entire business and its digital marketing potential. Most small business need expert marketing advice upon entering this new, strange, foreign landscape. Take a few tips from the pros before paying for a domain name that doesn’t engage consumers and isn’t memorable.
Understand the process
Many business owners entering the digital marketing landscape have to work with an existing business name. And for good reason. Years or even decades spent branding their businesses means that a business name holds a lot of value.
However, the first step in the domain name selection process is also the hardest one: finding a name that hasn’t already been taken.
You see, local businesses in particular often have a name that’s unique to their local area, but across the country—or even the globe—somebody may have a business with the same or similar name. That business may have beaten you to the punch, grabbing the coveted .com version of the domain name.
There are ways to get around this problem, however.
Tips for getting started
Most experts recommend following these steps when choosing a website domain name:
Always buy the .com version for your domain name. Repeat: Always buy the .com version. This is the go-to extension the vast majority of consumers type when searching on the web.
Non-profits can purchase a .org domain name, but they are the only exception to the first tip. The general public has become savvy enough to know that non-profit websites end in the .org extension. If you can, however, buy both the .org and .com domain name.
- Choose key industry terms. Search engines “read” the website name as part of their algorithm. To boost search engine search page results, the domain name must be relevant to your industry. If you’re selling real estate, your domain name should include that keyword phrase (realestatecleveland.com). If you’re selling a service, your domain name should include that keyword phrase (dogwalking.com).
- Keep it short. People tend to forget longer domain names, so keep the name as brief as possible. For instance, Five Guys Burgers and Fries opted for the domain name “fiveguys.com.” Short and simple.
- Remember type-ability and speak-ability. The challenge of choosing a website domain name is compounded by the fact that consumers rely on a domain name that’s easy to say and type. If either is difficult to do, consumers will be less likely to “find you” on the web.
- Employ branding. Consumers will get to know your business by the name you select. Consider the impact of branding with these two domain names for a local specialty shoe business: “Clevelandluxuryshoe.com” vs. “cheapshoescleveland.”
- Check social media sites. An available website domain name may not also be available on social media sites. Choosing a name that is available and works on all of the platforms you plan on including in your marketing campaign will boost your branding.
What’s the bottom line when choosing a website domain name? It takes creativity and time, but selecting a strategic name that drives your brand to attract consumes and engage new customers pays off.