When choosing a domain name for your business, you obviously want to get it right. A great domain name can make a big difference in your quest to make your business an online success.
How then do you choose the right domain name?
Many experts have come up with various tips on choosing a great domain name. Unfortunately, the sheer number of these tips has made it even more difficult and confusing to choose a domain. It’s now hard to tell which tips are the real deal and which ones are chaff.
You are not alone. Below, I have compiled some of the tips that have worked for Macaulay Gidado.
Your Domain Name Should Be a Branding Tool
Take hot-iron branding, for instance. People in the olden days used it to place marks of identification on things they own–for example, slaves and livestock. Hot-iron branding was all about identity.
Using your domain as a branding tool thus means using it to give your business an online identity. When people see or hear your domain name, does it remind them of your company? If yes, then you have succeeded.
Here are some ways you can use your domain name as a branding tool
- Use your business name as your domain name. Just as Coca Cola, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook did.
- Avoid names that are too generic.
- Avoid including numbers in your domain. Numbers are not easy to remember.
- Don’t use a name that sounds like that of a competitor.
- You service coverage is limited to a specific location, then you might want to localise your domain name by adopting the country code top-level domain (ccTLDs) of that location. For instance, if your business only serves people in New Zealand, then consider using www.yourdomain.nz instead of .com, .org, or any other domain extension. This will improve your search engine optimisation and help your site rank higher for relevant searches originating from the country your business covers.
- You might want to trademark your domain to safeguard it from competitors and squatters who might try to use variances of it.
- You might also want to register your chosen name under various top level domains (TLDs) in order to prevent other businesses or people from registering them. For instance, don’t just register yourdomain.com. Also register yourdomain.org, yourdomain.net, and other domain extension you don’t want other people to register.
Make Your Domain Name Memorable
Make it easy for your customers to remember your domain name.
- Shorter names are easier to remember.
- Use a name that is easy to pronounce.
- Avoid hyphens and numbers. They complicate things.
- Avoid misspellings. Even though misspellings worked for Flickr.com and tumblr.com, they are tricky and can work against you.
- Use a catchy name. Catchy makes for easy remembrance.
Never Use a Trademarked Name
Using a name associated with a trademark translates to cybersquatting. You will be basically infringing on another business’ trademark. You could end up in a lawsuit that will take away your domain and leave you paying damages to the trademark owner. Avoid trademarked names. Use this tool to check the trademark risk associated with your chosen domain name.
Is Your Chosen Name Available on Social Media
Before registering a domain name for your business, you might want to check whether the name is available on the top social media platforms. Why? Using the the name in your domain as your social media handle will help you:
- Create a uniform online presence for your brand.
- Make your brand easy to discover.
- Improve your online credibility and authenticity.
- Prevent other people or competing companies from stealing your brand’s identity on social media and doing God knows what with it.
Therefore, if your domain name is www.yourbrand.com, you might want to snag the Facebook and Twitter URLs www.facebook.com/yourbrand and www.twitter.com/yourbrand. Do the same for other social media platforms.
To check if your name is available on the top social media platform, use this tool.
Having acquainted yourself with the tips above, you mustn’t take all of them into consideration when choosing your domain name. However, making sure that your domain name conforms to some or most of them can improve your chances of snagging a domain name that makes all the difference for your business.