Your domain name is more than just a web address. It’s your company name. Your company identity. That means that the domain name you’re choosing should meet certain criteria. It should suit the needs of your company in terms of promotion and branding, but it also needs to be user friendly for the people who will ultimately be using it the most – your customers.
The perfect domain name may come you in a flash or it might be something you select over alonger stretch of time. Even if you become inspired almost immediately withwhat feels like the perfect domain, take a few moments to work through thesesteps to be sure there isn’t something you’re overlooking.
Your domain name shouldn’t be a mess of slang spellings and commonly misspelled words. Choose words that are easy to say and to spell so that customers aren’t going to try to reach your site and wind up struggling to find the right spelling.
If you do wind up with a domain name that contains words that have multiple spellings, consider buying the domain names for those other potential spellings. You can redirect all of the extra domains to your one established site and not worry about losing traffic along the way.
Your domain name shouldn’t be a full sentence. You don’t want it to be a long phrase or have some strange combination of letters and numerals. Brevity is powerful in that it is easy to remember, easy to spell and often easier to brand as well. Long tail keywords have their place in the universe, but it’s not inside your company’s domain name.
Long tail keyword phrases are out, but more direct searchable keywords are definitely in. You don’t want your customers to have to type out a paragraph to reach your website, but if they happen to type in some keywords related to what you do, it is helpful for SEO and branding to include some of those more common keywords in your domain name.
If you are a locksmith in Smithville, for example, you might strongly consider using a website as simple as smithvillelocksmith.com to capture organic search traffic. Your natural keywords will also make a lot of sense to your customers, especially if they wind up on a local billboard.
You might want to be the number one locksmith in your local area, but you don’t want to be number1-locksmith.com. People have a hard time with hyphens because they show up in strange places and they don’t usually make logical sense in a domain name. They are a random piece of punctuation that has been dropped in to confuse the user.
Numbers can work the same way. Are you number1locksmith.com? Or the numberonelocksmith.com? You’re going to get very tired of trying to spell it or say it the right way so that customers will remember and actually type it in correctly. Remember, it’s not just your website that will be using the hyphens or numbers, but your domain-related email addresses also.
In the millions of domain names, try to be clever enough to stick in the minds of your customers. Sure, it’s a tall order to create cleverness on demand, but consider some group think with others on your team or a group of friends.
You can also use one of the many domain name generators online. You might not want to actually grab the domain name, but it might inspire you to grab a particular word or idea for your own site. One of the easiest ways to be clever, unique and memorable is to simply grab your own name. If nobody has registered your full name yet as a website, perhaps that should be the first one you grab.
The domain extension at the end of a website tells you what type of website it is. While you see a lot of .com websites, there are many other extensions that might serve your purpose more specifically or give you some options when the more common .com is already taken by someone else.
It can be tough to find the right keyword friendly, but brief, domain name. If you are having trouble finding the perfect .com, why not consider a different extension? Some people even have a lot of fun with the possible extensions – making clever puns or playing on fun spellings by including the domain.
Some possible domain extension to consider include:
When you select a new domain name, you should also be thinking about how you will brand your business using that new url. As you are making your selection, you should strongly consider grabbing all of the popular extensions for your new domain name, not just the .com. You should also consider all of the various misspellings and commonly misunderstood names as well.
There are many companies online who make a business riding on the coattails of those who have put in the time and the work to create a bigger brand online. You don’t want to spend the time and money to flesh out a business and website and then have an interloper swoop in to build a parallel site on the .co for your .com. Or to take a domain that includes a commonly misspelled version of your site.
The good news is you don’t have to actually build a website for all of your domain names. Build one powerful website and brand, and then you can simply redirect all of your other minor, brand-protecting domains back to the main site. Consider the extra domains a bit of insulating insurance.
Before you start actually playing with domain names, go ahead and research in your industry. Google the keywords and the names you’re considering. Look for similar combinations of keywords and others who might have similar ideas to what you’re considering.
If you wind up with an almost identical domain name selling almost identical services, you might also wind up with a potential lawsuit. Take the time to really research the industry and see what others are doing before you head too far into your own plans.
Once you have an idea of what the industry holds, start researching potential domain names with the intent to buy. Once you start putting domain names through a service like GoDaddy, prices can start to fluctuate or your fresh brainstorm might be snatched up by someone else. When you find the right one, snatch it up. It can pay off to move quickly when you’re ready to buy.
Domain names can be big business for some internet marketers. The right domain name can save you a great time in time and expense as you work to build your brand and your overall business. If you have your heart set on a particular domain name, but find that it is not available, be aware that there is always a possibility of buying an established domain from someone else. After all, it might be worth paying more in the long run to find the perfect domain name.