14 Tips For Choosing a Domain Name for Your Business


Choosing a domain name for your business is one of the most important decisions you will have to make as a business owner. And because it is as important as the business name itself, it requires a lot of consideration. Your domain name will be the identity of your business on the internet, so it is vital that you get it right the first time. The key is to get something that fits your business perfectly and, at the same time, is easy to identify and promote. Here are 14 tips for choosing a domain name for your business:

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Here are some essential tips that will help you make the right choice for your online domain. Nowadays your brand is really the same as your domain so these tips also apply to picking a brand name. 

1. Make it easy 

The success of your online business lies in the ability of your customers to easily recall, understand and use your domain name. This is why you need to make it as simple as possible. Avoid complex words or words that have multiple spellings in different regions (e.g. favour vs. favor). If you use words that are spelled differently, it can make it difficult for customers to find your site, and they may even end up on another site that uses the domain name they typed in. You can lose lots of customers this way.

2. Keep it short

The best domain names are usually the ones that are short and easy to spell. If you go for a long and complicated domain name, you risk your customers mistyping or misspelling it. This can cause them to land on the wrong website or even fail to land on a website at all, which is bad for business.

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3. Take advantage of keywords

Keywords are natural visibility enhancers and are as useful in domain names as they are in content. The right keywords in your domain name can give your website an advantage in SERPs. The key is to use suitable keywords that properly define your brand and include them in your domain name. For example, if you run an auto repair shop, using something like expertautorepairs.com will give your website an edge in search engines.

4. Target where you are

If your business caters only to a particular locality, it is a good idea to include that area in your domain name. Doing so will give you an advantage in local SEO. It will also make it easy for locals to recall it. A good example of such a domain name is carhireauckland.com for car hire services in Auckland, New Zealand.

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5. Avoid hyphens, numbers and strange characters 

It is okay to be unique, but not to the detriment of your online business. Using numbers, hyphens and strange characters can confuse your visitors. A customer may mistake the numeral 4 for the spelled version and this will lead them to the wrong site or an error page. Your job is to make it as easy as possible for customers to find you online.

6. Use the appropriate domain name extension 

There is a general assumption in the internet world that the .COM extension is the right way to go. While .COM is definitely popular and accounts for a large number of domain names, the key is to go for an extension that suits the design of your business. It can also be quite difficult to get a .COM extension for the domain of your choice. In Ireland, .IE is the way to go. However, there are dozens of equally popular domain extensions you can choose from, and each one is significant to a particular industry or website type. Examples of popular domain name extensions include: .EU; CO; and .BIZ.

7. Be memorable 

There are millions of domain names out there, so attracting the right kind of customers will warrant some level of creativity. It is important that you come up with a name that is catchy, memorable and engaging. However, ensure that your unique domain name actually makes sense to the people that will be visiting your website.

8. Do your research

It is important to verify that the domain name you are going with is not tied to any form of legal issue, copyright or patent. You don’t want to grow your business only to have to change your domain name because someone has copyrighted it previously. A good example of this is the case between Microsoft.com and MikeRoweSoft.com.

9. Use domain selection tools 

Sometimes, it can be difficult arriving at the ideal domain name. It is for this reason that domain selection tools exist. If you are finding it difficult coming up with an ideal domain name, try out any of the many domain selection or domain tips tools on the internet. You put in a combination of words that identify your brand and the tool generates different options for you to choose from. Tools like these can be quite helpful.

10. Do not restrict your brand 

When choosing a domain name, make sure you don’t go for one that limits your brand, unless you are absolutely certain that you will never branch out into other business niches. For example, it will look quite strange for eyeglassexpert.com to start selling children’s clothing.

11. Protect your brand 

It may be necessary to own other domain extensions of your domain name as a means of protecting your brand. It is very easy tying multiple domain name and extensions to one website. This way, visitors who type in some of the popular domain extensions will arrive on your website if you own them. Also, it prevents other people from using your domain name with a different domain extension.

12. Act fast 

Ideas can cross-pollinate, they can move from one person to another. This means that someone else who is involved in a similar business as you may stumble upon the same domain name you are thinking of using. So, when you find your ideal domain name, make sure you buy it immediately. A URL like https://www.freeparking.co.nz/domain-names/ for instance, is self explanatory, and will likely be taken if you do not act fast. This simply means that domains like that are a hot cake for business owners.

13. Don’t pay too much for a domain name

A domain name typically costs only a few euros. If you have to cough up thousands of euros to buy a domain name, chances are you are dealing with a cybersquatter or domain flipper. Someone who uses popular words to buy domain names cheap and sell them at outrageous prices. Instead of paying such huge sums, consider tweaking the makeup of your domain name or use a different domain name extension.

14. Protect your privacy

After buying the ideal domain name for your business, the next step is to make sure your privacy is protected. When buying a domain name for your business, you will be expected to submit some personal information that will be tied to the domain name. This information is usually in the public domain and can be found on WHOIS records. To prevent thieves and hackers from using this information, you can opt for domain privacy. This is an optional add-on that helps keep the personal information tied to your domain name safe.

Over to you now. How did you go about picking the domain name for your business? Tell us in the comments below. 

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Tuesday, 19 November 2019
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