The first step to building an online presence is choosing a domain name, yet building a presence that can be turned into a brand requires that you choose the perfect domain name for your business. Do your due diligence, registering a good domain name will aid SEO, branding, and marketing efforts. Although registering a domain name for your website will not be greatest decision you make in business, it is very important. You want to be informed, analyze what is available, and make the best decision.
The below recommendations and tips will guide you in the right path. Let’s begin.
1) Keywords are Everything
Your domain definitely needs to contain relevant keywords. This is done not only as a means to describe your business, but also as a ranking factor in search engines. You see, a huge signal search engines use to rank websites are the keywords contained in the domain name. When ranking sites for certain subjects or keywords, all major search engines look at the words found within competing domain name and use that to help determine relevancy.
Example: MyWebsiteCreated.com would have a hard time ranking for “flavorful desserts with strawberries” (even if we really were about flavorful desserts with strawberries) opposed to “best web agency to create my website“
Compile a list. If you’re business is lawn mowing, you definitely want to have that expressed in your domain name. We recommend compiling a list of 5 keywords that describes your business and using these to form your domain name.
2) Keep it Short and Simple
The shorter the domain, the better. You want a memorable web address, make it as short as possible without loosing meaning. A general rule we have instated at My Website Created is to have 2-3 words in the domain name.
Again your domain name should be short, yet not to the point that it loses description. If a customer recommends your website to a potential client, the prospect should easily be able define the business or service being offered at the website. The name needs to be short, yet long enough to define the purpose of the site.
Simplify the domain. Avoid numbers, dashes, and complex words if at all possible (people are likely to misspell and land on another website).
I had a client once who registered a domain name without allowing me to review it, and it was a terrible domain name. It read something like this: shopthirty7kstreet.com – I get it, creativity and branding at play, yet using both word and numeric form of numbers in the same domain name is extremely confusing to potential visitors. Imagine telling someone about that domain over the phone, is it: shop37kstreet.com? shop3sevenkstreet.com? or shopthirtysevenkstreet.com, shopthirty7kstreet.com? It’s an absolute no-no!
- No clear purpose of the website indicated through it’s domain name.
- Numbers found within the domain in both in numeric and word form.
- Domain is too long, if the goal is to brand, then it must be a lot shorter – often 1-3 words.
I worked on the site everyday yet found myself typing in “shop3sevenkstreet.com” regularly. If you must use numbers in the domain name do so in a way that makes complete sense. Biology101.com, or Forever21.com are excellent examples.
3) Stick with .com’s
The .com extension should really be your only option. If you want to brand your business or service, then again .com is the only extension to use – why? It is one of the oldest and most commonly known extension for websites. As soon as you say .com people think “oh it’s a website.” .co .us or .me, though web extensions simply do not carry the same effect.
4) Give yourself Room to Brand
Keywords are everything, yet that does not mean your domain name should be entirely composed of keywords. Give yourself some room to brand.
5) Beware Copyright infringements
Be sure not to play on domains owned by other companies. Do not register Gooogle, BookFace, Yaho; you get the idea. Nor are you allowed to include the name of such companies in your domain, if you do you are asking for legal trouble.
Choosing the right domain for your business is not something you should stress over, yet do take your time and see what you have to play with. Also understand that domain names can be longer than 2-3 words and still perform well.
Checking if your Domain name is available
Use this tool to check if your domain nae is available for registration.