Not Just Any Domain Name Will Do – Learn How to Choose the Right One
You can invest in coding bootcamp for your employees, hire top-notch developers, and pay tons of money on internet marketing services, but none of this will matter if you have a bad domain name. Without a good domain name, neither your target audience nor search engine bots will be able to find you easily.
What *is* a good domain name, though? Here are some tips for choosing the right one for your business:
Remember to keep it short – No matter what name you choose for your website URL, make sure it is short and to the point. If it’s too long or complex, you risk customers misspelling or mistyping it. There is no use using unnecessary words or super long-tail keywords.
Try using unique keywords – Unless you’ve already established your brand, there is no use in having your domain name be just your company name; after all, most people have probably never heard of your company. This doesn’t mean that you have to stick with a generic, run of the mill domain name, either. Keep the keyword as unique as possible. Make sure it’s not too similar to other domain names in your industry. Avoid using names that are plural or have different spellings of those of existing sites.
Choose the right extension – Most experts consider “.com” to be the best choice of an extension. It’s the easiest to remember, and more than half of all websites have a .com. Some companies go with the strategy of buying up all possible extensions for their domain name for branding purposes, and having the .net, .org, .info, .biz, etc… all redirect to the .com.
Decide whether or not to use hyphens – While hyphens certainly make a domain name LOOK cleaner and appear readable, the general consensus among experts is that they should not be used. Hyphens don’t work, Moz explains, “because they don’t make something sound like a brand”.
Stay away from trends – Unless it’s your goal to make short-term profits with website flipping, it’s best not to let trends influence your choice of domain name. Trends always fade away in time. It’s best to choose something that will span for generations. Think of the long-term with your domain name.
Don’t violate anyone else’s trademark – Once you have a few ideas in mind, check with the Patent and Trademark Office and conduct a search to see if those ideas are already trademarked. Once again, it’s important to keep your domain as unique as possible.
Make it brandable – When you are confident that you are not infringing on anyone else’s trademark, you must tie your domain name to your company. It’s going to be part of your brand. Not only should it be easy to remember and unique, it should also be catchy. Don’t forget to have it trademarked. You might also want to consider the branding strategy of buying up all possible domain extensions just to prevent competitors from having them.
When you have a unique, nice-sounding domain name ready to go, it’s time for your employees to learn how to code so that they can build a good website to go with that domain!
Michael Peggs is the founder of Marccx Media, a digital marketing agency specializing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships in the United States and Asia. He is also a contributor to The Huffington Post, FastCompany and Business Insider as well as and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy Podcast You University.