If you’ve never started a business or chosen a business domain name before, you have a few challenges yet to face. Keep in mind that your web address tells customers where to find you online. In today’s digitally trending world choosing the perfect URL/domain name is one of the most important initial decisions you will make.
While the temptation to choose the first domain name that comes to you might be great, choosing the right business domain name takes thought and consideration. Your domain name will forever affect your brand authority, presence in the search engines, digital marketing efforts and traffic to your website. For this reason, choosing the right domain name is a crucial step to making your business succeed.
Here are the 9 guidelines to consider when choosing your business domain name:
1. MAKE IT MEMORABLE
You want your domain name to be memorable. Choose something that a potential customer will fully internalize and remember.
2. KEEP IT SIMPLE
Long abbreviations, numbers and hyphenated words are distracting and hard to remember. It’s recommended to keep your domain name 15 characters or less.
3. MAKE IT OBVIOUS
Your visitors should be able to understand what your website is selling or the services it is providing simply by reading the web address.
4. KEEP IT SHORT
You will likely tell people your web address hundreds of times per week. If your web address is lengthy, wordy or hard to remember, customers will forget or get frustrated, and your online presence will suffer from it.
5. MAKE IT EASY TO PRONOUNCE
When choosing a domain name, try saying it out loud and even ask a friend to read it out loud for you to see if it is easy to pronounce.
6. CHOOSE YOUR EXTENSION
There’s now hundreds of vanity TLDs (Top-Level Domains) available for consideration, here’s a full list. While choosing an alternate or vanity domain extension such as .net, .tv, .me and many others might be attractive because it gives you a chance to get the domain name you really want, .com is the most widely used and most recognizable of the options. Always try to get the .com.
7. CHECK AVAILABILITY ACROSS SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS
You will likely want a Facebook page, Twitter handle, Instagram account and YouTube channel, so be sure to check to see if your domain name is available across the social media handles before finalizing your domain decision. You don’t want to have to put numbers at the end or add an underscore if you can help it. Try out our favorite service for this namecheckr.com.
8. AVOID DOMAIN NAMES THAT ARE SIMILAR TO OTHERS
You want to avoid confusion at all costs, so check to see if your desired domain name is similar to another, particularly another in your city or area if you are a local small business.
9. MOVE FAST!
Domain names tend to sell fast, so once you have decided on the perfect domain name that satisfies the above guidelines, be sure to secure it quickly.
Have You Chosen Your Perfect Business Domain Name? Here’s How to Register It
Once you have decided on a domain name, you will need to check the availability on a service site such as GoDaddy.com or Register.com. Both websites feature a search function that will show if your name is available and provide alternatives to your business domain name if it is already registered. Keep in mind that a website might already be taken even if it is not currently in use.
To get through the process, you will need to provide some contact information and pay a fee to register the name. You will need to remember to renew your domain name. The registration or renewal period is from one to 10 years. If you let your domain name expire, your domain registrar might hold the name for you for an additional 30 to 60 days, depending on the rules for the domain name extension.