The perfect domain name makes all the difference to your business. Now for a small business owner who just got into the affray that is the World Wide Web and isn’t exactly up to speed on the topic, this task isn’t just daunting it’s downright Herculean! As if you aren’t overwhelmed enough, add to this the innumerable hosting sites and the myriad caveats involved and you’ll end up making a colossal mistake which could ultimately cripple your business. A domain name like your own name is an identity, so it represents what your business is on the web. The perfect domain name is one that not only fits your business but also easy to find and promote.
So here are a few things you could do to make the process much easier and also ensure you don’t make a mistake unwittingly.
- An easy to type Domain Name
A domain name should be so that it is easy to find it online, this means that it should be easy to type and this will be critical to your business. Avoid using abbreviations or slang just to make it catchy, sometimes you might lose the plot altogether in your enthusiasm and your business will find itself going downwards. For example: If you use “u” instead of “you” or words with multiple spellings like express vs. Xpress, your customers will find it harder to find your site.
- Short and Simple
The mantra to follow here is “Keep it Simple, Silly!” A domain name that is long and complex always poses a risk of customers typing it wrong or misspelling it and missing your site altogether, meaning you lose out on valuable business. Short and simple is the way to forward to a profitable business.
- Important Keywords
The inclusion of important keywords that describe your business and the services that you offer will do a world of good when it comes to customers finding you easily. For example, if your business is selling used books then you can register your domain name as PrelovedBooks.com com or SecondhandBooks.com.
People tend to enter particular keywords when searching for a product or service. DO your research on what keywords your customers use to search for your products and services and then include them in the domain name!
This also helps in your rankings on search engines thereby increasing traffic to your site because they make sense to your customers (the keywords).
For a business that is local, you should consider having the name of your city or state in the domain name, this makes it easy for local customers to find and remember and also works to entice your local crowd as well. For Example: If your used books business is based in Bangalore, draw the Bangalore crowd with a site like PrelovedBooksBangalore.com.
- Steer clear of numbers and hyphens/dashes
Often numbers, abbreviations, hyphens or dashes are misunderstood and typed incorrectly or ignored altogether — when you rattle your website’s name to a newly acquainted contact and mention the numbers and dashes it could be comprehended incorrectly, when they hear you say your website address they won’t know if it’s a numeral (5) that is used or if it’s spelled out (five) and as for the hyphen or dash it could lead to them misplacing it or forget the dash. If these are a necessity for your domain name, just to be on the safer side, register the different variations as well. It’s better to think up a catchy name that captures your business and easy to remember as well.
- A memorable domain name
With millions of registered domain names, having a domain that’s catchy and memorable is essential for your business to be found easily on the web. But that’s not all; once you’ve thought of a name, you need to make sure it sounds appealing and makes sense to others, so start asking people (friends and family) if it’s relevant enough while being creative. Your customers should relate to it most of all.
One way around this problem is if you’ve got a great idea for a domain just register your name as soon as possible and put a website out there before your competition grabs it up.
- Do your Research!
First things first, do not buy a domain without checking into its past. Unfortunately in this scenario what was in the past cannot be pushed to the back alleys of time as it has the power to hurt your present. The domain name you’ve selected shouldn’t be trademarked, copyrighted or being used by another company. Sometimes even the domains that are available can be exposed to legal trouble if the name sounds too similar to another company’s trademark. The resulting legal tussle could cost you a fortune in hefty fines which you cannot afford, as well as your domain or for that matter our business! SO consult a lawyer, check on www.whois.net, they list registered domain names for other possible legal landmines while buying a domain name. The site also has expired domains up for grabs along with the problems that the name comes with. For example, if a previous owner of the domain has violated some Google term and has been banned from Google searches, you’ll want to know the details before you invest in the name.
- Proper domain name extension
What are Extensions, huh? They are suffixes, the .com or .net or .in, at the end of web addresses are all Extensions. Choose the right one that works for your business as they can have specific purposes too. By far the most popular extension till now is the .com extension and it has been around a long time now, but getting a domain name that meets all the other criteria along with a .com suffix is a gargantuan task.
But then now the dictionary has been put to good use and there’s a whole horde of new generic top-level domains — like .photography, .nyc, .guru, Book. They present a great opportunity to register a domain with short and highly relevant names. So here are some examples of other popular extensions and how they’re often used:
- .co – an abbreviation for company, commerce, and community.
- .info – for informational sites.
- .net – for technical, Internet infrastructure sites.
- .org – for non-commercial organizations and nonprofits.
- .biz – for business or commercial use, like e-commerce sites.
- .me – for blogs, resumes or personal sites.
- .book – for publishers, authors and book lovers.
For a small business owner “.com” is pretty sufficient as the value really lies in it, unless it isn’t available. When you’re patenting something or protecting a trademark is when investing in other extensions becomes important. But then again, if you get the wind that your competitor might want the .net version of your domain name, then you should consider buying it first.
Pro tip: Instead of building a website for every domain, any additional domains could just be forwarded to your primary website.
- Protect and build your brand
Your brand or business should be protected at all costs, so purchasing various domain extensions, as well as misspelled versions of your domain name is what you should do. This will ensure that your competitors don’t register other versions of your domain name and your customers will be directed to your website, even upon typing the website’s name erroneously. Ensure that you check that the domain name is registered under the business owner’s name, that is your name; usually, some business owners overlook this part and end up with a domain name that isn’t registered in their name. It’s vital to be sure that you are the domain owner and administrative contact because a domain name is like property. Unless you own it, you can’t sell it! Also remember to renew your registration, failure to do so will lead to your domain being bought by someone else and you’ll end up losing your customers and clients as your website will not be available anymore.
- Act quickly
Domain names sell quicker than lightning sometimes, especially the popular ones. Fortunately, they’re also easy on the pocket, so registering the domain names of your choice as soon as possible is a smart move. If face any trouble while finding an available name, you can enlist the help of domain registrars like GoDaddy which will suggest alternate names during your domain search to help you find the perfect domain name that fits our business.
And before we finish let’s summarize with a few do’s and don’ts:
Do: Ensure your domain name is easy to type, a memorable one that’s short and simple.
Do: If you can, try including the location of your business or important keywords in your domain name.
Do: Register yourself as the owner of the domain name and remember to renew our registration.
Don’t: Your domain name shouldn’t have dashes, abbreviations or numbers as much as possible.
Don’t: Waste money on extensions other than .com unless it isn’t available or your competition is eyeing a similar domain name with a different extension.
Don’t: Protect your business and avoid buying a domain without checking into its past.
Now that you’re armed and ready we deem you learned and fit enough to attempt to buy yourself the perfect domain name that will be sure to benefit your business and result in profitable outcomes.