Before starting on the nitty-gritty of the factors to take into account on how to choose a perfect domain name for your business, the first thought that should crop up is the “2019” in the title. Why is it that 2019 and the later years have an increasingly growing importance for deciding the right website name for a business than previous years? It is because, in the present online digital business environment, a website is the public face of a business.
People shop online, review products and services online, compare prices online, and even visit websites first to learn more about what is on offer before making a purchase from a brick and mortar store. Hence, in 2019 and later, it is critical for any venture to give careful thought and follow certain guidelines before finalizing the domain name for the business.
Since a domain name is the online identity of your business, a memorable and creative name will help establish your brand and drive visitors to the website. It is a locator for your business on the Internet. Fundamentally, a website’s true online address is the Internet Protocol or IP address which usually consists of a string of numbers and characters that are very difficult to remember. A domain name, on the other hand, stands for the IP address but in a word-based and easy to remember format.
Here’s how to how to choose a domain name that can do wonders for your business:
Choosing the right Top Level Domain (TLD)
By far the most common TLD is the .com domain with other options being .net, .org, .biz, .edu, or even more specific ones like .shop or .blog, depending on your requirements. But stick with .com as people are more habituated to typing .com in the address bar. Data shows that almost 47% of websites use .com.
However, there is a flip side to it too. If your business has a fixed area of operations and caters to mainly a local audience, add the name of the country as the TLD like .aus for Australia or .in for India. It will help optimize your website for local searches in SEO. But, it is advisable to get a separate .com domain as well and link it to your local domain name. In case you expand in the future, and no matter which address is typed in, visitors will be directed to the same website.
The name should reflect the brand
Selecting a name that is unique and exclusive should be your priority when you think how to choose a website name. It is not necessary that the type of product or services should be included in the name and have some meaning. Think Google and YouTube and you will see a link to a brand without the name having a clear definition of what it stands for.
Just ensure that your name has instant recall and the competition does not have something on similar lines. Keep it simple without any complex letter combination so that it is easy to memorize and pronounce. The name should have a good ring to it too like “Uber”. It is crisp and snappy and easily understood even when mentioned over the phone or in a passing conversation.
Leave scope to expand your business
While it is always preferable to choose a domain name that instantly gives others an idea of your industry and the niches that you operate in do not limit your long term options. For example, a florist might initially choose rosesales.com as a domain name because that is the flower primarily being sold. But that name will not give a true picture of the business if the florist at a later date chooses to stock up on other varieties as well. Not having a flexible domain name can adversely affect your search ranking later.
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Avoid double letters & hyphens
When deciding on how to select a domain name for your business, avoid ones that have double letters or hyphens in them. Double letters such as chesssetup.com are prone to typos, leading to lost traffic to your site. Avoiding it will make the name easier to remember and type and bring in more visitors to your site. Similarly, avoid hyphens in the name as it is generally taken to be spam domains. Generally, people add hyphens when the chosen domain name is already taken. But then, there is a likelihood that in case of typos, visitors will land on your competitor’s domain.
Be careful of trademark infringement
When deciding on how to choose a website name, select one that will not be confused with any other brand, product or services. Even a slight hint that the chosen name is matching another closely will open you to unwarranted litigation. It will also create confusion with your brand and another. Talk to attorneys who are experts in copyright and trademark laws and can address any concerns with intellectual property rights. Unfortunately, trademark owners can
Incorporate a keyword in the domain name
When you use keywords in a domain name, you not only enhance searchability from an SEO perspective, you also help in cognitive fluency biases. Even though Google has been focusing away from these exact matches between domain name and keywords, the anchor text that you get from people will help.
If you have a keyword that assists in understanding what your business is all about, use it by all means. But it is not necessary to make it mandatory. A creative and catchy name is just as good and will spread to your target audience once there is an increase in your brand awareness. Think Google.com or Amazon.com that are at peaks in their industry without having a keyword rich domain name.
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Have an intuitive domain name
This is the key for how to choose a domain name. A good name will perfectly reflect what a business is all about. Just by looking at your domain name, people should be able to say that “this” is what your business is all about and your specific niche. The name will then not only be a winner in creating awareness of your brand, but it will also bring in more visitors to your website. This is because people who are not sure what to type in to search for a particular item will look by industry and niche and find your site on top of the pile.
Finding the right domain name
This post has till now gone through the intricacies of choosing the right domain name for your business and how to choose a website name. The factors that should be taken into consideration in 2019 for selecting the right domain name have been seen in some detail. The point now is whether you are creative enough to zero in on a name on your own? If not, there are many options before you to take external help.
The first is the site Thesaurus.com where you can find synonyms for words along with precise definitions. It will help you avoid the mistake of selecting a word for the domain name whose meaning you are not absolutely sure of or has a double meaning. Do not go with the straight dictionary meaning of a word but always add modifiers or change a few letters to make the ultimate name interesting and catchy.
There are a few domain name generator sites where you enter one keyword or a keyword phrase relevant to your niche and in turn, get hundreds of suggestions of valid domain names to choose from.
If your chosen domain name is taken
If after meticulous planning and thought you find that the chosen name is already taken, do not give up hope. There are a number of possibilities in this case.
When you find that the domain name is not in use and features ads only, the chances are that the owner might have bought the name only to sell it later. Contact the current owner and get relevant particulars. Even if there is a website on the domain, and the name suits your business optimally, contact the owner and inquire whether he/she will be willing to sell it. The chances are definitely low but worth a try.
Exercise caution when buying existing domain names
When going through the exercise of how to select a domain name for your business, if you find that is necessary to buy an existing domain name, exercise a lot of caution in this regard.
The primary reason for this is that an existing name always has a history attached to it. On the bright side, history might give you a boost in Google from the very inception of the website as the search engine is already familiar with the site. On the other hand, if the site has been embroiled previously in shady matters like gambling, email spam distribution or porn, it may have been banned entirely from Google.
To get around this, buy from a marketplace where every domain is at least basically validated by them. You can also carry out your own checks by going to Google and searching for site:YOURDOMAIN.com. If a website exists and Google cannot find it, treat the domain as a red flag. If the site is blank, there is nothing for Google to find in the first place and you can take things forward.
Above are the most critical pointers on how to select a domain name for your business in 2019 but we have more in store for you! Just scroll on.
Things to consider before choosing the domain name:
Before going into how to choose a website name, it is essential to first know the flexibility you will have. Domain names have a sub-domain name that you have to choose along with a Top Level Domain or TLD that is characterized by an extension such as .com, .net, .org and the like. Within these parameters, you are free to choose any name provided that it is not already taken by another business and is in use.
But remember, choosing a domain name is not a random exercise, and you have to do so after careful thought so that the name is not only easy to remember but reflects the brand too. You should ensure that:
- The name is unique and has an easy recall for repeat visitors to your site.
- The name reflects your business and gives first-time visitors an idea of your products and services and industry.
- The name preferably has keywords relevant to your business so that it has an impact on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and other digital marketing solutions.
Changing domain names is a very complex process and hence you should have a winner the first time around.
However, since choosing a domain name is such a crucial factor in the overall success of your business, it is always advisable to take professional help for doing so. Done with domain name selection and need help with web design to get your website going? Share your website goals with our team of designers and we will help you come up with a sales-ready website.