Choosing the right domain name for your company is very much like choosing the right company name itself, in that it requires careful consideration and a great deal of thought, if you’re going to come up with something really good. Given the fact that your domain name constitutes your web identity, you should be sure to make it a name which adequately represents your business, but which is also very easy for users to find, and easy for you to promote. Here are some recommendations on how to go about choosing just the right domain name to fit your business, and to make it easy for you to bring attention to your company in the future.
Use the right keywords
Try to use keywords which will appropriately describe your business, as well as the products and services you offer to the public. As an example, if you have an auto repair shop, you might want to register your business as autorepair.com, or possibly carfix.com. Whatever you choose, your domain name should be a reflection of the kind of business that you are running, and if at all possible, it should also include keywords which are likely to be used by users searching for your kinds of services and products.
Short and sweet
Some companies have used domain names which include 20 or 30 characters, or possibly more, in an attempt to be very descriptive in their domain names. However, this kind of approach can very easily lead to typing mistakes and can discourage users from actually wanting to type in your company name, and that means you won’t be found as frequently as some other companies. By keeping your domain name short and sweet, you avoid the risk of misspelling or mistyping it, and you make it much more convenient for the vast number of users trying to reach you.
Make typing easy
The easier you can make your domain name to type, the better off you’ll be. If you attempt to incorporate slang expressions into your domain name, or if you use words that have several possible spellings, you’re just opening up the likelihood of mistypings and other kinds of data entry mistakes. Avoid all these possible typing mistakes by keeping your domain name very easy to spell and very easy to type. When you’re registering multiple domain names, this becomes even more important.
Make it memorable
Keep in mind that there are already millions of registered domain names out on the Internet, so it’s really important that you come up with one that’s as catchy as possible, and which sticks in the minds of users. When you come up with two or three possible domain names, run them by your friends and get their reactions. Make sure that the domain name you’ve chosen make sense to other people, and that it sounds appealing enough to be memorable. When you think you have a great idea for a domain name, you’ll have to search for it on the web and make sure that no one else has beat you to the punch, and already claimed that domain name.
Target the local area
If your business is mostly a local one, you should strongly consider including your local city or state in the domain name, so that your customers will have no trouble finding your business. This will also help them to remember it a little better, because it reflects the same neighborhood they live in. An example of this would be a domain name such as buffalochickenwings.com, which reflects the city name and the product being offered to the public.
Avoid special characters and numbers
It’s very easy for users to misinterpret some numbers and some special characters, and for this reason they should be avoided when you’re thinking of your new domain name. If someone happens to only hear your domain name and not see it in print, they won’t know if you’re using the number three or the text version of the word three. Special characters can be easily omitted from a domain name, and in some cases they can be misinterpreted as well. For instance, an exclamation point looks very much like a lowercase L, and that could cause some confusion in the minds of potential customers trying to reach you. Anything which causes confusion when typing out a domain name should be avoided, in deference to the convenience of your users.
Use the right domain name extension
The extension on a domain name is a suffix such as .net or .com which is applied to the end of your web address. These can have very specific applications, so you need to be very sure about choosing one which is appropriate, and which works well for your business. As you probably already know, the .com domain extension is easily the most popular on the Internet, but that also means it can be difficult to develop a short and memorable domain name, simply because so many other domain names have already been developed and used in association with the .com suffix. You might want to consider using one of the newer top-level domains extensions such as .nyc or .guru, because these can provide you with more opportunities for developing unique domain names which no one else has already thought of.
Research your chosen domain name
After you’ve come up with what you think is a dynamic and memorable domain name, and you have tested it out with some of your friends, what remains is to research that domain name to make sure no one else has already put it in use. You have to be sure that it hasn’t been copyrighted, trademarked, or otherwise used by another company. If the domain name is clear, you can lock it down and own it as your company’s new business domain name.
If you skip this step and take your domain name into production prematurely, you could be subject to massive legal fines and a huge mess that would not only be extremely expensive, but would also likely result in the loss of your domain name. Probably one of the biggest aftermarket re-sellers of domain names is GoDaddy, which has access to data which can be used to check on literally millions of domain name sales. A good place to start your research is to check out GoDaddy Domain Appraisals, so as to get some idea of the monetary value of your domain, and to see if it’s legally possible to use the selected domain name you have in mind.