Your business domain name is your address on the internet. Its how your customers will find you online. Yet it’s often over looked and taken for granted when businesses decide to go online.
The worst thing that can happen to a business that is using a website to attract customers is to have people go to the wrong address. Which happens more than you think.
For example; C
I recently heard a radio ad for something I was interested in and they gave their website address for people to get more info. The whole purpose of the ad seemed to be to direct people to their site.
Unfortunately when I went to the address, the page that came up had nothing to do with their ad. I thought I had put in the wrong address, so I decided to listen carefully next time. But the same thing happened a second time.
Here it was, this company was running a major ad campaign trying to drive people to their website and they were giving an address that didn’t work!
What a way to waste money!
It was an embarrassing and no doubt costly mistake by that company. This article is about ensuring you don’t make the same kind of mistake they did.
Rules for choosing the right domain name for your business website
1. Make it easy to type
Finding a domain name that’s easy to type is critical to online success. If a domain name requires considerable attention to type correctly, due to spelling, length or the use of un-memorable words or sounds, it may be harder for customers to find your site. And you will lose a good portion of your branding and marketing value.
2. Keep it short and make it easy to remember
If your domain name is long and complex, you risk customers mistyping or misspelling it. Short and simple is the way to go. Short names are easy to type (the previous rule) and easy to remember. You don’t want to be the company with the terrific website that no one can ever remember to tell their friends about because they can’t remember the domain name. A shorter name also allows for a better fit on business cards and other offline media.
3. Avoid Numbers & Hyphens
Both hyphens and numbers make it hard to give your domain name verbally and falls down on being easy to remember or type. In addition they are often misunderstood — people who hear your website address don’t know if you’re using a numeral (5) or it’s spelled out (five) or they misplace or forget the dash. If you need these in your domain, register the different variations to be safe.
4. Create and Fulfill Expectations
When someone hears about your domain name for the first time, they should be able to instantly and accurately guess at the type of content that might be found there. That’s why domain names like Hotmail.com, CareerBuilder.com, AutoTrader.com and WebMD.com are easy to remember. Domains like Monster.com, Amazon.com required far more branding because of their un-intuitive names.
5. Research it
Having your website confused with a popular site already owned by someone else is a recipe for disaster. Thus, you should never choose domains that are simply the plural, hyphenated or misspelled version of an already established domain. Make sure the name you’ve selected isn’t trademarked, copyrighted or being used by another company. It could result in a huge legal mess that could cost you a fortune, as well as your domain!
6. Only use dot-com extension
Most people who use the web still make the automatic assumption that .com is all that’s out there. Choosing another extension could mean that these people will not be able to find you on the web. While there are other extensions and some may even be cheaper, if you’re serious about using your website for business go with a dot-com domain name.
7. Target your area
An easy way for local businesses to choose a domain name is to target their local area. In addition to being easy to remember its also great for local SEO efforts. This works good when targeting a Keyword that describes your industry. eg. Bahamasrealty.bs
Bonus Tip – Buy your domain for more than 1 year
Google uses the expirary date of your domain to determine the ligetimacy of your website. A google patent states
“Valuable (legitimate) domains are often paid for several years in advance, while doorway (illegitimate) domains rarely are used for more than a year. Therefore, the date when a domain expires in the future can be used as a factor in predicting the legitimacy of a domain”.
The average domain name will only cost around $10 per year. If you intend to be in business for a while and you’re serious about using your website to attract customers then you should buy your domain name for at least 3 years.
Your domain name will affect your search ranking, how people view your brand find you online or whether they remember you at all. So give it the careful thought and consideration it deserves.
Choose the best domain for your business!