How to Choose Your Domain Name
The Internet was responsible for $2.8 trillion worth of retail sales in 2018 alone. That figure is continuing to grow, along with the $205 billion spent on Internet advertisements. The increasing value of Internet exposure is the primary reason why your company should have its own website domain. However; with over 354 million domain registrations across the Internet, it is harder than ever to find domains that are available. But don’t fret! Here are 10 tips for finding the perfect domain for your website needs.
1. Don’t use hard to spell words.
The harder the word is to spell, the more likely the customer may end up on the wrong site. Sophisticated words may sound cool, but we live in an era where autocorrect is strongly utilized for spelling errors, and autocorrect doesn’t exist for website URLs.
2. Avoid hyphens and numbers (if possible).
Avoiding hyphens and numbers can avoid some confusion when saying your website out loud. If you are using a number in your domain and you say it out loud, someone may not know whether the numbers are written as words or in numerical form. In some cases, avoiding hyphens or numbers may not be applicable. In the case of an existing company that is already using a number or hyphen as a part of their brand, customers may already be aware of the spelling. If it’s possible, you can take it one step further by following the next tip as well.
3. Purchase closely similar domains.
Purchasing domains that are very similar (such as ending in .net instead of .com) or misspelled domains can help secure your brand. At Keystone Click, if you accidentally type keystoneclick.net, it will redirect you to our .com official website. If your domain features a commonly misspelled word and a potential customer spells the domain incorrectly, they may end up at another company’s website. By purchasing the misspelled domain, you are then able to redirect the consumer to your correct website. For example, words that feature “ei” or “ie” in the spelling are commonly misspelled, such as “retriever”. By purchasing the misspelled domain using “retreiver”, you are able to ensure the customer gets redirected to your correctly spelled website.
4. Keep it short.
The longer the domain is, the more opportunity for misspellings. The more opportunities for misspellings, the more likely the customer won’t reach your site. Therefore; if the name of your business is relatively short, try to keep your domain short as well.
5. Consider acronyms.
If your business name is extremely long and you can’t find an applicable domain, consider an acronym. Acronyms are commonly used across government agencies and educational institutions. For example, the Kenosha Unified School District is shortened as kusd.edu.
6. Be unique.
In general, catchy names get remembered from a branding perspective. If consumers remember the name of your site, they are more likely to return.
7. Use relevant keywords.
Relevant keywords may help improve your search engine ranking. For instance, Olympus Group specializes in creating custom-designed mascot costumes and their domain includes the keyword mascot (olympusmascots.com). Another example is Heritage Lighting, which is a specialty niche gallery of antique lighting products. They can be found at antiquelights.com. Having a keyword in your domain may bump your website up a few pages on search engines when consumers search for that specific keyword or phrase.
Note: In September 2012, Google’s EMD (Exact Match Domain) update lessened the impact of keywords in domain names if your website has low-quality content. The update helped remove parked and out of date websites. That being said, if your website features high-quality content then that should not be an issue.
8. Target your geographical market.
Similar to using relevant keywords, using your geographical city in your domain could help boost search engine rankings. However, this should only be used if your company is strictly local or regional. A prime example would be milwaukeecyclingcenter.com.
9. Beware of legality.
Using a domain that is the trademark of a company or infringes upon its intellectual property could result in legal action from the trademarked company. In 2004, there was a case regarding Microsoft vs Mike Rowe, in which a 17-year-old high school web designer had been working on his website called MikeRoweSoft.com. The domain name led to Microsoft sending Mike Rowe a 25 page cease and desist letter. The two sides eventually agreed upon a deal out of court to transfer the domain to Microsoft, but not before the story went viral.
10. Double-check the URL
Always proofread, including your URL! Unless you’d like to welcome the possibility of your domain being pronounced the wrong way...here are a few examples.
oldmanshaven.com - Old Man’s Haven
speedofart.com - Speed of Art
Choosing a domain can be difficult but with careful planning, it will help brand your company online. If you have any questions in regards to choosing your domain, hosting your website, or even building a custom website, feel free to connect with us at Keystone Click.