How to choose the perfect domain name for your business and stand out from your competitors
Having the perfect domain name can make your business take off.
We have already talked about the importance of having a domain name that will make your business recognizable, trustworthy and attractive. Getting the right domain name is the Holy Grail of your online marketing strategy; and with millions of businesses out there already established and enjoying the sweet smell of success, sometimes it’s not an easy task to get your hands on your desired domain name. What can you do then? You need to get creative while also following the best practices to ensure you make the right decision regarding the online identity of your company. Here are some essential tips:
Make your domain name brandable. It’s absolutely crucial to guarantee that the name you choose for your domain has the potential to become a household brand. That your prospective users will be able to easily pronounce it, find it and remember it. The rule here is to aim for simplicity and uniqueness. Be relevant and memorable. Don’t choose a name or a combination of names that include numbers or hyphens. Be user-friendly. Most of the times it’s better to avoid abbreviations (unless you are a world known brand like HP, ATT, or BBC), long words or words that could be misspelled by your customers. Remember to preserve your marketing value!
Always aim for the .com. As we said before, if you want your domain name to stand out from countless marketing messages while increasing its value over time, there is nothing better than to acquire a dot-com domain. It’s the TLD that owns the greatest trust and longevity both offline and online.
Why does .com matter so much when there are so many TLD extension options? The answer is, .com is the most recognized and most accessible TLD.
Rand Fishkin, Co-Founder, Moz.com
Pro tip: Don’t stop at the .com. If you are lucky enough to buy your .com domain, consider buying all the possible extensions related to it. Why? Because if your brand succeeds and you become the next Amazon or Google (one can dream big right?), someone else could do it and benefit from your established domain name, or a competitor could use it to negatively impact your brand. Protect your business and your brand!
Stay away from trademark infringement. You want to own a domain name that is exclusively yours and is not related with other businesses or brands that could later claim copyright or trademark infringement violations. With tools like WhoIs, you can check the availability history of the domain name you want to buy, while WayBack Machine can tell you if your domain was ever used. If you want to save money and avoid lots of potential headaches, run a trademark check in all known trademark databases and get expert legal advice on this delicate matter.
Get a domain name that is available across all social media channels. When you are building a brand, you want consistency. You also want your customers to be able to find you everywhere they look for you, and that includes social media platforms. By using this tool you can check if your domain name is available in over 500 social media platforms. Pro tip: Remember, you want your domain name and social media handles to be the same, or at least, as similar as possible.
I bought Contest Queen off a “squatter” for $500. It was worth every penny, as I have built an entire brand around it. The mistake I did make was not grabbing my name on every social channel the moment it launched. On some I am @ContestQueen and others @TheContestQueen.
Carolyn Wilman, Sweepstakes Marketing Strategist, ContestQueen.com
Keywords. When brainstorming for ideas for your domain name, one thing you can do is making a list of keywords related to your business’ activity. Play with these words but don’t try to force a name out of it. Sometimes you can add prefixes and suffixes to create a domain name that is catchy and easy to position. Take also into consideration that since 2012, Google released a filter to prevent low-quality websites to benefit from a good ranking based only in their domain names, which is why you don’t see domains like Watch Online Movies Free or Buy Athletic Shoes any more. You can get great benefits from having an EMD if you have a quality site, so before you decide on a domain name, make sure to weigh in your business’ goals.
Avoid copying existing trends. Just because a trend is working out for some businesses, doesn’t justify mimicking them or replicating their tactics in your business. Think unique and be a trendsetter! Stay relevant by being authentic.
Always register the domain name yourself. It is not a good idea to leave the registry of a domain name in the hands of others. So many things could go wrong in this matter and you want to make sure you have complete control over the ownership and value of your domain name.
There is also the possibility of finding out that your desired domain name already has an owner. No big deal! You might still get it! First, you need to do some research to determine ownership. If you want to buy it, it is better to count on an experienced professional who will support you working out the best deal for you. You may be asking yourself why you need a domain broker? Well, not only domain brokers will protect your privacy and identity, they have the finger on the pulse on the industry, they have access to larger networks and top-level players, and they are equipped with the right skills to negotiate on your behalf and discuss purchase terms and conditions.
There are other considerations to make when choosing the right domain name but these tips will put you on the right path to achieve it. If you would like to learn more, contact us and we will be happy to assist you!