In the digital economy, there are few choices that a business can make that are more consequential than choosing a domain name for their website. Making a good choice means taking a variety of critical factors under consideration – and then you still have to hope that the domain name you come up with isn’t already in use.
We’ve prepared a guide to help you navigate all of the factors to consider when making this critical decision, so you can dominate your domain name and maximize your digital brand awareness. Let’s dive in.
Choosing the Right Extension
Before you begin thinking up domain names that might be appropriate, the first thing that you have to do is decide which domain extension is right for the business. A domain extension refers to the part of a website address after the last dot. The most common, of course, is “.com”. That’s not the only option, though. In fact, there are hundreds of top-level domains (TLDs) to choose from. For most businesses, however, a domain name that ends in “.com” is the way to go.
First, it’s because it is by far the most common TLD in use today, with almost half of all websites using it at last count. Second, it’s the TLD that people will expect a web address to end in. The last thing you’d want is for your customers to fail to connect with your business because some other company has the “.com” version of the domain that you’ve chosen.
There are, of course, situations where you’d want a different TLD for your domain name. Nonprofits, for example, often use the “.org” designation to separate themselves from commercial websites. It has also become common for businesses to make creative use of some TLDs, like the site for the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris, which uses https://www.toureiffel.paris as its primary domain name.
Choosing the Right Name
There’s no single “right way” to choose a business’s domain name. Some companies focus heavily on the marketing aspect of the name they pick, opting for a creative name. Others try to keep it simple, hoping that customers and potential customers will have an easier time remembering it. In general, though, there are some tips that can help you choose a name that will work well.
- Choose something easy to type – Remember, you want customers to get to the site with ease, so avoid unusual spellings (unless it’s the company name) and try to keep the name as short as it is practical. That also means you should avoid special characters like hyphens, underscores, and double letters.
- Use a relevant keyword – If you aren’t going to use your business’s name as the basis for the domain name, consider targeting a keyword that is relevant to what your business does. For example, if your business manufactures widgets, consider something like “wemakewidgets.com”. Just be careful not to choose something so narrow that your business might grow out of it in time.
- Consider buying several TLD variations – If possible, choose a domain name that has several TLD variations available for purchase. That way, you can purchase them all and make sure your business remains completely unique online. This also helps prevent other businesses (or even scammers) from capitalizing on your success by buying up a similar name to confuse your customers. The same thing goes for any common misspellings of the name you choose – that’s why you can reach Google by typing in googl.com, googel.com, and gooogle.com – they want to make sure every customer gets to the right place.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there are plenty of things to consider when choosing a domain name for a business. That’s why it’s best to take your time and really explore your options before committing to anything. Remember, it’s a choice that will last as long as your business does, so making a poor choice could be irreparable to your brand. If you need some help choosing and registering a domain name, or if you’ve already picked one and need a great business website to go with it, contact us at Comit Developers today and we’ll get you up in running in no time!