Have you ever put thought into domain names and what makes them so important? Well, if you are launching a new site, or starting a new business, we are sure that you will, for the first time, might really have to.
Pinning down a great domain name is actually tougher than you think. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when deciding what you should go for. In fact, if you think about it carefully, and consider some of your top online brands, you will notice how important it is for you to be able to search for them.
Keep in mind, your domain name is actually a strong marketing tool for your company, so before you simply jump straight into just picking the first one that pops up, step back and give it some thought.
We took a look at how you should go about choosing a domain name and what steps you should follow to ensure that you get the right one for you. Remember, it might be the first thing that customers see of you, so follow these guidelines to get it just right.
Find the Right Registration and Hosting Site
One of the first challenges of finding a domain name is actually finding a name that is available. Statistics show that there are over 1.7 billion websites currently active on the world wide web, and the chances of your company’s name being available immediately are actually really low.
Don’t give up hope just yet, there are a number of sites that assist you to search for, find and register a domain name that actually fits your company. And, if you search for the right site, you can actually find a cheap domain that will not cost an arm and a leg to renew annually.
Some of these companies will even help you secure your site, host the site, and provide you with valid email accounts to match your domain name. They will also usually give you various options of domain name extensions, some being more affordable than others.
Pick The Right Domain Name Extension
Let’s dive straight into the details of extensions. This is simply the suffix of the name, more commonly known as .com or .net. As mentioned previously, with a lot of domains already snapped up, you might need to look at purchasing an alternative extension. Registration sites will also provide you with a list of various extensions to choose from, each differing in price. So, how do you choose?
The most popular domain name extension is naturally .com. Because it is used so much, finding your particular site name currently available in the .com range might be tricky, and extremely expensive. But, there is a reason for this. .com is the default extension that people usually type in when looking for a site. So, you might find that if you have chosen a .net or .live extension, customers searching for your site might head straight to your name neighbor who has the same name, just a different extension.
If .com is out of the question, look at going for one that is country-specific; i.e. .co.uk or .co.za, or something that suits the nature of your business. .biz for businesses, .net for networks or .org for organizations.
Make Use of Your Keywords
This is absolutely critical in choosing a name for your site. Your name will need to have the relevant keywords relating to your product service or offering in your name. Not only will this be integral in your customers being able to find your site, but it will be incredibly handy for your SEO rankings as well.
With the right keywords in your domain name, you are telling search engines like Google and Bing where to place you based on what your website is about. So, if you are a pet food and accessory retailer, for example, having the actual word “pet” in your name could help you pop up when potential customers search for that word.
Remember, if your name is already taken, and based on the number of sites in the world it very well could be, try and be creative with the name. Make use of the available extensions and try to use a creative play on words to get you stuck in a customer’s mind.
Keep It Short and Simple
The rule of thumb is that you need to keep your name short enough for your customer to remember it. The ideal domain name is between six to 14 characters in length and doesn’t have any hyphens in between the words.
One of the biggest mistakes for a domain name is having anything longer than those 14 characters. Your customer will not only struggle to remember it and type it, but they will probably land on other sites which might just be competitors. A simple test will confirm whether the name is going to be memorable. Can you pronounce it easily? Can you spell it or type it easily? If the answer is yes, it could be good to go.
It will also be worth your while checking what the name means in other languages and how many other sites host the same, or even similar names. If there is a site that is too competitive for your business, you might need to reconsider it, because if a customer accidentally lands there, they might just stay.
Lastly, avoid using multiple letters in a row. Domains with double and triple letters most certainly leave space for bad typos and the chance of your customer getting frustrated and abandoning their search is incredibly high. Accessservices.com is quite a mouthful and you could actually achieve higher search results by playing with the last word.
In wrapping up, we thought we would touch on how important it is for you to keep your domain name on brand. Your whole site, from entry to exit, is part of the customer experience, and if your domain name does not reflect your brand, you will not have established yourself in your customer’s mind from the outset. If it is memorable and unique, you will be more prevalent in your customers’ minds and they will be able to associate with your brand.
Should the domain name that you have your eye on already be taken, don’t give up hope just yet. There is lucrative marketing in domain buying and selling, and your ideal domain could actually be up for sale by someone who saw its potential. It doesn’t hurt to get in touch and find out if you can buy it.