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Choosing a domain name is an important step when starting a business. Sometimes a domain name is the first thing a potential customer will see about your business without knowing anything about you. Make a good first impression and build a strong brand by following these tips when choosing a domain name.
Simplicity is key
Your domain name should be straight to the point. It should symbolize your company name and what you do in a concise way. Buying a domain name for your business is not the time to be clever. Let your website do the clever talking!
Keep your domain name to about 3 words or less, and make sure it is spelled correctly. Use as simple language as possible. If you want to add context to what you do, you can add your offering (like “pizza” or “law”) or your location (like “nyc” or “montauk”). Doing this may even help target users looking for your services in those areas.
Make it easy to type, spell, and pronounce
Think of how you are going to use your domain name. Most people, including myself, use it in several different ways:
- Place it on business cards
- Point people to it in conversation
- Spell it out to people over the phone
- Place it on advertisements
You want your domain name to be as easily accessible as possible so that you get as many potential website visitors going to the right place. Making it easy to type, spell, and pronounce will also make it more memorable, which will keep your business top of mind.
Avoid using numbers and dashes
If your ideal domain name is already taken, some people may consider using a dash (or hyphen) to get it close to what they want. However, people may forget that your domain name has a dash in it while trying to recall what it is, and it also adds an extra step when saying your domain name over the phone or typing it out.
If the .com TLD (top-level domain) is unavailable, there are a huge variety of others available. Some domain registrars offer TLDs that others may not. There are some interesting TLDs available such as .coffee, .bike, .ninja, and .guru. These TLDs haven’t been around for very long, but according to Google, using one of these newer TLDs won’t hurt your SEO, so it could be worth considering if you’re really adamant about getting a specific domain, and it works for your brand. Personally, I’d recommend avoiding some of the really crazy ones since people generally are not used to these, and may get confused when you try to point them to a domain that doesn’t end in .com, .org, or .net.
Align your domain name with your social media handles
Having a social media presence is another important component of a business’s online presence. To keep your brand easily recognizable across the internet, I recommend keeping your domain name and social media profile handles as close to the same as possible.
For example, Menna Wealth Planning Group’s domain name is MennaFinancial.com, and their handle on Facebook and Instagram is @MennaFinancial. This helps potential and current clients easily find them on these different channels, and it helps them with keeping their brand consistent.
Keep track of your domain’s registration information
If something ever goes wrong with your domain name, you want to add a subdomain, or you want to point your domain to a new web host, it is helpful to know where you bought your domain name from.
It’s also important to remember your renewal date so you don’t risk losing your domain once it expires. When buying a domain name, you can typically opt to renew every year, 3 years, or 5 years. Keep in mind that some domain registrars offer lower prices for the first year, then increase the price when it’s time to renew. Domain registrars usually have auto renewal options so that you don’t have to physically go in and renew your domain manually. However, keep track of your renewal date and the price to renew so you don’t have any surprises!
Where to buy domain names
I mainly buy domains from Google Domains. They offer privacy protection, email forwarding, and I’ve found it to be quite easy to buy domains there. I’ve also found their pricing to be reasonable. I’ve also purchased domains from Namecheap and had a good experience. Namecheap has an app which makes it easy to buy and track domains on the go.
Many domain registrars are also hosting companies, and may offer a free domain name with a purchase of web hosting. I personally would not advise you to do this, since it may be difficult to point your domain to a different website, if you were to choose to host your website somewhere else.
What to do after you buy a domain name
Your domain name is important, but it is only a piece of your business’s online presence. A great domain name is nothing without a great website design. When you’re ready to give your domain name a home, let me help you. I offer no pressure, free quotes on website design services. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or go here to get started today.