If you are reading this then you are at a significant moment of your work life – you have decided to have an online business. Whether you are just starting in this venture or you are already established and moving your services online the first and foremost cornerstone you have to pass is how to name your website. Choosing the right domain may seem simple at first, but with millions and millions of domain names already registered, you might soon find that you underestimated this task a little. Hopefully our tips and tricks would be able to give you better aid so you can start off with a blast.
Think about your brand(ability)!
Your business will be associated with this name so you would want something as relevant as possible. Years ago everybody was jumping on generic and short keywords and all those names are long gone – the possibility of finding a 4-5 letter domain that can relate to your products is close to zero so save yourself some time searching. I sometimes try a little trick I call “the 3×3 combo” – choose 3 keywords you want to appeal with search engines and another 3 unique words that you consider the face for your business. Try different combinations, mix things up, you’d be surprised how many times we were able to suggest a domain name when a client asks for advice.
Someone beat you to it?
Well, if you want it so badly and are prepared to invest more, you can try and purchase it directly from the current registrant. Most Whois information is publicly available so you can easily obtain the contact details and see if the owner would consider a trade. Getting a previously registered domain holds its risk tho – make a research of its history to check if it wasn’t involved in domain abuses and if that name doesn’t have a bad reputation with the online world overall. Efficient tool for this research is The Wayback Machine (for history) and you can use Google to dig for possible unneeded backlinks (link:www.YourSiteName.com).
Be unique as a snowflake!
No two people are completely alike and you want to emphasize on that with your online presence too. Try to keep it simple and memorable as word of mouth is still a powerful advertising weapon. Before WebHostFace was born we had more than 40 ideas already filling the trash bin in our office before we finally found our calling and chose this name. Also consider checking if your domain name passes the “radio test” – how easy it is to find the website if you only hear the name? It surely makes a difference if you’re called GrimeDesigns.com or Best-Designs4you.com. Now was that a “f-o-u-r”? Where was that hyphen again? Oh, in that matter – strongly avoid hyphens and numbers in your domain – it holds absolutely no value to the search engines and as shown in the example above – can only mislead your potential customers.
Domain Extensions are just as important!
.COM ending is your natural choice, being a firm leader in the domain extension field, but its certainly not your only option. Country specific TLD’s are becoming increasingly popular so the magnitude of your business and your target audience is what you are considering – if you own several bakeries in Amsterdam and you are seeking local recognition, you might be better off with a domain like SmilingBakers.nl, instead of a .com.
Ensure your brand protection! You are not limited to one domain extension, so why not get other popular ones – .net .org etc. Parking them altogether to open your main site ensures you would not lose traffic from people who were unsure how your website name ended. Furthermore you can register possible common mistypes, plurals, variations. There is an unpleasant bunch of online criminals called cybersquatters and they are just lurking around, trying to snatch domains that sound similar or resemble popular businesses and take advantage of the traffic they may get from mistypes.
A good idea to consider is to prepay your domain for a longer period of time. Domains are pretty cheap and a longer deal would secure you will remain the owner of your new and terrific name for a long time. Countless people neglected that and saw their domains expire in the worst possible time resulting in failure to provide a service through the website or even worse – losing the domain into redemption and having to pay serious amounts of money to redeem them. WebHostFace holds great discounted deals for customers willing to prepay for longer, so think for the future.
Step 1 completed – congratulations on your new website name! See, it wasn’t that hard when you just have some starting points and guidelines 😉