How to Select a Domain Name that Works for Everyone
When choosing a commercial property for your brick and mortar business, it's still all about “location, location, location.” Setting up shop in the right place can make or break a small business.
What most don't realize, is their online website address is just as important as their real-world store location. The choice of domain name for your business website is a huge factor in findability and ease of use. [Tweet "The choice of domain name for your business website is a huge factor in findability and ease of use."]
Here are a few critical considerations you should take into account before you buy a web domain name:
Short is sweet. The longer and more complicated your domain name, the more likely people will get it wrong. The problem is short names tend to be taken, but if you can get two short words or your company name, that works too. The fewer the words and syllables the better.
If you're not using your company name (which is a very good idea for branding), make it keyword rich! Adding words and phrases that relate to your main area of expertise can help you get found by prospective customers.
Skip symbols and numbers. Hyphens, underscores, and numbers just confuse people. Don't mess with spelling either. It's not clever; it'll just lose you traffic. Keep it as tight to your name as possible.
Don't purchase the first thing that pops into your head. Do some research, take some time, and think about what will work best for your business.
Choose a well-known, top-level domain name such as .com or for non-profits a .org. Subdomains and obscure free domains look cheap, and the tiny savings is not worth the puzzling impression it will make.
Look for and register variations of your domain. At a minimum, try for the .com version, consider having one with your country code such as .us, as well as .net, and .org. Remember that you can simply forward all those domains to your main site too. The key is to own and be able to control your key assets.
Consider adding a few descriptive domains to your stable of domains. For example, if you're registering AndersonPlumbing.com, in San Francisco, you could add SanFranciscoPlumbing or PlumbingFixSF to the mix, and again, just redirect them to your main domain. As well, a domain for your main product models might be valuable to have as well. Your web developer can direct those domains to the particular model page on your website.
Pull the trigger as soon as you can. Registering a domain requires a lot of thought, but it also requires action. If you wait too long, you might lose that perfect domain name to someone else, and then it can be gone for good.
Your domain really is the start point for all your digital marketing, and if you get it right, everything else will be easier. Spend some time, make an effort, and reap the benefits.