A strong domain name is essential for websites. It is used to direct traffic to your website in both print and digital materials and is often one of the first things people notice before and after visiting your site. Without one, people wouldn’t know where to go!
So why is choosing a strong domain name important? From a branding perspective, having an easily recognizable and memorable domain name helps build trust with potential customers and can help differentiate you from competitors. It is the direct pathway to your online storefront. We have compiled a list of things you should consider when choosing a domain name.
STRATEGIZE A FEW OPTIONS
Not every domain name is an exact match to the business name. While it is strongly recommended to be consistent in your branding, business names may not be the best choice if they are very long, difficult to spell, or commonly associated with another brand. Come up with a few options that you could use, and then follow the following steps to ensure the domain is both optimizable and easy to use.
BE MINDFUL OF HIDDEN WORDS
Some companies run into issues when they don’t see their domain url as a whole. A business name with two or three words could create entirely different words when lumped together. For example, let’s consider a music store named Mike’s Hits And Mixes. A possible domain name, if using the business name in its entirety, would be “mikeshitsandmixes.” See the problem?
Have someone you trust look over a couple of the domain names you’ve chosen. A second set of eyes may see things you didn’t the first time.
It is often recommended to use a simple, short, and easy-to-remember domain name. Try to limit the name to less than four words. If your business name is long, try using abbreviations or acronyms. Customers are more likely to remember domains that are short and easy to read and type.
Short domain names are also easier to use in marketing materials since they take up less room. Business cards, vehicle wraps, brochures, social media posts, and much more may require the use of your website’s URL. A long domain can take up valuable space on your materials, and deter customers from wanting to type out the entire URL.
AVOID NUMBERS OR HYPHENS
Avoid numbers or hyphens within a domain when possible. You don’t want to confuse customers by choosing a number that isn’t spelled out, especially if it’s used as a word in the business name. For example, ‘Two Sisters Studio’ should be ‘twosistersstudio.’ An exception to this would be the use of a number as a number in the business name, such as ‘2 Sisters Studio.’ Consistency is key when it comes to your website.
Hyphens and numbers are the only non-alphabetical characters allowed in domains. However, their use should be limited. Hyphens are commonly used when two or three words can’t be lumped together (such as mikes-hits-and-mixes) or a domain is already taken. Keep in mind, though, that many people won’t think to hyphenate a URL when typing it in the address bar. You may accidentally send your traffic to a different business entirely – one without hyphens.
CHOOSE A DOMAIN EXTENSION
Domain extensions, also known as top-level domains (TLD), are added at the end of domain names in the web address. They are the last part of the domain and are separated by a period. The most commonly used TLD is .com but a variety of other options exist as well.
Reasons for choosing a domain other than .com includes:
- Your chosen domain isn’t available with the .com extension, but is with others such as .io, .org, .net, etc.
- You want to include a country code in your domain, such as .uk
- You want a domain extension associated with your industry, such as an Information Technology (IT) company using .net
Although .com has become the popular choice for TLDs, that doesn’t mean a website without it won’t be successful. It is up to you to market your domain so that it becomes familiar to customers. You might have to put in a little more work to ensure the correct extension is used. If people are typing your website directly in the address bar, one of the hardest parts is already done – brand awareness!
Before you begin marketing your upcoming website, make sure the domain name you’ve chosen is available. Talk with your website designer or host to ensure everything is connected and running smoothly to the domain you want. Many website builders will also ask you to register or connect a domain name, and provide you with possible alternatives if your original has been taken. You can also check the availability by doing a quick search on Name.com.
Now that your domain name has been chosen, it’s important to ensure that it’s secure. Don’t just buy a domain from a random website because it says it’s available. Do your research, or talk with your website host to verify that your domain is protected and officially registered.
Our team at Vervocity knows how frustrating it can be to make sure all the necessary steps are taken to choose a domain, build a beautiful site, and make sure both are secure. With over 230 years of combined experience, we’ve helped many businesses successfully choose and register domain names. We also build unique web designs, host websites, and offer 24/7 security monitoring as options in our packaged services!
Whether you’re looking for assistance in with web design in Quincy, IL, the surrounding area, or from across the country, we’ve got you covered! Our client list ranges from coast to coast, and we’re happy to help our customers reach and exceed their goals. Request a consultation or give us a call today at (217) 222-1451.