[This article was written by Brad Litwin.]
Use these tips to ensure you choose the right domain name for your website and make a great first impression on future visitors to your business.
Your website’s domain name is a lot like your business’s brand name. It’s the first impression most users will have of your organization online (meta descriptions and title tags aside). It’s also the primary means by which most people will reach your site.
Choosing the right domain name is in many ways foundational to your success online. But how can you ensure you choose one that’s right for your organization? How can you be certain you choose one that not only fits your brand but also makes it easy for people to find you online?
Do Your Research
What area are you looking to target? Who is your audience? What kinds of keywords would be associated with your business or brand? Are there any existing trademarks or copyrights you need to be aware of where your choice of domain is concerned?
These are all questions you need to answer in the early stages of brainstorming. At this point, I’d also advise putting to paper every single domain name idea that comes to mind – and try to get creative with them. Think of cool combinations of your brand name or ways you can use your top-level domain (discussed later in the piece) to add a bit of extra flair.
You can always narrow things down later – the important thing for now is to generate ideas.
KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)
Most of the best domain names have a few things in common. First, they’re short. If your domain name is upwards of ten characters, people are much less likely to remember it.
Closely related to the first point, good domain names are also simple and easy to both pronounce and type. Generally, you should avoid characters like hyphens or numbers, and be wary of relying too much on slang. Short and simple is best.
Use The Right Domain Name Extension
Most businesses are going to want to stick with .com as their domain name extension (also known as a top-level domain). It’s the most recognized, most accessible, and most trusted top-level domain. If .com isn’t available (or you want to stand out a bit more readily), you could also go with .net, .org, .co, or a top-level domain that’s exclusive to your country.
Ask For Feedback
Once you’ve narrowed down your domain name of choice, you’ve two final steps. First, check to see if it’s available. Once you know it is, check with some friends and colleagues to see what they think about your choice.
They might spot issues that you as the business owner may be unaware of – unfortunate word combinations, awkward characters, and so on. This can also be helpful for narrowing things down if you have a few options, and you’re uncertain of which you want to use.
Stake Your Domain
Choosing a domain name that’s simple, memorable, and easy to type is a must. It’s how most people will connect with your brand online (social media aside). Follow the advice above – and apply a bit of your own creativity – and you’re sure to come up with an idea that’s a perfect match for your business.
Brad Litwin is the Marketing Manager at A2 Hosting, a high-performance web hosting provider. Brad’s experience ranges from PPC management to social media management. For more great content, you can follow A2 Hosting @a2hosting on Twitter.