With over 100 million domains (.com names) registered, it seems that it’s getting harder and harder to find a quality name that fits your business, tells people what you do, and shows your work in a professional light. Small businesses starting today have a very hard time finding a domain name that they like and that will work long term for them.
Here are six tips for picking the right domain name:
- Make sure your business name, your website title, and your domain name match. If your company name is Julia’s Printing, but you can’t get juliasprinting.com your customer’s may not find your business correctly. It’s sometimes hard to find a domain name and a business name that fit you, but the extra work will pay off in the long run through sales and brand recognition.
- If you’re local, show it. Some consumers would rather deal with local businesses than large national corporations. Make that count in your domain name! Adding the city in which you do business to your domain name is often helpful, such as restaurantallentown.com. This can also help with how your website ranks in search engines such as Google™.
- Don’t make your users type one more letter than necessary to get to your website. While domain names can have up to 67 characters, that doesn’t mean that they always should. People are inherently lazy and making them type one more character than absolutely needed will sometimes stop them from visiting you.
- To hyphenate or not to hyphenate, that is the question. A lot of small businesses use hyphens to get the domain name they want, such as julias-restaurant-allentown.com. This is great for readability, but not necessarily great for remembering a domain name. Use as few hyphens as possible, or two hyphens at most, in your domain name. Also, make sure to buy your domain name without the hyphens just in case someone mistypes it.
- Misspelling is the new in thing. When you say your domain name, people can often misinterpret what you are saying. It’s a great idea to buy domain names for things that people may mistype or not hear correctly, such as Hour vs. Our, Julia vs. Julias, Adam vs. Atom.
- .COM or Bust. While there are hundreds of extensions that you can buy, such as .com, .net, and .org, most people automatically type in .com at the end of a domain name. While .net or .org may be better for your business, make sure you get the .com as well in case people can’t give up their bad habits.
Picking a domain name can be a daunting task, but in the end, it is one of the most crucial parts of having a successful business on the Web.
Do you have an interesting domain name story to share? Please leave me a comment.