How to Choose the Ultimate Website Domain Name
Plus 8 Little Known Tips for Selecting the Right One for you
Choosing the right domain name for your website is the first step towards a successful online marketing campaign. Should you make a mistake and opt for the wrong kind of name, not only will your online presence be less than impressive but it could result in your website simply being unseen.
Why are domain names important?
Domain names are so much more than just a virtual address, they actually play an important role in the building of your brand.
On the marketing side of things, having a well-chosen domain name, along with.com or .co.za as the extension, will make it easier for you to enjoy the benefits of search engine optimisation. Google tends to give strong domain names with an appropriate extension preference when it comes to ranking. Remember, brand visibility is key to a successful online marketing campaign.
Having a domain name will also give your company an official look and feel, which will lend to building the trust that you hope people will have in your company. Websites built with free builders and which are hosted on free platforms, can make a company look unofficial and that in turn can push potential customers away.
Finally, domain names go beyond the web and have an effect on your emails. This is something that is not given enough consideration since often people overlook the fact that their email accounts are directly linked to their domains. The last thing you want, is to have a beautifully designed website which links to a free gmail or outlook account. Not only are you not fully utilising the service that you already have available to you but you are also missing out on a phenomenal opportunity to build the credibility and the trust in your company.
How to decide on your domain name
The name you choose is going to be the name that reflects your company online for years to come. So it is kind of a big deal to make sure that the name you choose is perfect in every way. Your domain name is going to become a big part of the brand you are growing and it will be synonymous with your virtual presence.
Ideally, it helps to choose the domain name that will directly lead customers to your site. The easiest way to do this would be to have your domain name be the same as your company name. But while this is the ideal method, it is not always possible, as the name could have already been taken. If this is the case, you can always opt for a name that matches your keywords or which is a parallel to your company name.
Your domain name is a solid investment and as your brand grows, the domain name can actually accumulate financial value. This is why it is so important that you get it right and that it in some way is associated with your company name.
8 Actionable Tips for Choosing your Domain Name
Whether you are a seasoned expert in registering domains, or if you are new to this, with these 8 tips you can create a domain name that has a lasting impression.
- Keep it short and simple
Long domain names can be difficult to spell correctly, which is something you definitely don’t want as it will turn away potential clients. The same thing can happen if you get too complicated with the name. Try to name the domain with the main keyword of your company.
For example, if your company is “Frank’s Auto and General Pty (Ltd)” you don’t want to go with “www.franksautoandgeneralptyltd.com”; it’s too long and too complicated. Instead, you’d go with “www.franksauto.com”. This domain name already tells the client what it is that the company does and , if it’s a small town company, the name Frank’s Auto is likely to already be well-known, meaning this website will be easy to find even if there are companies with similar names or trades.
- Don’t shy away from hyphens
One of the most common tips you will come across is that you should not have a hyphen in your domain name. This comes from an old belief that hyphens are bad for SEO. But experienced developers have seen that hyphenated domain names are a safe option, but should only be used if the name you want is taken, and the alternative, with a hyphen, is available.
- Take note of regional spelling
Just like you wouldn’t use US English in your content if you are living in South Africa, you shouldn’t use US English in your domain name. This is because users won’t use a different version of the spelling to find your site and therefore, they might not be able to find you online.
- Avoid numbers
If you have a brand name that includes numbers, don’t use the numerical version. Type out the number. This is not an overly problematic issue in terms of marketing your site, but it can make things difficult when you are trying to spell out the site name to a client over the phone or during a face to face conversation.
- Don’t bother buying all the versions of your domain name
It’s impractical and awfully expensive to buy every possible version of your domain name, on every possible extension. Unless your brand explodes and becomes as big as a company like Amazon or Google itself, there is no reason to fear cyber squatters buying up your brand name just to hold it hostage and swindle you out of money.
- Research the name before you buy the domain
There are many other ways that you can use your domain name and your brand name online. Do a little research to see if the name is available across social media platforms. While doing your trademark research, you should also see what it is that those companies with names similar to your brand are offering.
- Don’t wait to register
Registering a domain name is not expensive and since thousands of domains are being registered each day, if you come up with a domain that you feel will work for you, register it before someone else does. If you are not sure how to register a domain, contact a web developer or design company, they should be able to do it on your behalf.
- If all else fails, use a name generator
While it might not be the ideal way to find a domain name, using a generator has some benefits in that it can help you get a few ideas as well as test the name that you have in mind. Free generators are found all over the internet, all you have to do is run a Google search for them.
And if you are really stuck and you are looking for advice, or if you are ready to take that leap and register a domain name and start the process of building a website, Imaginet can help you.