Updated February 2019.
Whether you are starting a new business online or are an existing business making a website for the first time, choosing a domain name can be a complex process. According to Business Insider, there are currently (as of February 2019) 1,805,260,010 websites on the Internet. You may have the perfect name in mind, but it could be claimed by someone else. It does not help that there are bad users who actively buy up domains with the intention of selling them. Here are 7 tips to help you find the perfect domain name for your business.
- The extension matters. As frustrating as it is, .com is by far the leading and most recognized extension in the United States. Many other extensions are deemed untrustworthy by users even if they are legitimate businesses. It is better to compromise the words in your domain name than to compromise the extension. However, if you feel as though you have the perfect name, but the .com is taken, some acceptable alternatives are .co, .io (popular with tech startups), and .net. Keep in mind that if the business who owns the .com version of your domain is in a similar industry, you could lose business to them by confusing people.
- If you already have a business name, try and get an exact match for a domain name. If that is not possible without compromising the extension, follow the rest of our tips to find the best viable alternative.
- Keywords are not necessary, but can be helpful if included. While your domain name does not need to be an exact match to your target keyword, it does help with SEO to include the keyword in your domain name. An example is if you own a clothing store named Stella, it would be helpful to insert a keyword into your domain name, such as “stellaclothing.com”.
- Don’t choose a generic domain name. It is important to stand out and be memorable so that your customers will be able to find your website again and easily refer it to other people. For example, even though it may have target keywords, the domain name “petgroomingandsupplies.com” is going to be less memorable than “MichellesPetGrooming.com”. The chance of someone remembering a specific name and being able to find your website because of that name is greater.
- Keep it easy and short:
- The most popular websites have between 6 and 10 characters in the domain name.
- Keep it easy for someone to spell and type the name from memory.
- Make sure your domain name is easy to pronounce for word of mouth advertisement.
- If you are a local business, it is helpful to include your location in the domain name. For example, if your domain name is “Chicagopetgrooming.com”, people living in Chicago (your target customers) are going to immediately know that you are a business in their city without having to search for a location on your website.
- Research your competitors. Make sure the domain you choose is not too similar to theirs. If someone searches for your website and clicks on a similar name with a similar product, you could easily lose that business.