Sponsored advertising content from Verisign, a global leader in domain names and internet security.
One of the hardest decisions you will have to make for your business is to choose a domain name for your website. It can be fun, but your goal should be for your customers to find you without extra effort. There are certain techniques you can use to pick the perfect name that expresses what you do or sell while allowing potential customers to find you quickly.
You work hard to build your reputation. This is called branding. Choosing a name for your online site is part of building your brand because it reaches millions of potential customers. What does that name say about you?
Keep in mind that your domain name doesn’t have to be your business name. There are millions of domain names out there so make sure yours stands out and represents your brand. Consider a name that is:
- Creative: Create your own word by compounding two whole words, blending parts of two words together, tweaking a word or using a tagline.
- Long: Don’t be afraid to have a longer domain name. Descriptive names that are naturally longer in length can be memorable and great for branding.
If you need inspiration, try a name suggestion tool or bounce ideas off of friends and family.
The right name will be unique, but easy to remember, and be relevant, but not generic.
Try using keywords within your domain name that describe your business, services or brand to help customers find and remember you. Be descriptive – for example, if you’re based in Texas and want to be known for the unsurpassed quality of your baked goods, BestBakeryInTexas.com is a great option. Or a law firm may want to add a keyword to specify the location it services, or an area of specialty, such as ‘real estate,’ to better communicate the firm’s expertise.
Having the right keywords in your domain name can also help with web traffic. According to research by Verisign, internet search users are almost twice as likely to click on a domain name that includes at least one of their search terms compared to a domain name that does not contain any of their search terms.
Avoid Difficult Names
Your name may be perfectly respectable, but if it’s not a common name or spelling or it’s too long, how will people find you? Most people have difficulty remembering names, so remembering your company’s name for a website will be twice as difficult.
It’s okay for you to be proud of the “e” at the end of your name, Mr. Smithe, but few people will remember to include it. The same goes for adding numbers in the name, unless the number is essential to your company name or product, like www.30yearsof.com. The less complex your domain name is, the easier it will be to find you online.
Moreover, word-of-mouth advertising is still the best form of marketing. For example, people are more likely to remember that BobsCakeFactory.com is the place to go to get a great cake made by Bob, which they can then tell their friends without struggling to remember the name.
What if you have decided on a name for your website, but it’s already taken? During your brainstorming, you should have come up with more than one name. If your heart is set on the one you chose, try looking for variations of the name. Keep in mind that you want the name to be unique (i.e., www.plumberinbrixton.com), so avoid names that are so similar they can be confusing to potential customers.
Dot Com or Dot Net
What comes after the dot in a domain name can be just as important as what comes before it. As a small business, it’s beneficial to choose a domain extension (e.g., .com, .net, .tv) that customers know and trust.
Domain extensions can have specific uses, so make sure to choose one that is aligned with your business’s goals. For instance, if your website showcases a lot of online video, then .tv may be a great choice for you. Many businesses choose .com or .net because they are the recognized standards for businesses online. Although .org is commonly associated with non-profit organizations, some charitable groups also use a .com or .net because of its global recognition and credibility.
Your website is your online presence. For some companies, it is the only place they do business. So branding your company with a domain name that is unique and easy to find is key in growing your online presence. There are places where you can purchase domain names for as little as $9 per year, which keeps the web marketing budget low.