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How to choose the right domain name for your business website

by / Sunday, 05 April 2015 / Published in Blogs

Choosing a good domain name for your business website has never been easy. It requires a lot of thought and consideration. A lot of times, you may be confused by the tips or rules you found on the Internet about how to choose domain name. For example, one tip or rule would suggest you to keep domain name short. While another tip or rule might suggest you to use a meaningful domain name with keywords in it, which usually means longer domain name. To clear this kind of confusion, I listed 7 important rules in a logical way to show you how to choose the right domain name for your business website. You can use them either as guidelines or as steps of a procedure. Keep it in mind, there is no such things “as one size fit all”. Each rule that is covered below has both pros and cons. You need to make smart decision after having given them thorough consideration.

1. Choose an appropriate domain name extension.

Choosing an appropriate domain extension is the first step when you are in the process of determining your domain name. Domain extension refers to the suffixes, such as .COM or .NET, at the end of Web addresses. Many people are surprised to see so many other extensions that are available to be registered like .ORG, NET, .INFO and so on. When it comes to choose a domain extension for your business website, always pick .COM as your first option. .COM was created to represent commercial usage. .COM is the most popular domain extension and universally recognized as the standard in domain names. It adds credibility to your site and expands your business reach. Whenever you hear someone start saying a company name, you will naturally add a .COM at the end for their business website address.

2. Determine the right type of domain name either by brand or by keywords.

Domain name can represent and promote your business in two ways. One is to represent your business as a brand. In this case, the names are one word for the most part, unique and distinctive. For example, Nike, Apple, Adidas and Google all use unique one word company name as well as domain name. Another way is to include the keywords in the domain name to represent your products or services. For example, if you are in carpet cleaning business in Toronto, you may want to have domain name like torontocarpetcleaning.com. Be careful when you decide which way to go. If you expect that your company will grow, whether you are planning to expand into different regions, bring out different product lines or diversify your business, you will want a brand type of domain name that will serve your company’s needs now and well in the future and will not date. One disadvantage of brand type of domain name is that, it may take time and money to promote your brand before people get to know your brand well. However, if you are a very local business and never expect to diversify your business, then a domain name with keywords to represent your product lines or region might be good fit for you.

3. Keep the domain name as short as possible.

It is commonly agreed that short domain name is usually better. Here are the pros and cons of short or longer domain name.

The Pros and Cons of Short Domain Names

If you have decided to use brand type of domain name, your domain name is usually just one or two words long, which is great. The benefits of short domain name is that they are easier to read, type and remember. Short domain name also has a better chance to be “catchy,” and to “stick” in someone’s head. Nike and Google could be two of the best examples of short domain name. The only disadvantage to a short domain name is that it’s more likely to be taken already, especially if your brand name isn’t 100% unique.

The Pros and Cons of Long Domain Names

If you have decided to go with keyword type of domain name, you may want to use a longer name to better explain what your business is. Back to the previous example, you may want to use torotocarpetcleaning.com to describe your carpet cleaning business in Toronto area. Longer domain names have a better chance to be unique, especially if they combine words in a different way. So you may have better luck getting your name of choice registered. Longer domain name is also more SEO friendly than short one since it has keywords included. However, if you domain name is more than 4 words, it could be a bit too long.

4. Research and decide your domain and  company name together whenever is possible.

Even though you have known the first three important rules and steps to follow when choosing a domain name for your business website, there is still another question. Domain name and company name, which should come first? Deciding on a domain name can be as important as selecting your company name. My best suggestion is that if you can, research and decide on both names all together. I have ever run into the dilemma where I have already registered my company name. But when I tried to register my domain name with my company name and .COM extension, I found other company has already used this domain name. I ended up having to change my company name in order to find an available corresponding domain name. As online marketing grows in importance more and more new business owners are choosing their company names based on the availability of the domain name. So make sure you are research and decide both your domain and company names together if it is possible.

5. Keep domain name unique while easy to remember

This rule is a bit confusing. On the one hand, I would recommend a domain name to be unique. Unique name can be catchy and impressive. It can also avoid conflict with other brand name. Unique name is sometimes not a real English word. For example,  some unique names are acronyms or words coming from another language which make them hard to remember or spell. On the other hand, domain name should be intuitive, memorable and easy to type. Sometimes a customer can guess the products and services you are selling based on your domain name like Torontocarpetcleaning.com. There is always trade-off between unique name and memorable name. Be sure to make a good balance between unique and memorable.

6. Avoid dashes and numbers in the domain name.

Did you ever see a world famous company that has a domain name with numbers and dashes in it?  You should avoid using dashes and numbers in your domain name. Dashes and nubers may make your domain name look fancy, but they could possibly  detract from credibility and can act as a spam indicator.  Also, a lot of time, when you say a number in the domain name, people who are listening would think you are referring to the English word of that number which causes confusion.

7. Take a quick action

Domain names sell quickly, especially the ones with .COM extension. A lot of general one or two words domain names with .COM extension have been registered. Domain registration is not expensive, so register your favorite domain names as soon as possible. If you’re having trouble finding an available name, talk to us. We will do domain search and suggest alternate names to you.

 

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