Brainstorming business domain names is an exciting time. It’s the first step to launching your online business. But how do you choose the right one that’ll stick with searchers and contribute to your overall growth?
Deciding on a domain name isn’t something you want to do frivolously. The name you choose can impact your ability to rank for certain terms, affect how likely searchers are to click on your pages, improve your paid advertising, and even make it easier for searchers to type in your website directly, bypassing the search bar altogether.
The last thing you want is to be stuck with a website on a domain name that hinders, not helps, your online and offline marketability.
So get your thinking cap on, search for available domains, and check out these five tips below.
Your Domain Is Your Brand
The domain name you choose will be the lifeblood of your online property. How do you make that property stand out? You brand it. You want a name that describes what your company does while still sounding like a brand. Think of brands like Pinterest, Facebook, or Reddit. Their names all communicate what their brands do, and sound awkward or illegitimate like “Affordable Fish Tanks.”
Make sure to think through how it’ll sound. You don’t want to end up with a laughably bad domain name and be the butt of the internet’s joke. You should also avoid using special characters or dashes in your name. The less brand-worthy your domain name sounds, or the more ambiguity it communicates, the harder it’ll be for you to grow your online presence.
Brevity Is Best
A shorter domain name helps people remember, spell, and pronounce it. It will make it easier for people to talk about your business even when they’re sharing to their friends about interesting sites and businesses they’ve come across. Having a site name that can be easily communicated and thought of will contribute immensely both to your online and offline presence.
.com Lends Legitimacy
These days, there are countless TLD (generic top-level domain) extensions to choose from. However, getting that .com on the end still matters. Why? It’s the most recognizable and common TLD out there with a history spanning over 30 years. People are comfortable with the familiar. Domain extensions are no different. But if your chosen .com name isn’t available, there are lots of options.
Is It Legal?
Getting a letter from a trademark lawyer after the excitement of christening a new site probably isn’t the type of “ups and downs” you were expecting in the online business landscape. Make sure the domain name you want isn’t already trademarked by someone. You can search for this information on Trademarkia or Markify. Even hiring a trademark lawyer for questionable cases is money well spent, compared to being sued.
Don’t Give Up If Your Desired Domain Is Taken
If the domain you want is owned by someone else, all hope isn’t lost. Visit the site and see if it looks well maintained or vacant. If it’s well maintained, your odds of securing the domain aren’t great, at least for a good price. But if the site looks inactive or vacant, then the site owner will be more likely to want to sell it, and you’ll probably get a good deal. Use Whois to search domain name registrations. Once you find the site owner, inquire about purchasing. Know what you’re willing to pay and be firm with your negotiations. If you can’t find the owner because the domain is privately registered, you can use a broker to negotiate on your behalf.
Choosing a business domain name isn’t so different than choosing a business name in general. It needs to be brandable, memorable, reflective of your offering, legal, and legitimate-sounding,
Take your time deciding on your name. Seek outside opinion once you have a list with some potential winners. Gathering feedback from different viewpoints on how a name sounds will uncover angles you hadn’t thought of yourself. The more time you put into your name, the better it’s likely to be, which means a huge opening win for your online business.
Have some domain names you’re considering? Use Yahoo Small Business to check if your domain name is available.