A domain is the assigned name for a website that users type into the address bar of a browser to pull up that site. Domains can be registered through many online companies such as www.godaddy.com. Once a domain is registered by someone, no one else can register it unless it expires or if it is transferred to them by the owner. Choosing the right domain is very important. Below are 7 tips I think can help you choose the right domain for your company.
1. Look for your company name
If you find your company name is available, then you’re off to a great start! People will automatically assume to look for your website by your business name. If you can’t find your exact name, then try keywords or descriptive phrases that can identify and relate to your services.
2. Keep it short and sweet
Try to keep your domain short. Very long domains can be hard to remember and easy to misspell. If your company name is really long, try to find a short or abbreviated alternative and register both. One can redirect to the other, and you can use the short domain as the main one. In addition to that, emails can become a pain to write or print on a card if both the username and the domain are too long!
3. Make it easy to type and spell
Avoid picking a domain that has hard to spell, lengthy or cleverly spelled words. Try to stay away from double letters. Double letters happen when you have two words in which the first word ends with the same letter that the second word start with. People will usually misspell that by typing the letter only once. If you think your best choice for a domain might be misspelled often, buy the misspelled domain as well and redirect to the correct one.
4. Look for .COM extensions first
The best domain extension will always be .com because it is the most popular and the one most people will assume to use. However, there are some exceptions. Government agencies use .gov, schools or educational institutions use .edu and organizations or non-profits use .org. These extensions are the right ones in these cases because they convey credibility. I usually recommend also getting the .com extension in addition to an .edu or .org , and redirecting to your main domain, just in case someone still tries to use that extension.
5. Get Feedback
Always test it out with friends, family or coworkers. Get feedback on what others think about the domain name. Find out how many think it’s memorable or how many have trouble spelling or typing it.
6. Avoid Copyright Infringement
Don’t register a domain that uses a household name or trademarked name as part of the domain name. You don’t want to end up in lawsuit for using someone else’s business name.
7. Don’t Wait
If you found the perfect domain name, don’t wait! Register it now even if you don’t have your website ready to go. You don’t want someone beating you to it. You can always have a “coming soon” page while you build your website. Worst case scenario if you buy too soon and you end up not using the domain, you’re probably out a few dollars for a year’s registration. Worst case scenario if you wait, you may lose the ability to register the domain entirely!
There is one last thing you should know about your domain which is really important. You should always know where it is registered! Register it yourself or have your design companyregister it for you, but make sure it is in your contract with them that they will transfer it back to you upon request. Avoid having your employees, your friends or even your family register it. You may fire that employee, you could loose touch with that friend or you may get into an argument with your family member.
If you register it yourself, make sure to archive or note where and when you need to renew it so you don’t forget because you don’t want it to expire. A domain that is expired will no longer display your website. Losing your domain would be a very unfortunate thing after investing time and money branding it for your company website.
Feel free to share your tips on choosing the right domain by leaving a comment below!