Choosing the Right Domain Name and Why It's Important for Your Business
Domain names are important in providing users with access to particular websites. Without a domain name, it can be difficult for them to find a website and learn more about its services. Instead of readable and understandable text, users will be greeted by complex IP addresses, such as 176.444.386.87 or 111.528.8.0.
Numerical IP addresses are difficult to remember and might change. Because of that, we use domain names. When talking about domain names, were referring to something that looks like this:
Domain names are made up of four parts:
The subdomain, domain name, and top-level domain (TLD) make up the root domain.
For businesses, domain names are crucial because they help your target audience find you. Choosing the right domain name can help businesses establish an online presence, boost branding, have growth opportunities, and gain a competitive edge.
However, finding the right domain name for your business can be an uphill battle. The third quarter of 2021 saw 364.6 million domain name registrations. There is also a significant probability that your first choice for a domain has already been registered by someone else.
How do you pick one that best suits or relates to your business? How can you make it stand out? We've created this guide to help you choose the right domain name for your business.
Why Domain Names Are Important for Businesses
A domain name isn't just an address on the internet. If you're running a business, it's one of the most critical components you need to have. Here's why:
A high-value domain name establishes a business identity
A high-value domain name is short, easy to remember, and should describe and represent your business. A right high-value domain name is the first step toward building your business's online presence. It puts you front and center of your target audience, thus making your business more accessible. A short, descriptive domain name makes it easier for users to find you. Furthermore, it lets them easily access your site and learn more about your business, like what services or products you can offer.
The right domain name also allows you to define your niche. By indicating your niche, you're able to tell your audience what your business is and how it can potentially address their pain points. For example, if your business specializes in selling vintage clothes, then your domain name could be www.vintagethriftclothes.shop.
The right domain name can improve search engine rankings
Choosing a relevant domain name with the right keywords can give you a boost in search engine rankings.
Search engines also use domain names to determine your businesss nature, which can play a role in search ranking results. Ranking higher on search engine results pages (SERP) can help bring in organic traffic to your site. This can be done by observing SEO and including relevant keywords to your domain name.
Domain names add credibility
Aside from helping you establish your identity online; the right domain name can help you build online and offline credibility. Moreover, having a registered trademark for your domain can help you expand your business, especially if you're looking to reach new markets.
Although free web hosting sites are a great option for starting out, they can make it harder to establish a credible and professional image.
The right domain name boosts branding
Your domain name can help drive your marketing efforts. It enhances awareness of your brand; if your domain matches your business name, it can help support it.
How to Choose the Right Domain Name for Your Business
Find a keyword that relates to your business and add that to your domain
Don’t overlook keywords when choosing a domain name. Add them if you can, but don't go overboard. Relevant keywords can boost your SEO because search engines also use keywords to index searches. Moreover, the right keywords can help recall and make your business more memorable to your audience.
Try to use keywords with a broad reach when incorporating them into your domain, so that you have more room for expansion. Going with a particular keyword can potentially hinder you from expanding or making changes to your business in the future. Furthermore, keyword-rich names may be associated with spammy or low-quality content, which can put a domain in a bad light.
Perform a Google search to confirm the availability of the domain
You must sit down and do your homework when crafting a domain name. Suppose your chosen domain happens to be available. Do some research to figure out what your competitors are doing to avoid having domain names that are too similar to theirs. This can help you avoid brand confusion among your audience.
Additionally, check to see if a domain name has already been registered or trademarked to avoid copyright issues.
You can visit the USPTO website to begin your search. Doing your research can save you from infringing on trademarks and can help you avoid costly legal issues.
Conduct a search on Namecheckr to check your chosen social and domain name availability
Namecheckr is a social and domain name availability search tool. While Google and social media are good resources for checking the availability of a name, the process can be challenging and time-consuming.
Namecheckr simplifies the process by searching different sites (websites and social media) to check if your chosen name is available to use. Key in your brand name on the search bar and click the magnifying glass icon. If your name is available, then you’ll see a green check beside the word Available. Otherwise, you’ll see a red x.
On the site, you’ll see a variety of platforms, such as Reddit, Facebook, and Twitch, and TLDs such as .org and .net.
It's important to snap up a good domain name quickly before someone else does. Furthermore, it’s crucial that you trademark it to protect your business, brand, and reputation.
Best Practices for Choosing the Right Domain Name for Your Business
Now that we've covered the basics, here are some best practices you can follow when selecting a domain name:
Keep it short, simple, and easy to remember. Try to stay under 15 to 20 characters.
Create a name that's easy to pronounce.
Opt for a unique domain name to avoid confusion.
Go for a brandable name or something that resonates with your brand.
Consider your budget.
Factor in purchase terms—if you're planning to change your business in the future, you might want to go for shorter terms.
Check to see if it helps customers identify your brand.
Avoid using numbers, special characters like hyphens, and duplicate characters.
Expend some time choosing the right internet domain extension. Choosing the best TLD depends on a company's objective. It's important to snap up a good domain name quickly before someone else does. In contrast, a ccTLD (country top-level domain) is ideal for local businesses, especially those who want to penetrate the regional market.
Free web hosting sites can be a good place to start, but they can make it harder to establish a credible and professional image.
Think about using multiple TLDs for your domain. If you've registered your domain under a .com extension, such as www.yourbusinessname.com, you might also want to consider registering it under various TLDs. If possible, purchase other iterations of your domain, including its misspelled variations. Doing so will help redirect your visitors to your website even if they've keyed in the wrong TLD. More importantly, this will prevent your competition from snagging an alternate version of your domain.
Don't be afraid to use a domain name generator.
Don't forget to register your domain with an accredited domain registrar.
Register Your Domain Name and Protect Your Trademark
Your domain name is a major part of your business and brand.
Before registering your domain for trademark protection, make sure it's unique or distinct. It's unlikely for generic names to pass trademark criteria. Double-check your domain availability by searching on Google or the USPTO site.
Make it a point to register and trademark your domain. By doing so, you're protecting your business from infringement. A trademark can help distinguish your brand from competitors and play a role in influencing customers' perspectives and buying decisions.
If you have a registered trademark for your domain, you can expand your business to new markets. This is especially useful if you want to reach new customers in other countries.
Protect your assets with Nominus and register your brand as a domain or trademark.