A domain name might seem like the last of your worries when starting an online business, but your domain name is actually vital to the success of your business. You will need to choose a domain name that makes sense for your business; it should not be something off-the-wall and unrelated to your business. However, it does need to be SEO-optimized so that search engines can find your site. Remember, it does not matter how good of a product or service you offer if potential customers cannot find you.
Choosing a domain name is really not an easy task. There are so many websites out there already, and you have to find something that is not only available, but one that will also work to your advantage and help get your business out in the online marketplace. What follows are a number of tips that will help make choosing a domain name at least a little less confusing.
Are You Local or Global?
Most recommend that you obtain a dot com domain name so as to be more universally recognizable to search engines and thus more accessible to potential customers. This is especially the case for those whose businesses are national or international. If, however, you run a local business that needs to stay regional, it is time to consider localizing. If, for example, you run a business in the United Kingdom, you may choose a .co.uk, as this is a country specific domain extension. This can help to draw more localized traffic to your site.
Think About Your Brand
A brand or company name is an obvious choice for your domain name. Choosing a company name is just as hard as choosing a domain name; you want something simple that people will remember and relate to the products or services your are selling. Shorter names tend to be harder to come up with but are more powerful, which is something to consider.
Since there are so many domain names out there that are already taken, it can be easy to settle for some sort of acronym or short hand of your business name. But remember, customers are not thinking that way. You need to think hard and find a way to come up with a relevant, easily memorable name.
Keywords are a vital part of SEO and one’s domain name is no exception. There are certain keywords relevant to your business that will help search engines pick your site out when people are searching for like products or services. It is important that these be in your domain name. It is also important to remember that it does not matter what order the keywords appear in the domain name, just that they are there as a means by which search engines can better find them.
Check Out Expired Domains
While it is true that many common domain names are already taken, there are some valuable names that are available because they have expired. Checking out expired or old domain names can be a great way to strike proverbial gold when looking for a domain name for your business. Domain names expire after a certain period of time if the owner does not continue to pay. So take advantage of these old names, and see if one might work for you.
Get the Help of a Professional
This is a vital aspect of getting your online business up and running, so you do not want to leave it to chance. Chances are, you are not fluent in SEO techniques, nor do you know the ins and outs of getting the best domain name. This is where the help of SEO experts and web hosts comes in. You want your business to look as professional as possible, and by choosing to obtain web hosting from a well known and reputable company, you will have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have the support you need from a trusted host.
Other Things to Consider
Domain names that are dot coms are, by their very nature, easier to remember. If possible, get a dot com domain name. This is not only more universal to computer users, but search engines give preference and can better index dot com names than other extensions.
Make sure you consider spelling and length when choosing your domain name. You want to use words that are easily spelled so that you do not miss traffic due to incorrect spelling. It is not recommended to use hyphens in your domain name, as this is more difficult for customers to remember. You also do not want your domain name to be too much of a mouthful. While you can use 67 characters for your domain name, it is not advised to use them all. The shorter and sweeter your domain name, the more easily it will be remembered.
You should also avoid the tendency to use “text speak” type words in your domain name such as “u” for you or “2” for to. This is harder for search engines to make sense of and can cause a bit of confusion when it comes to people trying to find your site. It is an easy shortcut to take, but there is so much room for error when it comes to people remembering the exact way your domain name is written. It is best to avoid these things and keep it to simple, plain English.
By using the tips laid out above, you can better select the perfect domain name that will draw your customers in by being search engine-friendly. With the help of a specialized web company and a basic understanding of both SEO and your client base, you can select a domain name that is most likely to generate traffic to your page. We all know that more traffic to one’s page means more potential customers. This just goes to show that something as simple as a domain name can actually have a profound impact on the bottom line.