When you first start a website or blog, there are a lot of important decisions to make. While you probably just want to sit down and start blogging, you’ll first need to:
- Choose a blogging platform
- Decide which web host you’re going to go with
- Choose your domain name
This article covers 12 top things to think about when choosing your domain name for your business.
If you’re looking for help with the other two steps, you can find that here:
12 considerations when choosing a domain name
As you are deciding on your domain name, I’d strongly recommend you work your way through this list. It will help you avoid making a mistake that could cost you down the road!
1. Make it easy to remember
You want to choose a name that will immediately make sense to people. In other words, something that they will remember after hearing just once. This usually goes hand in hand with some of the other tips below, like keeping your domain name as short as possible.Choose a domain name that makes sense and is easy to remember. #Blog4ProfitClick To Tweet
2. Don't Include hyphens
Years ago, Google showed a preference for domain names that contained keywords. For instance, if your domain name contained the keywords “bakery San Francisco”, you would be more likely to rank for those words in Google.
This led to many businesses cramming as many keywords as possible into their name, often using hyphens to separate them.
This no longer works. Not only will it NOT help you in Google, it can be a turn off to your potential visitors and customers.
3. Make it easy to spell
You don’t want to risk having a potential customer misspell your domain name and reach someone else’s site.
To avoid this, choose a domain name that’s very easy to spell – in other words, that’s very difficult to MISSPELL.
Avoid: www.coffeeaddictsanonymous.com (anonymous is easy to misspell and easy to mistype)
4. Choose the best extension
There are many different domain name extensions to choose from: .com, .net, .info, .biz, etc.
Yet .com remains the BEST choice if you can swing it! While there’s not much evidence to support that Google prefers it, it’s still the most common extension, making it the easiest to remember.The .com extension for your domain name remains the BEST choice if you can get it! #Blog4ProfitClick To Tweet
5. Keep it as short as possible
Keeping your domain short makes it easier to remember and often easier to spell too. I recommend using no more than two or three words, and keeping those words as short as possible.Keep your domain name short. It makes it easier to remember and often easier to spell too. #Blog4ProfitClick To Tweet
6. Make sure your name is clearly related to your business
Some business owners opt for a catchy, clever domain name thinking it will help them with their branding. Unfortunately, this seldom works.
Make sure to choose a name that’s clearly related to your business or product(s). This way if people hear your domain name, they’ll immediately have a sense of what it is you do or sell.
And if you can choose a domain that does that AND is catchy – even better!
For a plumbing business:
7. Be unique
Obviously you want to choose a domain name that no one else has picked. But that’s not what I’m talking about here: you want to choose a name that a) doesn’t infringe on anyone else’s trademarks, and b) isn’t very similar to another domain name.
This will help avoid confusion as well as pesky law suits 😉
8. Choose something that is easy to say
This one goes hand in hand with keeping your domain name easy to remember. If someone says your domain name out loud, you want to make sure it’s easy to pronounce and understand.
Avoid using foreign words (unless you’re targeting a foreign audience), unfamiliar words or phrases or strings of random letters.
9. Choose a name that you can also claim on social media
Typically, you want your domain name and social media handles to be the same (or similar). For instance, my domain is www.kimgarst.com, and all my social media handles are similar: e.g., www.pinterest/kimgarst, www.twitter.com/kimgarst, etc.)Typically, you want your domain name and social media handles to be the same (or similar). #BrandingClick To Tweet
When choosing your domain name, check your favorite social media platforms to make sure you can choose a similar handle. While this can make the whole process even more difficult, in the long run, you’ll be happy you can maintain some consistent branding.
10. Local business owners: think locally
If your company is solely focused on a local market (for instance, a restaurant, auto repair shop, clothing boutique, etc.), consider using your city name in your domain.
This will help differentiate your domain from those of nationwide businesses. It will also open up more options as local domain names won’t be so competitive.
11. Consider buying all the extensions
As mentioned above, it’s usually best to choose a .com domain name if possible. But something to consider is whether or not you should buy ALL the extensions of your domain.
For instance, imagine that you decided on www.savvywebdesign.com. What happens if someone buys up www.savvywebdesign.net and www.savvywebdesign.org and uses those for their business?
Buying these extensions doesn’t mean you need to use them. You can either just let them sit, unused, or redirect them to your actual domain (ask a techy friend to help you, if need be!).
12. Think about your branding
If you’re still stuck for a name, this final tip may help. If your website or blog is intended to market your business, just use your business name.
If you’re planning to market yourself (e.g., as a business consultant), go with your full name (www.kimgarst.com).
Starting a new blog is an exciting endeavor! Hopefully this post has given you some direction when it comes to one of the most important parts of the process – choosing your domain name.
While you can always change your domain later, this can cause setbacks when it comes to search engine rankings and branding. Better to choose your name carefully at the beginning and stick with it for the long term!
Any questions about choosing a domain name? Share them below and I’ll see what I can do to help!