Having a website is a core requisite to start or establish any business online. Therefore, you will need to buy a domain name, which will become the identity for your long term branding strategies. Your website address is as important as your brand name itself. A web browser will require a domain name for directing people to your website.
Many business owners are not aware of the importance of a domain name. People type domain name to access your website, without which they will need to remember your server’s specific IP address, in order to gain access to your website. Remembering numerical IP addresses is not an easy task. So choosing the right name for your website a.k.a domain is essential.
The Domain name also offers identity and credibility to your business online. Businesses without websites cannot simply sustain their competition for long and are bound to eventually fail. They will lose out on a lot of customers because almost all people carry internet-connected devices with them these days. Websites can help you get connected with customers, sponsors, advertisers, students, etc. A domain name offers a respectable aura to your website.
Getting a domain name is important not just for businesses, but also for individuals or bloggers. However, finding the ideal name is challenging, but not an impossible task. You will first need to find if the name you desire for your business website has already been taken, or not.
You will need to be careful while creating a domain name because even a single letter error can turn into a long-term nightmare. A domain address has to fulfill your business purpose. For example, pcwebopedia.com is a domain address that hints at the website being similar to Wikipedia.
How to choose an ideal domain name?
Always choose the .com if possible
Wherever possible, choose the .com extension for your domain name. The TLD [top-level domain] includes .com as a common extension because people are aware of it and by default type .com in the browsers. If an extension is weird, people can hardly remember. Everyone assumes that each site is a .com. According to data, TLD .com is employed in 47% of websites residing on the internet.
Other domain suffix options are –
- and many more
Fancy TLDs are enticing yet choosing .com is better. If it is already taken, then you will need to forget that domain extension or contact the owner to find out if he/she is willing to sell. It can be costly!
When not to choose .com?
There are exceptions when you must not choose .com. If you own a website that serves the local community, then chooses a local TLD. If you are catering to the United States market, then choose .us address. It clearly states that you are in their country, and thus your trustworthiness gets boosted. If you still wish to get a .com version [if available], then link it with your local domain. Visitors will end up on the same website, whichever address they opt for.
Experiment with non-traditional TLDs
You can try to get your local TLD with the relevant domain name. For example, in the web address, checkerplow.au, the domain name clearly suggests that you cater to Australian customers.
You can buy several different TLDs like .club, .shop, .design, .store, and more. These were not available a few years ago. You can even experiment with local TLDs. There are domain extensions like .is, .fm, .cc, .io, and more that can be employed for different purposes.
Consider buying other main TLDs
Just having the main domain either a .com or local TLD is not sufficient. If possible buy other common TLDs to configure and redirect them to the main domain address. For example, when you already have dreamblogger.com, you must even consider similar ones like –
- and more
It allows preventing possible issues in the near future like competition with other blogs choosing a similar domain name with different TLD.
You wouldn’t want –
- People registering those missing TLDs then making a costly selling deal with you.
- People creating fraud sites, which resemble yours, but aren’t.
- Genuine traffic mixing your TLD and unable to access your site.
Choose a brandable domain name
Branding is an essential part of business success, so choose a brandable domain name. Many factors, which needs to be considered are –
- It has to be unique. That does not mean that it needs to have a specific meaning like YouTube or Google. It means your competition must not use anything similar.
- Easy to remember. No complex vowel combinations or too wordy!
- Easy to pronounce
- Sounds trustworthy
Experiment with a few combinations of actual words with random extensions. For example, WinabetToday.com sounds bold, but betwin.com sounds better. The aim is to create a domain name that helps to build brand value. The name needs to sound fun, and get memorized easily like ‘Uber’. Keep it short and crisp. It should not cause confusion with spellings. Make it easy to mention during casual conversations.
Choose a legal domain name
Trademark infringement is a crime. Similarly, registering domain address with intent of trademark violation is equally illegal. At times, domain name infringement is accidental. The golden rule is to avoid such an embarrassing scenario. Check 3 to 4 result pages for businesses already using this name and operating in the market. If you detect even a single one, choose another domain name.
Don’t feel disappointed if the chosen domain name is taken or cannot be acquired
The main aim while choosing a domain name is to get the concept of your online business right. Also, your website has to be optimized to offer great user experience and must be search engine friendly. Domain names can also be changed in the future. It means, if you don’t find an ideal name today, you can buy it later, whenever available, and redirect it to your site.
For example, Trumo, an online group of marketing tools, started with domain name trumome.com. Soon they saved sufficient funding to buy the domain address they were interested in – trumo.com. Remember, the switch can be an expensive, one but not impossible.
Difference between buying new versus an existing domain name
An existing domain means it holds a history, and you are never totally sure about its past. The advantage is that the domain’s history can offer a boost on Google because it is familiar with the domain. The disadvantage is if the domain name may hold toxic links, and Google may have banned it.
Before you buy an existing domain name, you must do a Google check manually. If the search engine has indexed it, you will get to know about its past. Not finding anything means the domain is banned, a red flag!
Choose a reliable domain registrar
For registering a domain name, you will need a registrar company. A reliable registrar company means that you will not experience any domain issues down the road. When your brand gets established online, you will surely not want to lose the domain.
Never be fooled with low priced domains. Few registrars offer promotional rates, but they may have hidden fees in the contract. They attract customers and then charge them more as up-sell or renewal costs. They may also ask extra for editing RDAP or WHOIS listing. Therefore, read the fine print and double-check transfer process!
Buying the domain name must not be taken lightly, because the digital presence of your business or organization relies on it. The challenge is to find the names that are effective and creative. Make sure you choose an ideal extension. Get this right first, and then make the best strategies to promote it online.