When it comes to a startup, is choosing a domain really important? What’s in a name? Can your domain name make or break you? What factors should you take into consideration?
It’s tempting to think that a domain may not be so important in the grand scheme of things. After all, it’s just one business detail. However, the reality is that a domain is a crucial part of your website and company.
Why Your Domain Name is Crucial
First impressions last.
Your domain name is your internet version of a first impression. It’s one of the first things your visitors will notice. A good domain name can make an excellent and enduring impression, while a bad one can send visitors running.
It impacts SEO.
While exactly matched domains (EMDs) are no longer a requirement, keywords in your domain name can still help your SEO ranking.
It specifies your brand.
Your domain is a branding gold mine! The right domain name can represent your brand well and increase brand awareness.
How to Pick the Perfect Domain Name
Use Proper Domain Name Extensions (.com, .org, .web)
When you choose your domain extension, “.com” is still preferred, but it’s not your only option. Around half of all domains contain this extension. Its enduring popularity can be traced to its familiarity and the fact that it’s incredibly simple to remember. While there are numerous effective websites with a “.net” and “.org,” your website will probably do better if it has a “.com” extension. It’s the best bet.
I recommend: Go with.com. If that’s taken, try .net or .org. If these are taken, too, you’d better conceptualize a brand-new domain name. Just remember to avoid those odd extensions like “.club”, “.space”, “.pizza” and so on.
Brandable Over Generic
Innovative and brandable are constantly better than generic. Keep in mind: your domain name is how visitors will find, remember, and share your company online. It’s the foundation of your brand.
A generic domain name is generally stuffed with keywords and too complicated to remember. On the other hand, a brandable domain name is unique and gives you an edge over the competition.
For example, do you see the difference between Healthinsurance.net, Newhealthinsurance.com, or Healthinsurancesort.com? Probably not, right? These are horribly generic. They don’t have any meaning. You won’t hear anyone speaking about how amazing “Insurance.com” is. Variations of the word “insurance coverage” will increase the competitors and make them indistinguishable.
Good examples of brandable names are UnitedHealthCareOnline.com and Anthem.com. They can stand apart. People who hear these names assume they’re trustworthy.
Here’s how to discover a more brandable domain name:
- Create new words. You can comprise your own catchy, new words. That’s what Google, Bing, and Yahoo did.
- Utilize existing words. You may refer to a thesaurus to discover fascinating words that fit your brand.
- Use domain generators. These tools can help you create a distinct, brandable domain name from your preliminary domain ideas and keywords.
Brief is Preferred
Shorter is always preferred when it comes to the length of your domain. Research shows that the typical name length is around 12 characters. (Popularity, in this case, describes the quantity of web traffic the website gets.)
All of this data reveals that you must keep your domain name short and concise. Go for 6-16 characters–and keep in mind the shorter, the better. More than likely, the shorter domains were taken a VERY LONG TIME ago and cost thousands of dollars. If you can’t discover something short, make it brandable.
Ensure It’s Easy to Type
Consider some of the most popular websites in the digital world. What do you think of them? Sites such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo, and Instagram; one big thing they have in common is that they’re all easy to remember.
Visitors should be able to remember and type your domain name without an issue. If you need to discuss the spelling more for it to be understood, it’s too complex! You don’t want your prospective visitors to mistype your domain and end up on a different site.
Here’s an easy way to test this: Inform ten individuals of your possible domain name and ask them to spell it. If you find that more people have a hard time spelling it, you need to streamline it.
Ensure It’s Easy to Pronounce
As quickly as your domain rolls off the tip of your fingers, it should roll off the tip of your tongue easily, too. It’s more convenient for visitors to share your domain name with possible consumers by word-of-mouth. You can evaluate this the same way as spelling and typing your domain.
Take a piece of paper and write your domain name on it. Ask ten people to pronounce it. If many of them struggle to pronounce it, you ought to streamline it. Your desired name should be easy to refer to others. Overall, you should make it easy to spell and pronounce.
Prevent Hyphens and Numbers
Keep in mind that your domain should be simple. And hyphens and numbers make it complex. Imagine describing YouTube if it had a hyphen in there: “Have you seen this brand-new site You-Tube? Don’t forget the hyphen!” YouTube might not have spread out so rapidly if that held true. The bottom line is your domain name needs to be smooth and punchy–hyphens and numbers obstruct that.
Utilize “Specific Niche” Keywords that Reflect Your Website
My site is mainly about marketing for startups and assisting individuals in understanding the basics of marketing. Because of this, we include a name that shows all of it– “startup marketing.” Keywords can help to enhance your SEO–you need to tread carefully here!
If you attempt to awkwardly pack keywords into your domain, it becomes extremely generic. Put keywords at the start of your domain if you’ve chosen them. That’s where they’ll be the most effective for your ranking. You can discover powerful keywords with tools like Google Keyword Coordinator and Keywordtool.io.
Believe Long-Term Over Short-Term
Are you prepared to get married to your domain? You need to be because it’ll be one of the greatest aspects that specify your business and brand for several years. If you choose to alter your domain in the future, it’ll cost you cash, branding, and SEO rankings. In other words–it’s a huge discomfort! When you’re selecting your domain, focus on the long-term.
If you believe there’s a chance, you may expand to basic digital marketing services in the future, like email marketing and PPC. It might also be a good idea to reassess your domain name. You won’t wish to pin yourself to a particular specific niche if you think you may expand out of it. Again, always think about the long-term possibilities.
Make Sure It’s Not Trademarked or Already Used
Before purchasing your specific domain name, check if the name is available on social media platforms and if there are any trademarks already filed to the name. To construct your brand, it’s perfect to have the same name across your domain and social media networks. It helps build familiarity and makes it easy for your visitors, clients, and fans to find you around the web.
Prevent legal issues; you need to stay away from names that currently have trademarks. How can you quickly examine social media networks and trademarks for your potential domain? Knowem can help you search your prospective domain name–it’ll reveal if it’s readily available throughout over 25 popular social media networks and if there are any trademarks already signed up for it. If it’s taken, you can always tweak it and produce initial social media profiles.
Use Domain Name Generators When Stuck
You should have a general idea of some possible words to put in your domain. Some of those words might currently be taken, trademarked, or simply don’t have the “sound” you’re trying to find. That’s where domain generators enter the game. Generators can provide you with new and available options.
Here are a few of our preferred domain name generators to experiment with:
- Wordoid. You can plug in a word and create concepts that contain, start, or end with that word.
- DomainHole. This tool enables you to search keywords, discover expired domains, generate brand-new names, and other functions.
Your domain name will have a significant influence on your site’s success and potential. Make certain to put some mindful thought into choosing yours. As mentioned earlier, a domain name can make you or break you. Domains may just be one small detail when building a startup, but it’s essential to succeed.