Choosing a domain name is one of the biggest decisions when starting a business or launching your web presence. Your domain name will be the online “face” of your company, and it should be able to define your company’s purpose and philosophy. There are several important factors to consider when choosing one.
Should You Use Your Company Name?
The first question when selecting a domain name is whether to choose your own business name, or a keyword-rich description of what you do. This largely depends on how well known your business is, and the amount of competition in your industry. A well-branded business typically gets 70% of their website traffic from people typing their business name into a search engine. This argument would suggest that you should always choose your business name as your domain name.
However, there’s the frequent occurrence of, “Oh no! Someone has already registered my company as a domain name.” Prospectors regularly purchase large quantities of popular or new business names and “park” them, so that they can up sell them later. You may be able to contact the owner of the domain and negotiate to purchase it from them (there are also firms that will do that for you). It may cost as little as $250 or several thousands of dollars. It all depends; again, on how important the brand is to you. By the way, this is one of the reasons that you should always purchase your company’s domain name as soon as you decide to create it; fifteen dollars is a tiny price to pay for guarding the name it took you so long to decide upon.
Long Company Name Try This Tips
On the flip side, if a company name is non-descriptive (such as John Doe LLC) and your service is real estate appraisal, then it doesn’t make a lot of sense to give up this opportunity to use a primary keyword for your domain (like JDAppraisals.com). It’s a great way to boost your search engine rankings, since keywords in the URL are one of the initial targets they go after. If your business is locally based, you might also add your primary target city to the end of your business name (as in JDAppraisalsMiami.com), which could be very beneficial if you later expanded into other cities or states.
Things To Avoid & Include In Your Domain Name
How long should your domain name be, and what about special characters? It should be relative to what you produce, and short enough to easily memorize. Remember that you will be printing it on all of your advertising materials; so it shouldn’t be so long as to overtake your letterhead. Avoid using slang, contractions, words that can easily be misspelled, or numbers/Special characters within your domain name. Hyphens are generally discouraged. Keep it concise, yet appealing.
Which Extensions Suits You?
Which domain name extension should you select (.com/.net/.org/.biz)? If at all possible, choose the “.com” extension for your domain name, for obvious reasons. If the name you really want is already taken, but its “.com” has only been used for a site that isn’t competitive, consider using yourcompanyname.biz (or “.net”). As a precaution, you may very well want to purchase more than one extension; this would dissuade future competitors from buying an available extension to capture some of your clients. Some owners buy their extensions across the board (all the available extensions) and really, for under $125 per year to do this, it’s a wise move.
Special Domain Extension For Special Use
If you are setting up a non-profit 501(c) organization or primarily a public interest information site, use “.org” (if you are a school, use “.edu,” a government institution, use “.gov”). These special extensions are only award to organizations that can prove their validity, and they are given different treatment by search engines. If you intend on donating or doing company research in the future, buying and parking your “.org” now will be a big plus to continue your branding.
In conclusion, make sure that your chosen domain name sums up your business, is easy to read and remember, and is short enough to advertise. It’s a good test to make a list of your favorites and bounce them off trusted friends and associates, since they may notice something important that you’ve missed.
Alice McCoy’s father was a long-haul trucker and ever since a kid she’s been fascinated with that life. However, reality checked in and Alice (now a mother of four) creates websites and blogs from home. She stays involved with her dad’s business by keeping an eye out for truck driving jobs and writes about specific trucking topics like semi truck insurance.
A great tool for finding an available domain name is DomainHole.
It’s in beta, but you can get in with code DOMAINS
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