So you’ve decided to start your own business? Congratulations!
This is an exciting stage in your life, but with so much information out there, it can also be a bit overwhelming.
When it comes to working out how to choose the best domain name, sometimes it’s not just a matter of seeing if your business name is available.
You need to consider the all-important customer experience. Choosing your domain name should go hand in hand with selecting your business name. Before you get too deep into the registration and branding processes, start brainstorming potential domain options in the beginning.
This will save a lot of time and potential stress in the long run.
Once you’ve started brainstorming, here are 5 important tips to keep in mind when you’re working out how to choose the best domain name for your business.
1. Keep It Simple
When it comes to choosing a domain name, short and sweet is best. Remember, you want your business to be memorable – so providing your audience with a website address that is easy to remember and/or write down is essential.
The domain name for my very first business was 33 characters long – yep THIRTY-THREE! Don’t worry, I eventually changed it to something slightly shorter. I’m actually so embarrassed to admit that, but as a brand new business owner, I simply didn’t know any better.
If you’re thinking about using a long domain name, firstly consider how difficult it will be for your audience to remember or write down. You want to avoid causing unnecessary confusion or frustration for your audience. Don’t make this mistake!
A general rule is to keep your domain name 1-3 words long. Avoid using hyphens e.g. www.my-domain-name.com. This can make it look unprofessional and again, make it hard for your audience to remember and/or type into the URL bar.
2. Using Your Name
Deciding to use your name as your domain, really depends on the type of business you are building. If you are wanting to establish a personal brand and position yourself as an expert in a particular field, then it makes sense to use your name.
This is particularly true if you are planning to create content based on your experiences and philosophies. You will be the face of the brand. Therefore, your name will be much more powerful than a business name.
On the other hand, if you don’t want your face or name to be highly visible then using a business name might be a better option for you. You probably don’t want to use your name if it is difficult to spell or pronounce either.
It is also important to consider the preferences of your target audience when it comes to making this decision. Would your audience feel more comfortable interacting with a person or hiring a business? Do they place high importance on personalisation or the “human to human” approach to service?
3. Country Specific Domains
When considering country-specific domains, once again, this depends on the type of brand you want to create and what is important to your audience.
The “.com” domain is the most popular domain. Unless you are building a location-specific business, it is always best to favour the “.com” domain. However, you need to consider what your audience would want as well.
In the case of location-specific businesses, there may be a higher level of trust conveyed as a result of using a “.com.au” domain as opposed to “.com”.
4. Get Creative
With millions of domains in use, the need to get creative so your domain is uniquely you is now more important than ever. Consider how brands such as Spotify and Instagram have cleverly combined words to create brand new words.
Alternatively, you could also consider incorporating your niche into your domain name. You can now get “.coffee” as a domain name. People probably wouldn’t expect .coffee to exist as a domain.
Don’t be afraid to make your website domain memorable and unique.
5. Purchase Multiple Domains
When it comes to purchasing domain names, I would recommend purchasing more than one domain alternative. In fact, the more you can purchase, the better.
Just over a year ago, I had to change the name of my business, because someone else had purchased the “.com” variation of my domain. Although my business name was legally registered in Australia, the registration made no difference as this person resided in the United States.
Fortunately, I had already saved all of the social media handles for this business, but my initial mistake of not purchasing the “.com” domain in the very beginning had tarnished my business.
A simple Google search resulted in exactly the same business name appearing twice, one after the other. One result was for my business and the other one was for the newly launched “.com” address. Ultimately, I decided that this would cause a lot of confusion for my audience and registered the business under Style Maker Studio.
Take it from me, it is better to be safe than sorry.