Are you ready to claim your domain?
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Choosing a good domain name is an integral part of a successful business. A domain name affects branding, accessibility and future opportunity for growth.
If your domain name is hard to remember or spell, chances are your prospective clients won’t be visiting your website. If your domain name is too specific, you could limit yourself from expanding your client reach or product assortment. If your domain name has nothing to do with your brand, you could confuse visitors and lose your chance at creating a complete package.
We have put together a list of important tips to help you choose your domain name.
Choose the best TLD
The TLD or Top Level Domain is the part that comes after the dot. “.com” is the most commonly known and trusted TLD. It’s also the one we recommend a majority of the time. If your domain is not available with a “.com” TLD and you’re completely set on it, you could also use ‘.net’, but we typically recommend finding a domain available with ‘.com’ if you can. If you’re a non-profit, you should consider using ‘.org’. If you’re location specific and never plan on expanding, the TLD for your location, such as ‘.ca’ for Canada or ‘co.uk’ for the UK can work if the ‘.com’ is unavailable.
Your TLD also affects your search engine ranking, which is why we recommend doing your research and choosing the correct one for your business.
Keep it short & sweet
Make sure your domain is easy to remember and spell and isn’t so long that it’s daunting, won’t look good on business cards or can’t easily be used in branding and content. You also want it to work for creating your social profiles, which should typically be less than 15 characters. For search engine ranking, you do not want your domain name to contain more than 5 words. Research shows that the ideal length is less than 8 characters, but that can sometimes be unattainable. Do what is right for your business and branding.
Make it part of your brand
Every decision you make for your business should be cohesive with your brand. You want to present a whole package and a personality for your business, which is essentially your brand. Make sure your domain name is a cohesive part of your brand and will present your business personality well.
Have back up options
Create a list of several domain names that you think will fit your brand. This will be your backup list in case your first picks aren’t available, as well as a list for potential future growth.
Check to make sure your domain is available. We usually use Instant Domain Search to check availability. If it’s not available you have several options.
- Choose a different domain name
- Choose a different version of this domain by slightly altering it or using a different TLD
- Purchase the domain from the current owner. Use Domain.com’s WHOIS lookup to see if you can find the current owner. Depending on negotiations, you may want to consider contacting your lawyer. Especially if the domain is your registered business name or a trademark.
Purchase your domain
If you’re purchasing a website host package that includes a free domain you won’t have to buy a domain name separately. If your domain is not part of your hosting package, there are many options available. Here are a few:
Now that you have chosen and purchased your domain, you’ll need to create content. Read our blog post How To Optimize Your Website for Search Engine Optimization