Before you create your website, make sure you lock down the perfect domain name for your business or blog.
When trying to get your business or blog online, the very first step you should take is to register a domain name. This domain name will become synonymous with your brand and will become a primary way in which people online will recognize you.
We recently explored in detail what a domain name is and how you can obtain one. Now that you have a more concrete idea about domain names, how can you find the right one for you?
Don’t stray from your brand identity
The domain name you choose should be the same as or similar to your brand’s name, or a representation of your brand’s core values. Registering a domain name that isn’t directly related to your brand’s identity will only confuse potential visitors, making it trickier for them to find your site.
Take a look at some of the popular sites around the web: apple.com, pinterest.com, wikipedia.org… everyone knows exactly how to find these company websites because their domain name corresponds with their brand. This same principle applies to your domain name. If possible (and try to make it possible), use your brand name as your domain name.
You may run into issues if your brand name is already registered as a domain name by someone else, but we’ll tackle this later in this post.
Consider a gTLD
If the .com domain name you’re looking for is already taken, all hope is not lost. You could get creative and choose to register a new gTLD. You may have noticed that .com and .org are the two Top-Level Domains (or TLDs) most commonly seen around the web. However, new generic Top-Level Domains (or gTLDs) are now available to register. There are hundreds of options for any pursuit, ranging from .science to .xyz.
By choosing one of these new domain name endings you can find an alternative domain name that will better suit your business or blog.
Re-evaluate your brand
In today’s internet-powered world, a domain name is so important that it may even be worth rebranding in order to find the perfect match. For example, if you’re unable to register a .com domain or find an alternative gTLD option, then it’s probably worth changing your brand name just enough to land that perfect domain.
One route you can take is to use a TLD as part of your brand’s name. For example, one of our sister companies, Resell.biz, has used the .biz TLD as an actual part of the brand. You can do the same. Choose a generic word or name, pair it with a TLD, and voila! You have your new domain name and brand name!
Keep it short, simple and memorable
It’s bad practice to overcomplicate your domain name. Like with a brand name, your domain name should be limited to as few words as possible, limiting the opportunity for site visitors to make spelling mistakes in their browsers or search engines.
Once you’ve thought up a few domain names, run these choices by a few of your friends, family and ideally impartial strangers. Ask them to write down the domain names you told them after a period of time. If they can’t remember how to spell one of the domain names or even remember what it was, throw that particular domain name option away.
Avoid symbols where possible
Using hyphens will generally elongate the domain name, increasing the risk of potential visitors misspelling it. Also, if your competition registered the non-hyphenated version of the domain name you want, then you can expect most of the traffic to head in that direction instead of yours.
Notice we put “avoid” rather than “never use” because there are exceptions to this rule, but you should do your utmost to avoid any hyphens, underscores or other non-alphabetical characters. Numbers are OK as long as they make sense in accordance with the brand.
By following these simple guidelines, you should have a starting point to pick the perfect domain name for you. Having the right domain name will improve SEO, help users find your site and better brand your business or blog.
Once you come up with the perfect domain name, register it at WestHost.com!