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What’s in a Domain Name?

Importance of finding the right domain name.

Buying the right domain name can make or break your business. Here’s everything you need to know about choosing the best domain for yourself.

Thanks to the Internet era we live in, most of us would have had the term ‘domain name’ thrown at us at some point in our lives. And it would have been casually dismissed as one of those internet jargons you really didn’t need to know much about. It would have sat there in some dusty corner of your brain until you realized it is time to take your offline business online.

Getting a domain name is the first step in the process of creating a website. A domain name is the name that a user would type into their browser to find your website. In the URL www.sandysmith.comsandysmith.com is the domain name. The .com or .net or whatever forms the tail end of the domain is the domain name extension. It is what your users see first, and it affects their impression of your site and brand. Choosing a domain name is a critical decision because the domain name you choose will be with you for a long time to come.

So, how do you go about choosing a domain name?

Own a business already?

Established businesses can use their company name.

If you are an entrepreneur, your domain name should ideally be your company name. If your brand has an established identity, this would be the best choice because your clients will assume that your company name is the same as your website address. Let’s say that you are the proprietor of Supreme Car Care. Then supremecarcare.com or supremecarcare.shop are ideal domain names for your website.

Starting a new venture?

New entrepreneurs need to think about their domain name choices.

If you are a business that is just starting out, you have many options to play around with in terms of your domain name. Think of the brand identity you want to establish, and the marketing strategies you are likely to employ before you settle on a domain name.

Cutting to the chase, here’s a list of things that entrepreneurs should keep in mind before buying a domain name for their business.

Keep it short and simple: When it comes to a domain name, less is always more. Choose a concise, unfussy and memorable domain that reflects your brand. Make sure it doesn’t exceed two or three words. The more easy-to-type your domain name is, the less the number of typos your clients make! Write the domain name as it sounds and leave out hyphens and numbers. Remember, short and crisp domain names fit beautifully on business cards, letterheads and other print media.

Use keywords: Identify the keywords associated with your industry and try to incorporate the most important one into your domain name as a prefix or suffix. For example, if your name is Jim Harper and you make and sell pottery items, it would be better to choose the domain jimharperpottery.com over jimharper.com. This is not only useful with your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It also helps in instant recognition – anybody who hears your domain name immediately know what your website is about!

Searching for a domain name.

Choose the right domain name extension: Although .com is the most popular domain name extension out there, it doesn’t mean that it is the only extension you should choose. 2014 saw the release of thousands of quirky new domain extensions such as .xyz, .fun, .architect, etc. So, if there is a domain extension for your niche industry, go with it.  If you are skeptical about these new domain extensions, you may be surprised to know that every week, over 50,000 new domain registrations happen on these extensions alone!

Time is of the essence: Domain names have been getting registered since the advent of the world wide web and now that almost everybody is on the internet, they are getting bought up fast. If you find the right domain, register it before somebody else does. If your domain name is already taken, you can play around with the different domain name extensions or go with something that has not been taken.  For example, if merrybakes.in is unavailable, you could try searching for merrybakes.shop or merrybakes.fun. Worry not if the domain you are looking for is unavailable because most domain registrars offer an extensive list of alternatives and suggestions from which you could take your pick.

A considerable amount of time, energy and research have to be invested into the process of choosing the perfect domain. But don’t let choosing the domain stop nor stall your new venture. It is more important to spend time building a brand around your domain, no matter what it is.