Selecting the right domain name for your business website can be one of the most crucial factors that contribute to its success. A business domain name must be chosen with care as it is important to the business’s branding and positioning in the market.
You can surely find a winning name for your next business venture, provided that a few considerations are kept in mind when making that choice. The following are some of the most essential factors that should be considered while you are trying to pick and choose your domain name:
Try to get a “.com”
The best credibility boosting domain extension is undoubtedly the .com TLD (top-level domain), and it is generally considered the best suffix for a business website.
However, if you are completely out of luck and ideas, and all possible .com choices are unavailable, then the .net or .co TLDs are not bad choices.
Alternatively, you can also consider using some of the newer generic TLDs (gTLDs) that were recently introduced into the market, such as .site, .store, .shop, .online, and a whole lot of others. You’ll find so many good names still available for registration in these newer extensions in case you can’t secure a good old .com.
Keep it short
Alexa’s top 50 websites have an average of six characters per domain name, which should tell you that the shorter the domain name, the more popular it can potentially be. Shorter domain names are far easier to remember compared to those with more than two words.
I know, it’s easier said than done to find a meaningful short name that is available for registration, especially if you’re only considering a .com, but try to keep it below 12 characters, if possible.
Easy to type and easy to understand
Make sure that when you select a domain name, it should be something that is not only easy to type in the address bar but is also understandable, as in it should easily be able to convey what the website is really about. The more ambiguous a name you pick, the harder it will be to draw the attention and interest of new visitors/buyers.
Do not hyphenate
The trouble with using hyphens in a domain name is that to a lot of people, a hyphenated name appears to be a cheaper and coarser substitute for that name without the hyphen. Moreover, when there are hyphens in a domain name, people can get confused remembering where exactly the hyphens are supposed to go. And in some cases, they forget the hyphens altogether. So think “hyphens = bad idea”.
No numeral substitutions
Though it does work for some websites, it is still a better idea not to make numeral substitutions for words, such as using “2” instead of “to” or “4” instead of “for”. Domain names with such numeral substitutions can be confusing to remember and they look more amateur and less professional.
Another thing to watch out for is the number “0”, which can at times be mistakenly read as the letter “O”, causing confusion. Similarly “O” can be mistaken for “0”, so just make sure there is no possibility of any confusion there.
If you feel you’re out of ideas, are getting nowhere and cannot decide on a domain name, rope in a business partner, a friend or even a family member and bounce some ideas around. By keeping the kind of domain name you want in mind, exchange of ideas, words and combinations of words is bound to help you come up with the right name.
Use a dictionary to find synonyms of the words you have in mind, try combining parts of words instead of using the whole word to come up with a unique brand name, explore the latest trends in your industry to get some fresh ideas, etc.
Beware of copyright infringement
Be wary of domain names that might be infringing on an existing trademark. Always check for trademark/copyright issues, like with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, before deciding on a particular name.
Scout domain auctions
If you’re running on a tight budget, then you probably want to buy an available domain name at registration cost. However, if your budget allows, a great way to look for bargain domains is to go through domain auction sites where you can find many offers of old and valuable domains for sale. Some of them may already have an established website that is ranking in search engines and bringing traffic. Again, if your budget is flexible, this is a great way to find a unique domain name.