Choosing a domain name, a website address, for your business should be easy! After all, you likely spent weeks or months discussing potential business names with your colleagues, friends, and family, and you settled on the business name you think is perfect. Now, all you have to do is hop on GoDaddy or NameCheap and register the domain.
You optimistically type in the domain you want into the search bar. Let’s use “Smith Photography” as an example. However, you quickly realize not only is SmithPhotography.com taken, so is every other combination you brainstorm! Before settling on less than perfect domain, keep the following tips in mind.
- Short domains are best. They are easier to remember, more comfortable to type, and most platforms that list website addresses will place limitations on the number of characters you can use for links.
- Avoid using generic phrases. While the domain, FloridaWeddingPhotographer.com, might be available and full of keywords, it is not a memorable domain. It will be challenging to help potential customers associate that domain with your business, Smith Photography.
- Include at least one keyword, if possible. Although using keywords alone is not recommended, we recommend using at least one keyword unless you have a considerable budget for branding like Nike. Potential clients should not have to guess what products or services your business offers.
- Consider adding a short word or removing characters if your first domain choice is not available. For example, although SmithPhotography.com is not available, consider registering the domain SmithPhoto.com or CallSmithPhoto.
- Choose a domain that is easy to spell. Most people will not spend time figuring out how to spell your domain if you use words that are difficult or unusual. Please keep it simple to ensure potential clients don’t move on to a competitor.
- The name extension (TLD) .com is still best. While we may wish all those wonderful new TLDs like .co, .photo, and .yoga are the new norm, the truth is .com is always best. Most of us are used to it and immediately assume your website address will be a combination of your name and .com. Beach Marketing is banking on the fact that the new extensions, like .co, will catch on soon! However, if you have the option to purchase a .com that works with your business name, we highly recommend you do it. If you must choose one of the new name extensions, keep your domain extra short to help clients remember. For example, smith.photo is easy to remember and easy to spell. This domain is an excellent choice if your .com options are unavailable.
- Pick a domain that is easy to repeat. Some word combinations can be challenging to remember and repeat. Since you want satisfied clients to tell their friends about your business, make sure the domain you choose is not only memorable but is also easy to pronounce and repeat.
- Don’t choose a domain that uses numbers, hyphens, and confusing words. The less confusion, the better.
- Find a domain that matches your long term business plan. For example, although Smith Photography specializes in wedding photography, the owner plans to branch into sports photography next year. For that reason, SmithWeddingPhoto.com is not a good idea.
It can be challenging to change your domain once you build a website, so choose wisely now. We hope these tips help!