Shakespeare would argue that names are just arbitrary and that what’s really important are intrinsic qualities. However, names have real and tangible power. They stir the imagination and lead us to attribute meaning, purpose, and quality. Even hearing someone’s name can cause us to form ideas and impressions well before our first encounter with that person. Likewise, the same goes for businesses and websites. In this article, we will give you tips on how to choose the best possible domain name for your business and what to do once you have picked the perfect name.
The importance of a domain name
We could make the case that domain names are even more important than the name of your business or product. Your website is where people will find you, and a good domain name will drive more customers your way. New visitors to your website will form a first impression based on the domain even before the landing page loads. Picking a domain name that sounds interesting to potential visitors means you are off to a good start.
Which protocol to choose: HTTP or HTTPS?
An important aspect of any domain is the communication protocol used for transferring hypertext. The S in HTTPS stands for Secure, and the added safety comes from encryption. Even if safety isn’t your primary concern, HTTPS has preferential status with search engines. Getting a higher ranking in search results is reason enough to make the switch from HTTP to HTTPS if you haven’t already.
Here is how to choose the best possible domain name for your business
Obviously, you will know best what you want to call your domain. Nonetheless there are a few general rules you need to follow.
1.The right extension
Unless you have a very good reason to pick something else, we recommend that you stick with a.com extension. Most websites have that extension, making it the easiest one to remember. Unfortunately, sometimes the .com extension for your chosen domain name is taken. If that’s the case, you can choose to go with .org, .NET, or .biz. However, to avoid confusion with similar websites or the competition, you can start thinking up a new domain name. Let’s be honest, going with something that’s already taken and just changing the extension isn’t really how to choose the best possible domain name for your business. Use the domain name to be original and stand out, not the extension.
2. A short domain name
Shorter URLs are easier to remember. You will probably find yourself in a situation where you need to write down your website for someone. Something short, sweet, and to the point is always going to beat out an overly long domain name. The situation is probably worse if you have to dictate it over the phone. Ideally, you should be aiming for something between 5 and 16 characters. Sadly, many of the good short domains were snatched up ages ago.
3. Make it easy to type
While you are at it, you also need to make sure that your website is not only short but easy to type out as well. After all, you don’t want to lose visitors just because someone had a typo. Your domain name should avoid:
Some businesses or domains have made-up words. While that’s perfectly fine, you need to be sure that people will instantly know how to spell it. Ask friends to spell your domain after only hearing it once. Don’t pick something with a pun in the wording or spelling. That’s just purposely sabotaging yourself.
4. Don’t sit on the idea
If you have the perfect idea for your domain name, then what are you waiting for? Act on your vision and register your domain before someone snatches it up. Domain names get bought and sold all the time some people even try to make a career out of gambling on domains. Therefore, dreaming of the perfect domain name and then doing nothing with it can leave you high and dry.
As you can see, it’s not just about how to choose the best possible domain name for your business; you will also need to have the forethought to strike while the iron is hot. You can register a domain even if your website isn’t even designed and developed yet. Call shotgun on the name and hire professionals to develop the website for you.
5. Integrate keywords
Having a relevant keyword as part of your domain name can improve your SEO. If you are a small business that primarily caters to the local community – you can add the name of your city to your domain. Google will recognize that and offer your website in search results from the local area. For example, www.weddingcakespasadena.com tells you all you need to know.
The finishing touches
After you’ve picked out the domain name, there are just a few more things you need to take care of:
Hosting for the domain. You will need to find a hosting service that can offer you confidentiality and encryption of your data.
Registration duration. Although you can plan for the long run, there is usually no need to register for more than a year.
Set up the domain. The company that sets up the domain for you is often called a Domain Registrar. If you haven’t purchased the domain and the hosting with the same company, you’ll need to do a transfer. If you want to set it up as soon as possible, then buying the domain along with the hosting will make the whole process easier. Unfortunately, domains still need a bit of time to propagate and go live, but this rarely takes more than 48 hours.
No one else can tell you how to choose the best possible domain name for your business. You are the best judge on what name best represents your business and your brand. However, there is some industry wisdom that you really should follow. Stick to the tips we outlined in this article, and you will avoid confusion and lost visitors to your website.