Written by: Lyle Solomon
There is no doubt that the success of a business depends on its online presence in today’s world. Before you develop a business website that stands out from the rest, the crucial step is to secure a popular and relevant domain name that resonates with your brand. Hundreds of thousands of small businesses are established every year in the US, and more than half of them set up a website before their launch.
The problem is, there are a lot of similar businesses in the market but very few unique domains to choose from. Therefore, the competition is incredibly tough, and you must understand the different factors involved in the choice of a suitable domain name for your business. This article covers all of the factors you must know about.
Tips for Choosing the Right Domain Name for Your Small Business
Choosing a suitable domain name isn’t only important for building authority for your business, but it also helps you build reliability and a positive image, which is important for reputation management as well. Let’s have a look at the tips and factors that come into play when you are choosing a domain name for your business.
List Down Phrases Associated with Your Business
Ideally, your domain name should be something that gives an idea about your business at first glance. It is where people will come to find your business, which is why it should be memorable too. Therefore, you should start the domain selection process by identifying and noting down phrases and terms that describe what you do or which people you serve.
Since we are talking about small businesses, it is important to talk about how your domain name should reflect the purpose. A business like Zara, Lamborghini, or Emirates doesn’t have to work hard to get their domain name recognized because they are already well-known. However, small businesses like yours need to think about relevance and how the domain name relates to the business.
Keep the Domain Name Short
One key tip that you should always follow is to keep your domain name as short as possible. This is because the shorter it is, the more memorable and easy to remember it will be. As a result, people will find it easier to log on to your website whenever they are searching for a specific product or service that falls into the category of what you have to offer.
The chances are that the domain name of your small business is taken, but you don’t have to worry. You can add certain phrases before or after it to make it unique and also make it easier for people to remember.
The Domain Name Should Be Easy to Spell and pronounce
Even if your small business has a difficult or complex name that is difficult to pronounce, you should make sure that the domain name for it is easy to spell. This way, the customer will be easily able to identify your business if they are searching for it or any products on the internet. Otherwise, they might click on the search result for another business that has a similar name and also sells the same products as you.
Having a domain name that is easy to pronounce would also make it easier for your customers to recommend to others. Since word of mouth is still the most popular form of marketing and advertising out there, you can count on your loyal customers to spread the word among their social circles.
Prepare a List of Alternative Domain Names
As mentioned above, it can be quite difficult for you to find a domain name that exactly matches the name of your small business. Although it can be quite frustrating, this isn’t the end of the world for you. Therefore, you should have a list of alternate domain names ready in case you don’t manage to get the one you need.
Ideally, you should have 10-15 domain names ready so that you don’t have to waste any time in searching for them. Moreover, avoid hyphenating the domain name and also prevent using acronyms people won’t be able to understand. Acronyms should also be avoided because you might end up imitating that of a reputed brand or business, and this would cause you to lose customers
Avoid Domain Names with Complete Keywords
If you have conducted keyword research for your business, you would have a set of keywords that you can use for marketing purposes. However, you shouldn’t use any of the domain names that exactly match keywords, no matter how much you think it will help. Google doesn’t rank such websites higher in search results, which means that your website might not make it to the first page.
However, you can make use of domain names that partially contain a keyword because they can actually rank pretty well in search results and help you get the exposure you need. While doing so, make sure that the domain name still holds relevance and relates to your business.
Choose the Most Suitable Domain Extension
Once you have established your domain name according to the other tips that we have listed above, the next step is to choose the domain extension that goes well with your business. There are several extensions that you can choose from, including .com, .co, .org, .io, and also location-based extensions such as .us, .ca, .au, etc.
Generally, you can make do with a .com extension, but in case your domain name isn’t available with this extension, you may choose to use .org, which is mostly used by organizations. Moreover, if your business revolves around online or network services or has something to do with tech, you may even choose to adopt the .net extension.
Plus, if you are looking to keep your business localized, i.e. in a certain country or area, then you can also make use of the location-based extensions.
About the Author: Lyle Solomon has considerable litigation experience as well as substantial hands-on knowledge and expertise in legal analysis and writing. Since 2003, he has been a member of the State Bar of California. In 1998, he graduated from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California, and now serves as a principal attorney for the Oak View Law Group in California. He has contributed to publications such as Entrepreneur, All Business, US Chamber, Finance Magnates, Next Avenue, and many more.
This concludes our guide on how to choose the right domain name for your small business. Just remember that your domain name is a window into your website, where your customers would come to interact with your business and buy your products as well. Therefore, it should be relevant, relatable, and something that people can instantly memorize.