There is no other way to say it, selecting a domain name for your business is supremely important. And with so many names being registered, the task is becoming more difficult. Whether your business is established or a start-up, take our advice to create one that delivers.
When selecting a domain name, one must factor in your website’s:
- Overall Purpose
- Intended Audience Demographics
- Appropriate top-level domains (TLD)
- Language of Demographic
While much of these are measurable or at least predictable to some degree, one thing that only you can assess is the degree of emotional connection your users have (or do not have) with your brand. If you are creating a new site, put some thought into how you would like to be perceived and what you must do to achieve it. Then (and this is equally true for established businesses that already know) it is wise to inject that as best you can into your domain name in one of two ways:
- Choose a domain name with a specific keyword that lends to search engine optimization (SEO) value to drive online traffic to your website.
- Choose a generic brand name and take on the marketing challenges.
The best-case scenario, of course, comes to those who are able to select a domain and business name together as they have the most options and flexibility. In such circumstance, one can purchase a name that matches the Company’s with and ideal extension like .com.
Here is an example of how a mechanic in Pittsburgh could also include relevant geography in their domain by going with something like TurksAutoPittsburgh.com. While this type of name does well in SEO, they are not typically ideal for branding, even though they are generic in scope.
Instead, corporations typically prefer companyname.com as the main site, with additional sub-brands having their own site to reflect specific targeted marketing, messaging, etc. For example, Ford uses Ford.com as its corporate site, yet they have various brand sites and services such as Support.ford.com, etc.
Then of course, there are service-based websites with a central domain name for all global traffic like Yahoo.com who then map out country specific extensions for localization such as uk.yahoo.com.
Okay, I’ve got it. So, um, how do I choose a domain name again?
In simple terms, there are two key factors that you will need – the keyword and the extension. These are primary considerations (though you’ll also have to account for acquisition costs and budget.)
Selecting the Keyword: For products or services, think of 5 keywords that best describe your Company or product. At that point, you can pair them or add prefixes to see what jumps out at you. Like Turk the mechanic might consider TheWrenchGuy.com, WesternPaAuto.com, or MechanicPittsburgh.com.
Now, should your business offering be extremely unique in design like a cobalt-fortified tennis racquet, perhaps you could go with: Cobaltracquets.com or CobaltTennis.com in an effort to focus on what sets you apart and makes you special.
If there are a few of you in competition, you could try TopCobaltTennis.com or OriginalCobaltRacquet.com. However, the marketing budget to achieve brand recall for such domain names can be substantial unless the service itself allows the marketing to go viral.
Selecting the Extension: If you’re looking for a global audience, the best option is a .com domain name while a non-profit could make good use of a .org. However, if you’re only looking at targeting a specific geographic area, a local extension might be equally appealing and far less expensive. Certain extensions like .tv (television), .me (personal), or .in (internet) would be great for brand value irrespective of geography.
Our final word
Always, always, always be sure to check if your name is too similar with competitors’ and be sure it is not in violation of someone’s trademark at Uspto.gov.
This blog article is the second of a five part series. Read the others: