Need some inspiration? We’ve got some useful tips below to help you decide on the perfect domain name for your business.
1. Be original
Making sure that your domain name is original often requires creative thinking. It’s important to ask yourself a few questions when brainstorming potential domain names. For example, is it easy to remember? And will it sell to your market? Ensuring that your domain name is both memorable and sellable might sound like an easy task, but a few handy tips are important to remember.
Try avoiding generic words that might be difficult to remember. Let’s take a look at the following examples:
You could also try mixing and matching words to create a shorter domain name. For example, closed compounded words such as “Facebook” or adding a prefix to a word such as “Ebay”. Short domain names such as “Google” or “Twitter” are also original and memorable.
Ensuring that your domain name is brief, original and memorable can mean that your customers will find you easier and faster.
The exact domain you are after (ie. your brand name) may already be registered by someone else. It may be possible to contact them and buy it off them. (These domains are often referred to as premium domains). If this is the case you can look up their contact details by searching the domain on whois.
If you do choose to purchase a domain from a private seller, make sure you use a secure payment service like www.Escrow.com to pay for the domain. Escrow removes the chance of fraud from your transaction as they hold the funds in an Escrow account until the domain name is successfully transferred to you by the seller.
2. Tell a story
Your domain name should tell a story. This means that your audience should instantly know what your business or purpose is simply by reading your domain name. The key to great storytelling is the ability to craft the “about” element of your business, a pitch of what it is that you do. Some examples of these include domain names such as pizzahut.com and holidayinn.com.
Just by reading your domain name, your customers should know who you are and what your business can help them with.
Including the local area of your business in your domain name can also be a great way to let your customers know where you operate. For example, popular furniture removal company, BondiRemovals.com.au offers a domain name that can be easily remembered by customers, particularly for those who are located in the local area of Bondi.
Making sure that your domain name tells your story will mean that your customers will better understand you and your business.
3. Have a popular domain name extension (TLD)
Using a popular domain name extension is crucial for your business as they are the most recognised by your audience. You customers would be most familiar with domain name extensions such as “.com”, “.co” and “.org”. These suffixes are known as Top Level Domain (TLDs) and all serve for a different purpose. Some popular Top Level Domains include:
.com: commercial (for profit)
.co : company and/or corporation
.org: non-profit organisations
.me: blogs or personal project sites
Some popular examples of existing domains and their TLD extensions include:
If your ideal domain name has already been taken, it may be a good idea to take a look at other top level domain extensions such as the ones listed above. Alternatively, you can use new TLD extensions such as “.blog”, “.shop” and “.online” for your website.
Another way to register your domain name is by country top-level domain (TLD) if your business is location based. For example:
www.graze.com/uk (United Kingdom)
www.hm.com/us/ (United States)
By registering your country top - level domain, your users will have a better understanding of your location and where you operate.
4. Avoid trademarked domains
Steer clear of any domains that infringe another business or product name as you may end up in a legal mess. Ensuring that your domain name is original and not copyrighted will help in avoiding legal action. In the case of a legal conflict with a later user, the initial domain user actually owns the trademark. If a legal issue exists, the later user will likely need to stop using the trademark and may need to pay for trademark damages.
A great way to make sure that your domain name isn’t already trademarked is to do some research before purchasing. Spotting possible conflicts and choosing an original name will help you avoid ending up in any legal conflicts. Keep an eye out for similar domain names or product names that may conflict with your site.
As a general rule, trademarking gives you legal protection for your domain name. When you apply to register for a trademark, you will need to provide a description of the service or good that is represented by your domain name. By trademarking your domain name, you will not need to worry about any potential legal or copyright issues.
5. Keep it simple
Creating a simple domain name that fits your business can be a great way to stay memorable in the minds of your customers. Longer and more complex domain names can actually have the opposite effect. Your customers may misspell or mistype your domain name if it’s not brief and simple enough to remember. Some simple and well known domain names include:
The fewer characters the better - as long as it’s still telling a story. Try staying away from abbreviated words to avoid confusion. For example, if your business is “Nile’s Kitchenware and Tableware”, it’s probably best not to create an abbreviated domain name like “nkt.com” as your customers may not remember it.
6. Use SEO techniques if necessary
Traditionally, dropping keywords in your domain name has been an important SEO tool, helping you rank higher in searches. Some search engines may give preference towards domain names that include popular search terms and keywords.
By including an Exact Match keyword or a Partial Match keyword in your domain name, you may in fact have a higher search ranking. An Exact Match Domain (EMD) is a domain name that is identical to the keyword that is being searched for when using a search engine such as Google. For example, if someone searches for “Sydney Removalists”, then the EMD for this keyword is “www.sydneyremovalists.com.au".
A Partial Match Domains (PMD) is a domain name that features some words that was entered by a user using a search engine. For example, if someone searches for “Formal Gowns”, then the PMG for this keyword may be “www.gows.com"
Although it may help you increase traffic and gain more of your target market, including keywords in your domain name is not always necessary. In fact, Google has been biasing away from domain names that include these exact and partial match domains. Domain names that are too keyword heavy and lengthy are now likely to be considered spam by Google. In more recent years, keyword richness in domains can actually have more negative connotations for both the user and search engine.
7. Forward additional domains
When choosing your domain name, ensure that additional domains are redirected to your primary site. Domain forwarding is important if you’ve registered multiple domains or if you are looking to purchase additional domain extensions. Purchasing commonly misspelled versions of your domain name may also be a good idea, in case customers are mistyping your business name.
By forwarding your additional domains, you’ll most likely increase your traffic and users to your website. Some examples of domain names owned by “Apple” include:
Forwarding your additional domains can be a great way to increase your traffic to your site, capture more of your target market and prevent competitors from registering with it.
Looking to purchase a domain name? A great place to start is at GoDaddy or NameCheap where you’ll receive a free domain with any annual hosting plan. If you don’t already have a site created, then your next step would be to build a website. Don’t think you have the technical expertise? No problem! Creating a website is easy with the help of an expert freelance web developer. With these handy tips, you’ll be well on your way to registering your domain name and launching your website in no time.