With more than a billion websites in existence today, you can understand the need for your small business to carve out its own little corner of the web. This starts with choosing a good domain name — one that is unique, clear, and available at the time you’re establishing your company website.
Think of your domain name as the doorway to your online presence. An effective domain name will catch people’s attention and welcome them through to your website, where they will hopefully like what they see and become a customer. An ineffective domain name will only confuse people or stop them from visiting your business site.
So, it pays to put some thought into your domain name before choosing. Here’s more on how to come up with a good domain name.
Guidelines for Coming Up with a Good Domain Name
Above all, it’s important to craft your domain name with the user experience in mind. Imagine someone trying to visit your website for the very first time. If they encounter too many twists and turns, they may abandon their journey altogether. So, it pays to keep it simple.
Your domain name will likely either reflect your unique brand name or relevant industry keywords. Whichever direction you decide to go, keep your domain name short — no more than three to four terms.
Along these same lines you’ll want to avoid any complications like symbols, unusual spellings, and numbers. Clarity is key. If you find yourself having to resort to adding extra dashes or numbers to secure the domain name you want, it’s generally better to go back to the drawing board with a new concept rather than load extras into your URL.
Once you’ve found what appears to be a straightforward domain name, make sure no other individuals or organizations already have a similar web address. Otherwise, it’s fair to assume customers may get waylaid while trying to find you — potentially ending up on a competitor’s site. Or, you could be accused of infringement on an existing brand name or domain name.
What If the Domain Name You Want Is Taken?
Once you’ve come up with at least one clear, concise concept, you’re then ready to move to the stage of actually buying a domain. Hopefully the moniker you want is both available and affordable. However, you may very well find that someone already has the domain name you want or that it’s out of your price range. Do not fret — all is not lost! You may just have to get creative in your approach to securing a domain name.
In this scenario, your options are as follows:
- If someone else is holding the domain you desire, you could reach out to negotiate a purchase price.
- If another person or company has the domain you want, you could make changes to yours — enough to distinguish your company and avoid confusion for visitors.
- You may be able to secure the same domain name with a different extension — think .net or .biz rather than .com.
In regard to your choice of domain extension, there are pros and cons to each approach. Securing the .com extension tends to be the most expensive, but it’s also the most trustworthy and recognizable to many visitors. Choosing an alternate domain name can lower the price and boost the availability, but it requires a smart approach so as not to create confusion or undermine trust. It’s worth at least exploring the extensive list of extensions maintained by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority.
Coming up with a good domain name requires creativity but also strategy — at the end of the day, you want something unique yet also usable.