Your online presence as a company begins with your domain name. Having the right one can help you target your audience and accelerate your search engine placement. It can also set the tone for how potential customers think of and engage with your brand
Read on for more about why your domain name matters.
What Is a Domain Name?
It’s the address people enter into their browser’s URL bar to get to your website. But let’s look a bit deeper. Think of the Internet as a ginormous network of computers, all “talking” with each other.
For ID purposes, every computer has an IP address – numbers that identify a specific computer on the ‘Net. The rub is that these series of numbers – 22.875.85.9, for example – are hard to remember. That’s how domain names came about. So, when you wish to visit a website, you can just enter an easy-to-remember domain name, such as wpbeginner.com, for example
Choosing a Domain Name
Making this task an afterthought, or coming up with a poor choice, can have sucky long-term consequences, so don’t chance it. Get the name right, you can establish credibility, reinforce your brand identity and promote your business
Here’s how to make it happen:
- Make a foolproof choice. Skip slang, such as using “2” for two, and ditch words that have multiple spellings. You should also avoid combining numbers with words or using hyphens, homonyms, and abbreviations. The bottom line when buying a domain name is to make it nearly impossible for folks online NOT to find you.
- Make it memorable. Your fight is on two fronts: you’re attempting to steal the spotlight from your rivals and you’re angling for views amid millions of other registered names. So, you do need to stand out. Run names you have in mind by friends to see what they think.
- Be concise. Short and sweet is the goal here. Aim for one or two words, tops. Long, overly complicated domain names raise the risk of misspellings or typos — either of which can result in sending traffic to your competition.
- Don’t be too trendy. It’s hip to be cool – until you’re not. We all know how swiftly a word or catchphrase can tumble into obsolescence. (Remember “Wazzzzzup,”?) Don’t set yourself up for domain name fail by trying to be too faddish or trendy.
- Read the name aloud – lots. You don’t want to string words together that could inadvertently create other, perhaps unfortunate, phrases that could make you a subject of ridicule – or worse.
- Be original. Don’t try to latch onto someone else’s successful brand. You might get away with sounding like an established name for a while, and you may even trick some people into landing on your site. However, such brazenness is generally frowned upon, and could backfire big time.
- Don’t give up if your name is taken. After weeks of trial and error, you’ve finally come up with a killer domain name — only to discover that someone else has registered it. That’s a bummer. But all is not yet lost. If the name appears to be inactive, find out who owns the domain and when it will expire. If the expiration date isn’t approaching, contact the name’s owner to see if they’re interested in selling it.
Now you know why your domain name matters. More than anything else, a memorable domain name can mean the difference between establishing a winning web presence and getting lost in cyberspace. A good domain name can ultimately result in more customers — and better sales.