Choosing the right domain name for your website requires a lot of thought and consideration. At Charley Grey, our clients ask us often about why their domain name matters so much. Our answer, in a nutshell, is that your domain name can make or break your website. It’s the first thing your visitors will see, and it’s what search bots use to identify your site when putting it in front of consumers. You can still have a quality website and content, but without a domain to match, your site may not do well, leaving you behind in sales, leads, and visitors. When deciding on your domain name, you should always remember that it’s an extension of your brand and should make a great first impression.
5 Ways to Choose a Domain Name
1. Choose the Right Extension
The entire process starts with you looking at and choosing the right domain extension. Most people know this as “.com” since it makes up more than 43% of the domain names. Why? Because it’s recognizable and easy to remember.
However, your domain name may not be available with the “.com,” which means you might want to get a little more creative. It’s best to start going down the list.
These are just a few of the most popular extensions available. You can even choose to use a custom domain name; however, we recommend that you stay away from generic words such as “.club” or “.pizza.”
2. The Shorter, The Better
Keep things short and sweet. Businesses that have a domain name with 12 characters or fewer tend to have more website traffic than those with longer domains. Even if your business name is lengthy, such as a law firm or a lawn care service, try to keep your domain short and simple.
Still, we understand that choosing a short domain may not be possible. It’s not uncommon for our clients to find that the most concise versions of their names were scooped up a long time ago. But that’s okay! You just have to be a little more creative with your domain. If you can, shoot for your finished name to be anywhere between 6-14 characters long.
3. Make it Easy to Type
When you think of the most popular websites you use, what comes to mind? Do you think of Google, Facebook, Instagram, or Yahoo? If so, it’s because those names are easy to remember. They’re also easy to type.
If you find that you have to explain the spelling of your domain often, then it’s likely not going to be memorable. Your domain name shouldn’t require further explanation, but if it does then it’s time to hit the drawing board because your domain is too complicated. What’s even worse, your potential customers could try to search your name, misspell it, and end up on a completely different website. When creating your domain, keep this in mind.
4. No Hyphens or Numbers
Going along with the ease of your domain includes avoiding hyphens or numbers. We know this isn’t always avoidable, and some businesses are successful with a number incorporated into the name (i.e., Hydr8). However, adding hyphens to your domain name takes it out of the realm of simplicity and even out of your potential audiences’ minds.
Choosing the right domain name doesn’t have to be complicated, so why make it so with hyphens and numbers? Don’t! Stick to smooth and punchy phrases or an abbreviated version of your business name. With a punchy title, you’re also more likely to keep it for the long haul than rebranding and starting over, which can have a significant effect on your SEO rankings. Nobody wants that!
5. Check for Trademarks
In our digital world, it’s not just enough to have a great domain name. You should also check to see if your chosen spelling and words are available across social media channels or check that they haven’t been trademarked. If you want to build your brand using a particular domain name, scooping up the rights to the social channels will help with brand recognition and authority. This will ensure you can keep everything cohesive and smooth across all the platforms your customers are using.
Additionally, checking for trademarks will help you avoid legal issues down the road. Businesses pay a lot of money for trademarks, and the last thing you want for your domain or your business is to be infringing upon those rights. With our help and the help of online sites like Knowem, you can check your domain over 25 different social networks and see if there are any trademarks associated.
Let’s Work Together
As a Charley Grey client, you can rest assured that we’ll work with you to choose the best domain name for your company. We’ll walk you through the options and process so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Have a domain name in mind? Great! We’ll check it to make sure it meets requirements and doesn’t infringe on trademarks. We can also work with you to redesign a fresh new website, social media platforms, and blogging. Call us at (317) 207-2015.