A website isn’t all that useful if no one can remember what it’s called. That’s why we’ve come up with 5 tips for choosing an impactful domain name. You can always employ SEO and marketing strategies to direct customers to your website, but a domain that works from the start means you’ll have an edge over your competitors.

The Basics

When you access a website, what you type in your URL bar is the company’s domain name. For example, if you were to go to www.cambridgewebdesigner.com, “cambridgewebdesigner” would be the domain name and the “.com” would be your Top Level Domain (TLD). As you can probably guess, the domain name can be infinitely creative and the TLD is more limited (e.g. “.ca,” “.net,” “.org,” etc.).
To become the owner of a domain, you’ll need to buy the domain and the TLD of your choice through a registrar. (There is a wide tendency to choose “.com” in case you were stuck on this decision.)

Tip One: Who do you want to attract?

Think about your target audience. Who do you want to attract? And who do you think will be looking for you? The answer to these two questions might be different. You might have a product that’s popular with dog owners, but maybe you want to start pushing a new product to cat owners. We suggest you make a list of the qualities that describe your two markets and try to find a happy balance. Using that list, you can narrow down keywords for your industry to find something that would appeal to your market niche. If you’re stuck, consider using your geographic location as a part of the name. That way, you can close in on the local market.

Tip Two: Don’t use your name unless…

We mean your personal name. Don’t include your name in the URL just because you’re the business owner. Customers don’t know who owns a business and thus, can’t look for a company based on a name. The only two exceptions are if your name is the brand (e.g. you’re a celebrity) and, if your name is part of the business name (e.g. Sanj’s Web Designs Company).

Tip Three: Be memorable, not M3m0R@bl3!>

Were you even able to read that last word? It’s painful just to look at! That’s what we want you to understand: leaving an impression is not the same as being impactful. Don’t try to be unique just for the sake of being different. Spelling always counts and a name you can say is better than one you have to write down. Try to avoid numbers and hyphens for that reason; their placement in the domain can confuse customers. The general rule is to find the sweet spot between wit and intuition. A domain will be brandable if it is catchy enough to get stuck in your mind.

Tip Four: Do your due diligence.

Dedicate your time to this task. This is your chance to create an integral piece of your brand identity. Don’t copy the works of others in your industry and don’t just mooch off their work either. Customers will easily know if your brand looks like a modified duplicate of another business in your industry. In fact, avoid any accidental (and detrimental) mental associations by doing some research. Make sure the name you chose hasn’t been used before or doesn’t mean something you didn’t know.

Tip Five: Act fast!

Domains can be purchased and registered by anyone with a credit card. Some people even make a living as a ‘domain scalper’. So, it’s in your best interest to get the process started right away. Luckily, domains are relatively inexpensive. If you’re worried about protecting your brand but you haven’t finalized your ideas for a domain, you can register your top choices to test them out or simply buy yourself some time.

 

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