Choosing a domain name is a critical element in web design as it becomes the name and brand of your business. Domain names have been at the forefront of the digital experience since the dawn of the internet. They provide a sort of online real estate for businesses and a gateway for clients to interact with them. Choosing a domain name is one of the most important decisions you can ever make for your business. It personifies your business and your brand.
These days, the task of choosing an appropriate domain name is becoming increasingly complex and is now a critical task for both start-up and existing businesses. This complexity has been attributed to the fact that most of the common .com domain names have already been purchased by businesses and investors. According to Verisign, over 130 million .com names have been registered, some of which are not in use. While .com is the most common Top Level Domain (TLD) in use, new generic Top Level Domains (gTLD) have been introduced, increasing domain name complexity.
Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD)
We are beginning to witness the growth of gTLDs, as they are becoming more commonly adopted. Without a doubt, the .com TLD is still the king of the cyberspace world and if you can obtain the .com variation of your business name, you should do so immediately if not sooner.
The new gTLDs are expected to become more relevant over time and will alter the way consumers search for and consume content online. A well-chosen domain name will become sticky and memorable. For example, an exquisite jeweller who chooses the .diamond extension will make an instant connection with prospective clients. Just a single extension can change the whole perspective and create a reputation for your business.
Investors and businesses are beginning to purchase names in these new domain extensions in order to make profits from their future sale, while others are solely interested in the relevance to their business.
Keys to choosing the right domain name
The goal of every small business should be to secure the most relevant domain name during the brand-building process. This could mean investing in gTLDs or purchasing the right .com name, even if it means spending a small fortune to get it. Domain names get more expensive as time goes on, so it is important to secure a name sooner rather than later. There are three decisive keys in choosing the right domain name. They are:
Consider new gTLDs
Tailored domain name extensions are on the rise. Businesses should investigate and focus on the extension that makes sense and suits the core of their activity. DOSH is a venture funded cash-back company which operates the website DOSH.cash. It uses the .cash extension which is focused on its primary business activity. Customers and visitors can easily relate to the domain name extension, due to the nature of the business. Purchasing a DOSH.aero domain will not be advisable as they do not operate an airline or travel-focused business.
Purchase a .com.
From a broad end-user viewpoint, .com still remains the most popular standard. Start-ups should consider owning a .com variant and a related gTLD extension of their domain name. Purchasing a .com domain might take up a portion of the company’s capital, but it will be worth it to do so. This rewards the start-up with a better known address while preserving a catchy gTLD.
Work with a valuation company
Some businesses need a domain name that might not be readily available. In this situation, reaching out to the domain name owner personally might be counter-productive. Most domain name owners are investors and negotiating a deal to buy a domain name from them will be tricky and expensive. Discount Domains, Godaddy and other similar domain registrars offer domain name valuation.
How to choose a domain name
The popular practice in choosing a domain name is to select a domain that is similar to your company name. This leads to a far greater possibility of being committed to memory, while keeping your branding consistent and integrated. When choosing a domain name, make sure you keep the following tips in mind.
Compose a memorable name
While the human brain is remarkably powerful, the chosen domain name ought to adhere to those powers. Your new domain name should be:
It should be different than the domain names that are already taken.
When a domain name can be visualized and remembered, people are more likely to remember it.
It is easier to remember a domain name that is easy to say, read and repeat.
Memorisation is better achieved when words are organised. The brain will remember a well-organised domain name over one that is jumbled. For example, sellyourcar.com will be far easier to remember than caryoursell.com.
Keep it short
A short domain is easier to remember and type. Many people lack the intrinsic ability to remember or type longer domain names, which can lead to spelling errors. Most businesses want to create a domain name with as many keywords as possible, which can create an unnecessarily long URL. Keeping it short and simple is preferable.
Make it relevant
A domain name ought to echo what the business does. For example, a company called Car Wash will have to pay hand-over-fist for the name carwash.com. Since this is most likely already taken, try using a domain name with the word “carwash” in it, so that people know what your company is all about.
The best names are the simplest ones. A few words (two or three) and a .com extension can make for a powerful domain name. A few things to avoid include:
- Ambiguous words
- Creative spellings
Domain names can be considered the most significant aspect of a brand’s identity and can affect all areas of branding. If the above-mentioned tips are followed, you will be more than capable of developing an effective, representative domain name for your business.