Choosing a domain name for your business website, especially if you are still working to find a name for your business, can seem overwhelming. Below is a thorough breakdown of the elements that go into making this decision correctly, and finding a name that will work extremely well for the market that you are targeting.
- CHOOSING THE TYPE OF NAME
- KEYWORDS & LOCALITY – If you sell widgets locally, it’s ideal to have a name that includes at least a part of what you do/your location in the domain, to make it easy to remember: think https://aromawebdesign.com for example – our Web design company located on the West Coast of Canada. Having your keywords in the domain, also may help a bit for Google ranking, although how much benefit you see from this, depends on how heavily everyone else in the same market is optimized.
- MESSAGE – Another way of choosing a domain name, is by choosing the core value of message of your company, and naming your company and your website for that: for instance https://spiritrenewedcoaching.com. We suggest for any start up company, to choose and register a domain name first, before making a final decision on the name of your company, as this is ideal.
- SECURING THE BUSINESS NAME – If you have chosen a message or keyword targeted domain as your primary domain, and this is not the name of your company, you should ALSO register the name of your actual company. You can point this secondary domain (yourcompanyname.com) to the location of your website, so if someone types in yourcompanyname.com, they won’t be disappointed.
- COMMON USE OF WORD – The more frequently a word is used in everyday conversation, the more likely it is that people will remember the address of your domain. Again, the rules of demand dictate how many of these domains using common words, phrases and expressions are available.
- SHORT IS SWEET – General principal: domains gain value when they decrease in length. Realistically however, the shorter the domain name is, the more likely it is that it is already owned by someone else, and would be very expensive it is to buy if you tried to acquire it. Three word domains are fine, four word domains are less ideal.
- THE SPELLING – You don’t want to loose clients that go somewhere else because they can not remember how to spell your domain name (this also applies to registering your own name if the spelling is at all unusual). Avoid words that have the same sound as another word but are spelled differently (for example, whether/weather). Also, avoid numbers and hyphens unless you’re purely registering a domain for search engine optimization purposes, and don’t expect clients to be typing in the domain name directly.
- DOMAIN EXTENSION – For Canadian companies, the best domain extension is still .com, followed closely by the .ca version of the name. If at all possible, if you are able to register a .com that works for you, make sure you register the .ca version as well if it is available.
- WHAT IS THE COMPETITION DOING? – If .ca of the domain you want is available, however your competitor down the street is using the .com of that name, it is inadvisable to go with the .ca. Most people will automatically think and type “.com” when going to a website, and you don’t want your customers going to your competitor by mistake. Only register a .ca domain if the .com domain can not be mistaken for you: for instance, they offer a completely different service, or they are located in a different part of the country, and you are targeting a local market.
How do I actually apply all this?
At this point, you may feel overloaded, and think to yourself, with all those rules to follow, how am I ever going to find a domain that is available, and follows all these principles? Rather than try to type in hundreds of ideas by hand to check if they are available, try using a tool like this:
- (domain suggestion tool): if you are located in Chicago and want to have your domain include the word “Chicago” and end with “cleaning”, type “Chicago” into the keyword box, and type “cleaning” into the suffix box – the generator will find you dozens of available domains that include your keywords.
- (domain message brainstorming tool): if you want to express a concept with your business/domain name, and don’t know where to start, type in a number of related keywords into this tool, for some great suggestions.
- Once you’ve found a great domain (if you have found two or three, and can’t make up your mind, give us a call and ask!) you can register your domain yourself, for usually $12 – $15/year per domain. There are many registrars available, however we suggest you use https://rebel.ca, we prefer your registering with them, as we know the interface, and can help you if you need.
Follow these simple guidelines to picking the right domain name for your business, and you’ll be off to the right start. Just remember… If you get stuck, you can always call us for help!