How to choose the right domain name for your website

One of the first things you need to do when creating a new website is decide on a domain name. It might sound incredibly simple at first – just insert your business name after www and before .com – but as you delve deeper into the process, you will find there are a lot of factors to consider.

The domain name you select is your calling card, so to speak. Maybe you want to have it as a sticker on your car directing people to your business, or an advertisement on the radio, or you want to be able to drop it during conversation to direct a potential customer to your home page. The bottom line is that your domain name needs to be somewhat ‘sticky’ – meaning whoever hears it, isn’t going to immediately5 rules to follow when choosing a domain name | Unicycle Digital forget it and will be able to look it up at a later point.

If your marketing efforts are focused online, you don’t need to worry about the ‘sticky’ factor as much, since your advertising will be done through social media, sponsored ads or search engine results that will drive traffic directly to your website without the user needing to type in the domain name. However, it’s still important to pick the right domain name that represents your business accurately.

The basic rules to follow when selecting a domain name are…

1. Keep it relevant

Sometimes a domain name requires a descriptive word in addition to your company name. For example, a business might be called ‘Reds’. Locally, everyone knows that ‘Reds’ is a provider of high-end foot ware; however, the business is trying to grow it’s online presence so it will need a descriptive word when choosing a domain name. Instead of reds.com (likely unavailable anyways), it would be better to choose redsfootware.com

2. Make sure it is memorable

Try to avoid too many words or numbers within a domain name. Whenever possible, keep it simple and concise so that it’s easy to share and remember.

*Tip: If your business has a number in it, buy the domain with the number ‘2’ and the number ‘two’. That way if a customer looks up either one, you can direct them both to go to the same place so that you won’t miss out on any possible customers. Similarly, if there are common misspellings of your domain name, buy both and direct to the same place.

3. Your domain name must be useable

This one seems obvious, however, there are some business names that don’t work in a domain name. For example, if the company ‘Reds’ decided to try redsshoes.com, it looks like a typo was made with the two ‘s’s. Similarly, it could be read as ‘Reds Hoes’ assuming the second “s” was a typo and that they are a manufacturer of the long-handled gardening tool. Make sure to really look at your domain and think about the ways it could confuse your customer and thus, decrease your business opportunities.

4. Aim for .com when choosing a domain extension

Not everyone will agree on this, but there is a certain authority that a .com website has over a lesser used one such as .io. Depending on the nature of your business, a local domain extension such as .ca or .uk can be a great option, however, there are a lot of benefits of choosing .com. Often the .com does come with a higher price, therefore your business will need to decide if it is worth the investment.

Why .com is still #1 Infographic

5. Finally, call a friend

Ask for a second or third opinion before you set your domain name in stone. One of your employees or co-workers can provide a fresh set of eyes that may see something or think of an alternative you hadn’t considered.

Need help? Reach out to our team for help creating an effective website that captures your customers starting with the right domain name.