Choosing a domain name is one of the challenges startup entrepreneurs face and you will agree with me that it is never an easy task deciding on the perfect name for your brand, the perfect logo, the best colour scheme and most especially the best domain name for your website.
In this article, you will learn in detail, some tips that will help you come up with that perfect domain name that will make your business stand out from the crowd.
What is a domain name?
According to Paul Gil, a Tech Blogger,
“Domain Name System, or DNS, is the friendly naming system for giving addresses to web servers and web pages. Somewhat like international phone numbers, the domain name system gives every server a memorable and easy-to-spell address. Simultaneously, the domain names hide the really technical IP address which most viewers aren’t interested in.”
In simpler term, a domain name is a unique name that identifies a website and some examples are; lifewire.com, navy.mil, harvard.edu, monster.ca, wikipedia.org, dublin.ie, gamesindustry.biz, spain.info, sourceforge.net and so on and so forth.
As you contemplate choosing a domain name for your business, these tips will help you come up with a name that will sell.
1. Make it memorable
Your domain should be easy for people to remember, especially if you are a local brand. If your website address isn’t memorable it makes it harder for customers to recommend you by word of mouth.
As a startup business, you will get most of your customers through word of mouth, hence the need to make your domain name as memorable as possible. Memorable domain names are easy to talk about. See some examples below:
Less memorable: HugodresserLLC.com, JeroPlumbingNetwork247.com
Memorable: HugoDresser.com, JeroPlumbingNetwork.com
2. Keep it short
The longer a domain name is, the harder it will be for people to remember, pronounce and type it out. Shorter names are not only easy to remember, they also look better. When choosing between two domain names of similar quality, go for the shorter one.
However, don’t let trying to make a domain name as short as possible make you undermine the keywords in your brand name.
For instance, OgamarsBranding.com is better than OgamarsBrandingLimited.com, but OBLtd.com is not better than OgamarsBranding.com. This is because OBLtd.com has undermined the keywords in the business name.
3. & 4. Make it spellable and pronounceable
You may be wondering if ease of pronunciation is important in choosing a domain name for your business. Yes it is very important. Just as your domain name is easy to be typed, it should also be easily pronounced.
When the name is difficult to pronounce, then there is a high probability that people will encounter difficulty spelling it correctly. There are letter combinations that are difficult to be spelt; so avoid them at all cost. Note that unusual consonant clusters are difficult to be spelt and pronounced. This rule also applies to choosing a name for your business.
Not pronounceable & Spellable: iyrhokhotv.com, ahlakhada.com,
Pronounceable & Spellable: irokotv.com, alakada.com
5. Use keywords that describe your business
Your brand’s domain name is part of your brand identity. It is something people will know you by and will also help form an impression about your business. Therefore, you should always use keywords that describe your business in your domain name. Keywords will give people an idea of what your business is about.
If your brand runs multi-services and you want to use one domain name for all the services, then it best you do not include keywords of a particular service. However, if you have a main brand with subsidiaries, it is best to register a domain name for the main brand and subdomains for the subsidiaries.
See examples below
Without keywords: Okeke.com, Dangote.com, ISBBL.com
With keywords: OkekePlumbing.com, DangoteCement.com.
In the case where you have a Mother business like Dangote.com, you can register a separate name for other businesses under the mother name or you can use a subdomain. See how it will look like.
Mother domain: Dangote.com
New domain for subsidiary: DangoteCement.com
Sub domain: Cement.Dangote.com or Dangote.com/Cement
For instance Blog.Ogamars.com is registered as subdomain under Ogamars.com. Subdomains are free as they come along with some web hosting plans.
6. Avoid numbers and hyphens
At all cost, avoid using hyphens and numbers in you domain name because it makes the name difficult to remember, spell and pronounce. Imagine that Facebook.com was spelt ‘Face-Book.com’ or Google spelt ‘Goo-gle259’. These popular sites wouldn’t have risen to prominence so easily if this was the case. The bottom line! Your domain name should be smooth and punchy, and hyphens and numbers get in the way of that.
7. Research it
To build a strong brand, it is important to check that the name you intend using is available across major social media networks and that it is not trademarked to another company. You may stand the risk of having a legal suite slammed against you if you infringe on other businesses’ trademark.
Whatever name you plan to use, it’s ideal to have the same name across your domain and social networks. So check that those names are available for you to use.
8. Use a suitable domain name extension
When choosing your domain name, ‘.com’ is still the best domain extension.
According to research from Registrar Stats, 75% of domains have the “.com” extension, second is “.net” and third is “.org”
Again, ‘.com’ is what people are already familiar with and they will remember it easily. Let me also say here that it may not be easy to get a ‘.com’ extension for almost all simple, short and easy names. In this case you may consider choosing from other special niche extensions like
• .co : an abbreviation for company, commerce, and community.
• .info : informational sites.
• .net : technical, Internet infrastructure sites.
• .org : non-commercial organizations and nonprofits.
• .biz : business or commercial use, like e-commerce sites.
• .me : blogs, resumes or personal sites.
• .edu: schools, colleges or learning institution sites.
• .gov: governments or their agencies Etc.
Whichever domain extension you want to use, make sure it goes in line with what your business is all about. That is to say it won’t be appropriate to register a school with extension like .gov.
9. Don’t delay
After you must have discovered that perfect domain name, it is very important that you register it without wasting time. And you may be wondering why this is so important. Every day, over 250,000 domain names are registered all over the globe and you should not be surprised if you wake up to find out that a domain name that was available to you yesterday had been registered by someone else.
Also, there is something I need you to know; it is very important. You may or may not have heard of a term ‘domain fronting’. This implies domain registrars stealing domain names you search on their site.
While I may not want to mention names of registrars who do this, I’ll advice you register names you search up immediately before that good name you worked hard to come up with is stolen from you. So I advise you get ready to pay for your domain even before checking for its availability.
Better still, you can register via whogohost (affiliate link) whom I’ve known for a while now and I can say they are an indigenous registrar, honest and they charge lesser. I’ve had many good domain names stolen from me in the past and I don’t want you to experience same.
10. Protect and build your brand
Now that you have registered that perfect domain name for your business, there is need to protect it. How do you protect your chosen domain name?
You should purchase various domain extensions of your domain name. This prevents competitors from registering other versions and ensures your customers are directed to your website, even if they mistype it.
But since you’re just a startup with no extra cash to spend on various domain names, and would likely not have anyone interested in registering same name as yours, You may need to, in the near future, consider registering some important domain extensions of your site like .net, .org and .info so no other person would be able to use them.
To wrap it up, these 10 tips will help you make the best choice of domain name for your brand and if you ever need our assistance, we are always here to help out. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our main site: Ogamars.com.