Previously we talked about which version of WordPress (.com or .org) is best for entrepreneurs. Now that you’ve chosen the platform for your new blog, let’s talk a little about how to choose the best domain name.
Your domain name is a pretty important thing. Think of it as your online business address – it’s where clients and prospects will go to find you or to find out more about you and the services you offer. You want a strong domain name that will relate to your business, brand, product and/or services.
You want people to be able to find you, learn more about the products and services you offer and then PURCHASE what it is you are offering. In order for all of this to happen, you need to have a great domain name.
In our years of helping entrepreneurs with creating their online presence for their business, we have seen some pretty terrible domain names.
Try Pen Island, a promotional pen company. Penisland.net. Really? Or Experts Exchange, a website presenting experts’ opinions on various topics. Our opinion of their domain name – expertsexchange.com? Well – we think it could be better.
So if you’re looking for a domain name for your new blogsite, we’ve listed 10 tips to help you pick a great domain name:
- Choose a .com domain – Although there are other extensions available ( .org, .net, .info, etc.), most people automatically assume a domain name will end with .com. You don’t want to lose your visitors and potential clients because they simply can’t find your website.
- Make your domain unique – You don’t want your website to be confused with someone else’s site, and you certainly don’t want to lose your visitors (and possible buyers) to another site. Make your domain name unique.
- Don’t poach on someone else’s domain by using a plural or a hyphenated version. For example, don’t choose www.blockbusters.com (adding an ‘s’ to the end) or www.block-buster.com (hyphenated), when you will knowingly be competing against the movie rental company www.blockbuster.com.
- Keep your domain short and sweet – Studies show the shorter the domain name, the easier it is to be remembered. It’s also less likely to be misspelled if it is shorter.
- Make your domain name easy to say and spell – choose a name that will be easy forpeople to say and spell. If you have to repeat your domain name and spell it out, chances are you need to choose a new one. You want a domain that will be easy for someone to turn to their computer to type in once they’ve heard it.
- Don’t use hyphens – hyphens aren’t necessarily bad, but generally people won’t think to type a hyphen when accessing your website – they just don’t flow.
- Make your domain name easy to remember – You want to choose a domain name that’s easy for others to remember. The easier it is to remember, the more likely someone’s to access your website more than once, and the more likely they will be to share it. Both good things!
- Avoid trademarked names – Stay away from using domain names that contain names of big companies (Google, McDonalds, etc.). You don’t want to be sued, or have to take your website down on grounds of trademark infringement.
- Be cautious of using numbers – Numbers in a domain name can work, but avoid using them to substitute words. For example, don’t use ‘4’ in place of ‘for’, or ‘2’ in place of ‘to’. Also, many times 0 (zero) can be mistaken for O (the letter ‘o’).
- Make your domain name keyword-rich – If someone does an online search that pertains to your business and/or products and services, you want them to be able to find you. Your domain name needs to relate to your business name, brand, products and/or services. For example, if you create custom dog houses, you should have that in your domain name. If someone does a search for custom dog houses, www.joescustomdoghouses.com will likely show up higher in the search results than just simply www.joeshouses.com.
You may find that you need multiple domain names because sometimes your products and services are not identifiable just by your business name. If this is the case, you might consider purchasing multiple domains (one for your business name, and another focused on your products and services OR even location).
For example, www.pattysgoodies.com (name of business) and www.bakedgoodsinasheville.com (product and location). Don’t worry, having multiple domain names doesn’t mean you’ll need to have multiple websites, you can have all of your domain names pointing to your one website or a page on that site.
Once you decide on a domain name, you can check its availability and purchase the domain from either GoDaddy (with which we have an affiliate account – and you can too) or any number of other domain registration companies that you can find by doing a search.
If you’re thinking about a domain name but you’re just not sure, jump over to our Facebook business page and post a question there – we’ll be glad to give you our opinion or answer any questions you may have.
Yours in Success and Abundance,
Mandy & Wayne