If your website is the online home for your business, your domain name is the unique street address that helps visitors find you online. It’s a critical part of building a strong presence on the Web. Unfortunately, many of the short, easy-to-remember .com’s and .net’s are no longer available. And who wants a domain name with so many characters that you need a ph.D to remember it, or, even worse, a domain that really doesn’t describe what your business has to offer?
Luckily, the online naming game is changing.
With new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) hitting the market all the time, there’s never been a better time to choose a memorable online identity for your business. The hundreds of descriptive new domain extensions—such as .shop, .lawyer, .photography and .guru, just to name a few—give business owners an unprecedented opportunity to register domains that perfectly represent their products or services.
Here are five tips to help you pick a kick-ass domain name for your business’s online identity:
Tip No. 1: Choose a Domain That Describes Your BusinessSure, you want your domain to stand out like a flashy commercial among the gazillions of other domains on the Web, but you also want to be clear about what you do and who you are.
For example, if you’re a defense attorney in New York City, you might consider a domain that ends with .lawyer or .nyc. A descriptive domain is like a cyber roadmap for your potential customers!
Tip No. 2: Short and Simple is the Rule
A long street address is hard to remember; a lengthy domain is no different. Make it easy for your customers and prospects to find your business on the Web by selecting a domain name that’s short and to the point. Securing a succinct domain might be challenging in today’s .com marketplace, but it’s a breeze with gTLDs.
Imagine that you’re starting a site to sell shoes. While a name like YourSuperCuteNewShoes.com might adequately describe your business, it’s too long to take in at a glance. Plus, it’s a long shot that an ideal short version—CuteShoes.com—will be available and/or affordable. The new domain extensions, however, make it possible to affordably register a perfectly memorable and descriptive name such as Cute.shoes.
Tip No. 3: Don’t Forget Misspellings
Let’s face it: a lot of people are spelling challenged. That doesn’t mean they don’t do as much business online as the ace spellers of the world. And how often do you type so quickly that you transpose a letter here or leave one off there? It happens, right? Make sure everyone who’s interested in what you’ve got to offer finds your business on the Web by taking the extra step of registering commonly misspelled versions of your domain name.
Using the above example, for instance, you also should consider registering domains such as Coot.shoes and Cut.shoes. Sound silly? Check out what happens when you type gooogle.com into your Web browser.
Tip No. 4: Think Local
Remove any question or doubt about whether or not your company services a certain geographic area by selecting a domain name that includes a local component. This makes it easy for customers looking for local businesses to find you, and it helps to improve your branding efforts. Again, gTLDs offer improved opportunities for localizing your domain.
You might include your geographic area in the part of the domain to the left of the dot, paired with a business-type extension—like NewYorksBest.plumbing. Or you could register a domain with a geographical gTLD—such as BestPlumber.nyc.
Tip No. 5: Consider Aftermarket Domains
In the end, we are looking for a way to stand out and, sometimes, that perfect domain name might already be taken. But it doesn’t mean it is out of reach. Your ideal domain name could be available on the domain aftermarket. This is a secondary market for domains that gives you the opportunity to register a name that’s already registered or expiring. Your preferred domain on the aftermarket might have higher price tag – but why not spend the money on the right domain name to bolster your chance at online success?
Find Solutions at GoDaddy
In addition to an easy-to-use domain registration search and really cool watch list for upcoming gTLDs, GoDaddy offers a wide range of purchase options besides traditional domain name registrations. Check them out here!
Author Bio: With a background helping electronics retailers create dynamic marketing plans, Dan Khuu currently helps small businesses create technology strategies utilizing GoDaddy’s vast product and service offerings. Connect with Dan on Google+.