Most people, if asked, could list their favorite websites online, especially if those websites have been able to advertise on television or the radio. But here is a key question to consider if you are looking to build a business online; how do you make your website stick out? Is it with advertising, as mentioned before, or is something else required?
Take the following example; if you were searching online for car insurance, and there were 2 websites that appeared at the top of the search engine results, which one would you be more likely to click on? Carinsurance4U.com or car.insurance.for.you.net?
It is going to be the first one, isn’t it? But why? There is a lot that is in a domain name, and the shorter, punchier domain names usually do better in rankings and sales.
So, with that in mind, here are some top tips to help you choose a punchy and successful domain name for your online business. Enjoy!
What makes a Good Domain Name?
This was somewhat covered earlier, but it’s worth exploring a bit more.
Short and memorable domain names are generally easier to remember and type. Longer domain names are physically off-putting, especially if they are next to shorter options on a search engine results page. So, try to keep your domain name as short and as simple as you can. For more help on this and to see if yours would be any good, head to clickintelligence.co.uk.
Choosing a popular and recognizable extension, such as .com or .net, can make your domain name more trustworthy and professional. Going back to the example from earlier, most people would click on CarInsurance4U.com because of the .com. It looks professional, it is easy to remember, and it simply sends a message that your team has put some money behind their business. This will make you appear more trustworthy online.
Including keywords in your domain name can help with search engine optimization and make it easier for people to understand what your website is about. Indeed, having a domain name that is not linked to what you are offering is confusing and can be bad advertising. Use keywords in the domain name that are linked to what you can offer, your business ethos, or your products.
You will need a domain name that is easy to pronounce and spell, as this can be more memorable and easier for people to associate with your brand. This is why it is harder for domain names that are longer to be more successful. Also, if you are looking to design a logo for your website or business, you don’t want one that is cluttered with words. You want it to be bold, noticeable, and easy to read.
Avoid numbers and hyphens
Using numbers and hyphens in your domain name can make it harder for people to remember and type correctly. That is unless, going back to the car insurance example, the number is interchangeable with a word. That can give an interesting edge and make the website appear more current. Hyphens are a big no-no when it comes to domain names because websites that have hyphens can appear cheaper. People may inadvertently discriminate against your website before they have even clicked on it.
It’s important to do some research to make sure the domain name you want is available and not being used by another company or organization. It can be a letdown for many businesses that are online when they notice that their ideal domain name has been taken. But this is why it is well worth investing in a marketing team as early as possible, to help identify available domain names and to build on them to help your business be more successful.
Choosing a Domain Name
So, that’s what goes into a good domain name. Now, how do you choose the right one for your business?
Research and development is not an area that should be overlooked, even at this early stage. If you have existing customers, you could ask for their input on what they think would make a good domain name for your business. If you are brand new and don’t have a customer base yet, it can be worth doing some online research and development to ask people what they think the best domain name would be for what it is that your business can offer.
This can also help them to feel more involved too, thus prompting them to use your services in the future.
Your colleagues and business partners may have valuable insights and ideas for domain names that could be a good fit for your business. Much like the customers, they will have a fresh take on what your domain name may need, and research has found that colleagues or business partners who had a role in designing the name of the business, or the domain name, are more likely to stay in that role for longer. So, it can even help with the job retention of your staff.
Domain name experts
There are professionals who specialize in helping businesses choose domain names. These experts can provide valuable guidance and help you avoid common pitfalls when selecting a domain name. Indeed, as mentioned before, there are even domain name experts who can also oversee the marketing, SEO, and design of your business website. That way, you can rest assured that your business will be well-cared for from the start rather than making costly errors as you go along.
There are also a number of online tools and resources that can help you generate and evaluate potential domain name ideas. These can be useful starting points if you’re struggling to come up with ideas on your own. But take care here. Many people have spent money on online tools for accurate information that has not been provided relating to domain names, so ensure that the website or tool you are using is legitimate and verifiable.
So, at this point, you may need a bit more information about coming up with a suitable domain name. Here is a brief FAQ section that should answer any questions that may have been left out of the article so far.
Should I Pay For my Domain Name?
In general, it is worth paying for a domain name for your business website. Your domain name is a key part of your online identity and can help establish credibility and professionalism for your business.
Paying for a domain name also gives you full control over the domain and allows you to choose a domain name that is meaningful and relevant to your business. Free domain names are often accompanied by limitations and may not be suitable for professional use.
Who Manages Domain Names?
Domain names are overseen by a number of organizations and entities. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a group that is responsible for managing and assigning namespaces of the Internet. This includes the management of the top-level domains (TLDs) that make up the root zone of the Domain Name System (DNS). Country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) are managed by different organizations.
Do Domain Names Need To Be Renewed?
Yes, domain names typically need to be renewed on a regular basis. When you register a domain name, you typically have the option to register it for a certain number of years. At the end of this period, the domain name will expire unless it is renewed. The process of renewing a domain name involves paying a fee to the registrar or domain name provider that you purchased the domain name from. This fee is typically paid on an annual basis. It’s important to be aware of the expiration date of your domain name and to renew it in a timely manner to avoid losing the domain name. If your website’s domain name is not
renewed, it can be put up for auction and may be purchased by someone else.
How Can You Change Your Websites Domain Name?
- Purchase the new domain name: You will need to purchase the new domain name from a registrar or domain name provider.
- Update your DNS records: You will need to update the DNS records for your website to point to the new domain name. This typically involves changing the A record and/or the CNAME record to point to the new domain name.
- Redirect traffic from the old domain name to the new domain name: You will need to set up redirects from the old domain name to the new domain name. This can be done using a server-side redirect or by using a redirect service such as Cloudflare.
- Update any external references to the old domain name: You will need to update any external references to the old domain name, such as links from other websites or social media profiles, to point to the new domain name.
- Update any internal references to the old domain name: You will need to update any internal references to the old domain name, such as links within your website or references in email templates, to point to the new domain name.