Choosing the Right Domain Name

Home to over one billion websites, the internet is a crowded place. Choosing the right domain name for your website is the first step to standing out from the crowd. Here are some guidelines to help you make the best choice for your business:

Branding, Branding, Branding
Your domain name is a tool. Use it! It’s a perfect place to put the name of your business. Having an intuitive domain name tells your visitors exactly who you are and what you do. This can help them avoid confusion and help you gain new clients. Make it easy for people to identify you by choosing a domain that reflects your brand.

Make it Snappy
Keep your domain name short and sweet. Enough said.

The Sky’s the Limit
Don’t limit yourself with your domain name! Give yourself — and your business — room to grow. If you focus your domain name on only one aspect of your work, you may kick yourself down the line when your business expands and the name no longer fits. Think ahead.

The Radio Test
Read your list of potential names aloud. Then, get someone else to read them to you. Are your favorites easy to pronounce? Could someone mistype the domain if they heard it on the radio? Could someone mishear the domain and get the wrong idea about your brand? Research by McKinsey & Company suggests that word-of-mouth is the guiding factor behind 20%–50% of purchases.[1] When you make your domain easy to remember, it’s more likely it will be shared.

Consider Your Optical Options
Think about how your domain name looks. The original domain name for IHA’s rental properties in Las Vegas was ihavegas.com. Don’t make their mistake! Double or triple letters can also be problematic. They snag a viewer’s eye, and not in a good way. For example, let’s say the fictional company Blatt Telecommunications needed a domain name and decided to use blatttelecommunications.com, which doesn’t look great. Even blatttelecom.com looks silly! Consider all the ways your domain name could be seen, and work around any problems that arise.

Keywords are Key
“Search Engine Optimization” (SEO) is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot when talking about improving websites. One easy way to climb the rankings on search engines and increase your web traffic is to use keywords in your domain. Are you a financial advisor? Think about adding “Financial” into your domain name. Do you do wealth management? Consider adding it in! This can easily tie into your brand identity.

Do Your Research
There are dozens of websites dedicated to tracking and locating available web domains. Find one, or even a few, and check to see if your favorites have already been taken. If they have, don’t worry! Be creative in restructuring and reworking your ideas to find something new. Also, make sure that you’re not accidentally infringing on someone’s copyright with your domain name. Do a little research to make sure you’re not stepping on anyone’s toes. This will also help to set you apart and keep your brand distinct.

Finish Strong
You can probably rattle off the most common generic Top Level Domains, also called gTLDs, with ease. Options like .com, .net, .org have been around for almost 30 years. Since 2011, more than a thousand gTLDs have become available, vastly expanding today’s options for domain names. In an online world of seemingly endless possibilities, the problem isn’t choice — it’s credibility. While .com is a trusty old workhorse, it’s not always the best option. Allow yourself some flexibility to find what feels right.
Whether you’re thinking about starting your first website, rebranding your current website, or starting something entirely new, Impact can help. Call your Impact Team Member today and see what’s possible.

[1] http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/the-consumer-decision-journey