Your domain name is not something to be thought of lightly. Your domain name is the first thing people will see (or hear) about your website, even without ever visiting it. Careful consideration needs to go into choosing just the right domain hosting name to represent your business and get the results your after. Choosing the right (or wrong) name can make (or break) your online success. Here’s my key domain tips to consider.
The Right Domain Extension for the Right Site
Each type of site you want hosting for may serve a different market. Make sure the extension you use — .com, .net, .org, .biz, etc. — is the right extension for your market. If you are a commercial business, try to get a domain name for a .com (assuming the name you’re after is still available). If you are a non-profit organization, consider .org. If you are building a personal website and are on a budget, consider .us or some of the other lesser-known extensions. You can find some good suggestions here. But when in doubt go for .com. The part of a URL people most often forget is the extension. Another lesson I learned the hard way after going with www.wilko.ca for my online coaching site and personal online presence.
The Shorter the Better
Ever tried remembering a long domain name? It’s not easy. One might argue Google did as well as they did partially because they managed to get their hands on a short domain, and then built a brand around it. When picking domain names for your online projects take into consideration that people have to remember (and type) it to visit you. Not everyone is going to get to your website by clicking on an ad or a link found elsewhere on the web. Word of mouth is still the best marketing you can get, and this becomes a lot easier when your domain name is short and sweet. This is where my wilko.ca domain worked very well, assuming people can remember I’m a Canadian immigrant now instead of defaulting to my .com “competitor”.
Stay Away from What Doesn’t Belong to You
Big companies with trademarked names seem tempting for claiming similar domain names that generate lots of free (albeit unintentional) traffic. My favourite is untied.com, a play on United Airlines. On a sidenote, they were actually quite helpful in getting me compensation for my United Airlines mishaps when trying to get to Miami. But, as they learned the hard way: you might get sued, as big corporations (like United) have better lawyers than you.
The More the Merrier
Considering registering a group of domain names to drive additional traffic to your site. Arguably, this helps people find you online and might even contribute to your SEO rankings. You never know what people might look for when they’re trying to find you, and covering a few different angles could very well work out in your favour. Try, if possible, to get the .com and .net variant of your domain name, or a version with hyphens as well as the one without (always go for without hyphens first, again, if still available).
Last but not least
If you have an idea then at least one other someone else somewhere on the planet has that very same idea? Well that’s certainly the case with domain hosting names. It’s like dating. Everyone has their favourite “type”, but the good ones are usually all taken. Until you find that special one…