The domain name is the cornerstone of your online presence, and much like the company’s name, it calls for a lot of thought and consideration. In all likelihood, it will stay with you for quite some time, and it is advisable to measure twice and cut once. After all, domain names make an impact on many different aspects of your website, including click-through rates, referring links, organic and social search, branding, advertising, etc.
A Long-Term Investment
When musing on an appropriate name, there are some hard rules to adhere to. First of all, you want a name that is brandable. If it sounds like another generic website, you are probably not on the right track. Steer away from strings of keywords that sound boring or hard to remember. You need something unique that stands out in the brain, and the trouble is that exact and partial match keywords often do not cut it.
From the SEO perspective, keywords integrated into domain name help. However, Google has biased away from these types of solutions and consequently, they no longer carry such a weight. Therefore, if you can pull it off nice and easy, go for keyword implementation. Otherwise, you should prioritise other things. For example, a domain name should also be something easy to type, but also pronounce.
Yes, people are typing your domain name, but there is also this concept called “processing fluency”, which is linked to users’ tendency to have more positive associations with terms they can easily say. Furthermore, it is advisable to pay attention to the length of the name as well. Shorter domain names are easier to memorise, type, and share. The same is true for domains without elements like numbers and hyphens.
The Next Level
Now, another important consideration is the domain extension. It seems that dotcom still reigns supreme, but we have witnessed a proliferation of many new TLD extensions due to the problem of the availability of .com domains. So, if you cannot snatch it, you can opt for a .net, .co, or country-specific TLDs. The last option is interesting because you can use the extension like a .me domain as a part of the main phrase and engage in domain name hacking.
Feel free to get creative with the main phrase, suffixes and prefixes, and you may come up with a stellar online brand. Always bear in mind that the domain name has a profound influence on your marketing and brand building efforts. Thus, it should reflect your business persona, what you do and stand for: Users should be able to associate your name with what you offer and relate it to the local market if possible.
One thing you are better off avoiding is a domain name, which infringes on another organisation’s trademark or copyright and stirs brand confusion. These are perilous waters because you put yourself at the unnecessary risk of legal consequences, and potentially cause problems with the volume and quality of Internet traffic. Be distinctive and authentic and you should be able to reach the target audience in due time.
Name Of The Game
Your domain name is the essence of your identity on the web and it must not be an afterthought. Do not follow your gut instinct, but take into account multifarious factors such as brand-ability, length, uniqueness, ease of remembering, type of extension, etc. It must fit your business, and also make it simple to find and promote it. So, do not hesitate to secure a relevant and memorable domain, because otherwise, you will have trouble capturing audience’s attention.
Dan Radak is a marketing professional with ten years of experience. He is currently working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies. He is also a coauthor on several technology websites and a regular contributor to Technivorz.