Last Updated on February 14, 2023 by Kayla
For many new bloggers, the process of choosing a domain name is a quick one: they decide they want to start a blog, watch a flurry of tutorials and pull the trigger buying their domain before they lose momentum.
But choosing a great domain name is a key step in creating a successful business, and deserves to be well thought out. It can even be the difference between a memorable and successful brand and one that is easily forgotten and fails online.
Your domain name is an essential part of your website, and your business needs to have one that accurately reflects your brand’s online identity.
And since your domain name is what people type into their address bar to access your website, it’s critical that you get a domain name that is simple, memorable, and reflects the strengths and passions of your brand.
So, to help you make the right choice, we’ll be providing you with a few key tips we know will be of great help.
Note from Kayla: this is a guest post by Grant Polachek, who works as the head of branding at Squadhelp, an agency that specializes in naming businesses and brands. Grant is sharing his expertise to help you choose a domain name in a thoughtful and informed way. Thanks Grant for sharing!
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What’s a Domain Name and Why is it Important?
A domain name is the online address of a website. It consists of a string of letters and numbers that identify a website and allow it to be found on the internet. For example, Google has the domain name ‘google.com’.
Having a domain name is important for your business, as it allows customers to easily find and access your website. It also builds credibility and trust in your brand, as customers are more likely to trust a website that has a professional-looking domain name.
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Four Vital Benefits of Having a Great Domain Name
Having a great domain name comes with enormous benefits:
- It can help boost your online presence and visibility, as customers will be able to find your website more easily.
- It helps to build trust and credibility since customers are more likely to trust a website that has a simple, professional-looking domain name.
- Securing a domain name can help protect your brand’s online identity from bad actors who may want to use your business name as their domain.
- It also allows you to create email addresses that use your domain name, making it easier for customers to identify and contact you.
With that considered, let’s take a look at what you need to choose the best domain name.
How to Find the Best Domain Name for Your Brand
Choosing the right domain name is critical in order to unlock all the benefits of a great domain name.
And while it’s easy to get it wrong, or sometimes picking the wrong one seems like the easier option, following this guideline will show you how to go about choosing the best domain name possible for your business.
1. Take Important Elements into Consideration
Before you begin searching for a domain name for your business, you should consider a variety of things to make sure the name is an actual fit for your website and business.
Having a misfit as a domain name ruins its value and credibility.
So, ensure you consider:
Your Brand Identity
When choosing a domain name, it’s important to consider what your brand stands for and its elements. You should keep in mind that your brand and its positioning have so much to do with both the name and domain name of your business.
What does this mean? It means that before you can successfully get a proper name for your domain, you must’ve already established your brand tone, voice, image, positioning, and other brand elements. Failure to do this can lead to a mismatched and inappropriate domain name.
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Your Business Name
The next thing to consider is your brand name. Your brand name has an enormous impact on your branding. What if we told you that your domain name is just as important? A brand’s domain name is the digital equivalent of their company name.
And because of their similar importance and how they work hand in hand, it’s advisable to use the equivalent of your brand name as a domain name.
2. Pick a Domain Name Style
Now that you’ve taken your brand and its name into consideration, the next thing to do is to pick a style. This might be confusing, but we’ll try to explain it as simply as we can.
When a domain name is selected, the elements we discussed earlier usually present different options: the phrase-based domain name or the name-based domain name.
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Phrase-based or descriptive domains are longer domain names that use two or more words to create a unique domain. This style can be used to create a memorable and catchy domain name.
When creating domains like this, the brand or business is usually taken into consideration, as the name aims to describe what the business is or what its attributes are about.
A great example is Amazon. Yes, the company has several phrase-based domains, but for our example, let’s go with ‘relentless.com.’ As you can see, the domain name relentless.com is simply a phrase used to describe one of Amazon’s core characteristics of relentlessly pursuing its goals.
Another example is deltaprivatejets.com. This domain name combines three words: delta, private, and jets to tell customers exactly the kind of service they offer.
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This is by far the most popular style, especially among established companies. Here, you use your business name as your domain name as well.
Most businesses have gone out of their way to secure an exact-match domain name because of how professional and trustworthy this style is.
Companies sometimes spend thousands and even millions of dollars to buy domains that are synonymous with their brand names. Tesla spent millions acquiring the tesla.com domain.
3. Let’s Discuss Extensions
When choosing a domain name, it’s important to select the right extension. Oftentimes, the importance of choosing a popular extension is downplayed by entrepreneurs, and this sometimes impacts the effectiveness of their domain name.
Giving your domain a well-known extension (top-level domains, or TLDs) like ‘.com,’ removes one more detail from the domain name that your audience needs to remember, thereby making the name more memorable.
This is why most companies do everything within their power to secure a ‘.com’ domain, as it is the most well-known and trusted extension for their business.
Furthermore, using the right domain extension increases credibility. Customers would be less likely to click on your website if they felt it looked spammy because it contained extensions they knew nothing about.
Out of the following domain names:
…the second is automatically more trustworthy.
If you can’t get a ‘.com’ extension, consider using a country top-level domain like the ‘.us,’ and ‘.uk.’ extensions. You can also decide to go for emerging top-level domains like the ‘.io’ and ‘.co’ extensions.
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4. Check for URL Availability and Registration
Once you’ve chosen a domain name, you need to check for availability and then register it. There are a few services that can help you do this, such as GoDaddy and Namecheap. Once you’ve registered your domain, you’ll need to set up hosting for your website, which will make it visible on the internet.
If your chosen domain name has already been registered by someone else, you can hire a broker to help you get it, but note that the process of acquiring an already registered domain can be quite expensive.
Finally, after officially setting up your site, be sure to put in the effort to make it visually appealing and easy to navigate for customers. Nothing turns off viewers like a bland and unnecessarily complicated website.
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Great Domain Names Bring Better Online Recognition
Finding a great domain name can be a daunting task, but with research and creativity, you can create a domain name that gives your business an edge online, brings your audience closer to your company, and helps you stand out from your competitors.
With the right steps in place, you can feel confident that your domain name will be appealing and effective. We hope that the following steps outlined above will lead you to the ideal domain name for you.
About Squadhelp: Squadhelp is known for being one of the best crowdsource naming agencies. They’ve reviewed more than one million company names and have built a rich selection of business and domain names that have helped Fortune 500 brands and startups communicate their brand passion.