Gearing up to build your business website in 2022? Well, it all comes down to your domain name and choosing the perfect one for your website is the first step to creating a successful brand online.
According to 1-grid CEO Thomas Vollrath, your website is the hub of your activity, and choosing the wrong name can set you back. “You need to find one relevant to your business, but also one that is easy for your audience to remember when they’re considering your product or service.”
Despite needing a lot of consideration to find a domain name that suits your business and audience and essentially formalising your address online, the process of choosing one is rather simple. From name ideas, to tips for choosing and even the process of domain registration, this article has all the information you need to choose the best domain name.
Why a domain name is important
Your domain name is how current and new customers find you online. It’s your virtual address that represents your brand and allows people to interact with and purchase from you. Generally, if your website name is difficult to pronounce or even spell, customers are likely to forget about you entirely or not find you at all.
That being said, if you’ve chosen a domain name that is relevant to your product or service, it’s more memorable, browsers are more likely to find it easily during their searches and be keener to click on your home page. First impressions definitely matter when it comes to your digital presence and your domain name is the first thing they will see.
So, rather take the time now to find a great domain name than rush the job and risk the downtime of changing it in the future.
1. Choose a domain extension
A domain extension is the ending of your website name. It can be identified by the likes of .com, .net, .org, .co.za and many more. While a .com name is always recommended as it’s the most generic and reaches across countries and industries, .co.za is also an ideal extension for local SMEs.
While it can be tempting to use different extensions, .com and .co.za are the most established. Extensions like .photography, .shop and .biz should be reserved for websites specifically suited to those industries.
2. Register multiple extensions
Registering your domain with a few extensions has numerous benefits. Not only does it ensure your website still shows up despite spelling mistakes, but it also ensures that scammers can’t register similar domain names to yours in order to kickstart an online scam known as brand impersonation.
Additionally it helps your local search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts if you add extensions of the city you operate in, including .joburg or .capetown. It’s a signal to Google that it can show your results to your local audience and ultimately boost your local traffic.
3. Keep it short and simple
Having a domain name that is short and sweet not only provides you with the perfect opportunity to have a memorable website name, but also makes it almost impossible for browsers to make spelling mistakes and miss out on finding your website. It’s recommended to keep the character count to 15 or less.
4. Avoid special characters
Special characters, particularly hyphens, can make your website name look unnatural and “spammy”. Special characters are often used to create fake versions of well-known websites for brand impersonation scams and defraud businesses and their customers. Plus, adding special characters can lead to unnecessary spelling mistakes.
5. Use a domain name generator for ideas
If you’re completely stuck and can’t find the right name, use a domain generator. It’s basically a search function that gives you oversight into all the registered and unregistered domain names. You’ll get a bunch of ideas and variations to choose from, plus you’ll be able to tell if any of your ideas have already been registered with suggested alternatives.
How to register your domain name
Once you’ve found the perfect name for your website, it’s time to secure it. This process is relatively simple and admin-free and just requires you to order it online. Once your name is secured it’s a matter of choosing your web hosting package and website design and you’re ready to build your online presence.
From spelling, to simplicity, to character count, there are a few considerations to make when finding the ideal domain name. Remember these tips and you’re set for a seamless and simple process on your journey to business success.
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