5 Tips to choose a domain name that works 

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Choosing an effective domain name makes your company memorable. It helps you market your business, shapes how you reflect your brand and affects how people find and get to know you, as it’s included on your print marketing materials and in search engine rankings.

It doesn't matter if your business is five months or five years old. Picking a domain name should clearly spell out what your company does and who it's for. Here are five simple ways to help you find the right domain name for your business.

Make it easy to pronounce

Having a domain name that's easy to pronounce is vital. Making your domain easy to say out loud also makes it easy to spell. You also want to make your domain name short, so it's easy to recall. That way, you'll get more people going to your site. If not, it's like having a great coffee shop that people can’t find because no one knows the address or can’t remember the name.

For example, if you own a home staging business, you could create a domain name like HomeStagingByLaura.com. Having a domain name that's all one word prevents people from misspelling your domain name. Adding dashes in between words may mean people forget the spelling and go look elsewhere.

Check for trademarks

Avoid any surprise legal conflicts by doing your research now. You can go to the United States Patent and Trademark Office to ensure the name you intend to use isn't already taken.

Let's imagine you own a catering company and want to use your full name as an acronym for a domain name. DHLfoods.com may not infringe on any trademark laws, but it looks similar enough to DHL.com that it's better not to risk it.

Target niche and location-specific keywords

Including location and niche-specific keywords will help your search engine rankings. When someone searches for a product or a service in your neighborhood, your domain could be one that pops up first in their search results. The higher you rank, the higher the likelihood someone will visit your site.

Considering 72% of customers do online research before heading to a brick and mortar store, making your website easy to find is crucial. If, for example, you own a pet store in Jacksonville, FL, consider making your domain name DoggyDaycareJax.com

Make it unique

Try to create a domain name that doesn't sound like another company. You want to make it as unique as possible to ensure you stand out and will be remembered.

Let's say you own an Italian restaurant:

  • Luigis-italian-restaurant.com isn't easy to remember or unique
  • Luigisrestaurant.com is easier, but not unique
  • LuigisIsBene.com is unique and not too long 

Choose a popular domain name extension

Sure, there are tons of options for domain name extensions other than .com, but most people still revert to this first when manually typing domain names.

You want to go with something easy, and .com is still the go-to website extension. Besides, if you don't, chances are someone else is already using that name.

If you’re set on a name and can't get the .com extension, you can try the next best options, either a .net or .co. You could also choose a domain extension that reflects where you live, such as .ca for Canada or .in for India.

Picking a domain name that works can be easy and fun. Provided you consider these guidelines, your business is well positioned to stand out online. The more visible you are, the more customers you stand to gain.


About the Author

Sarah Li Cain is a writer, researcher and educator. She helps companies like Wordpress, Magnify Money and Lending Tree stand out in their industry by providing content marketing that works. Master your personal finances by following her blog Highfivingdollars.com.

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