There is perhaps nothing more important when it comes to branding your company then settling on the right domain name. Your domain is the name your online business will be known by and how people will find your business website. Therefore, domain registration is the pivotal first step in developing a foundation for your online presence. So where do you start? And how do you ensure your domain name provides a strong, visitor-friendly corporate identity?
Because your website address will be displayed on everything you print – from invoices to business cards to labeling on delivery trucks or other vehicles – the importance of an effective domain name cannot be overlooked. Prudent decision-makers will be sure to choose a name that’s easy to relay verbally and easy to spell, while making sure it’s versatile enough to serve multiple purposes.
You want a domain that’s easy for your stakeholders to remember. For example, if someone sees your website address on a delivery truck, you want them to be able to recall your address immediately – without even having to do a quick search.
Here are some tips to consider when choosing a domain name:
- Size: Try to avoid choosing names longer than 15 characters. Shorter means easier to remember.
- Spelling: Try to use only alphanumerics. For example, the URL baseball.com is much stronger than base-ball.com.
- Uniqueness: Your name should stand out among the millions of competing websites. Your address should also be intrinsically linked to your core competencies.
Doing business? Make sure your domain ends with a .com extension – customers generally assume a .com ending. According to TechCrunch, about 42.5 percent of the more than 250 million registered domain names have .com extensions, while about six percent of them have .net extensions.
The shrinking price of acquiring domain names means companies without their own domain name may be perceived as cheap. It also means that your competitors are more apt to buy multiple, coveted domain names to “take them off the market” in the event that they want to use them down the line. To remain ahead of your competition, take precautions now to safeguard your online presence by purchasing a domain name as quickly as possible. A business owner on the other side of the country – or the world – could be vying for the very same domain name when you finally figure out the one that best suits your company.
Even if your website’s launch date is well down the road, it’s in your best interest to acquire the name now. Recent research shows that 15 percent of registered .com and .net domain names don’t lead to live sites, while 21 percent of them are just one-page websites. People acquire domain names either with plans for the future, or to prevent someone else from acquiring that address.
Once you’re ready to acquire a domain for your website, contact a web hosting provider or domain name registrar and purchase it. Then it’s time to move onto the process of creating your online web presence. If you need help, then click here to read a whitepaper by Hostway on how to get your business online in six simple steps.
Have you learned any other helpful domain tips? If so, please share in the comments. Are there any other small business web hosting topics you’d like us to create blog posts on?