If you are looking to run your next small business entirely online, choosing the right domain is essential. You’ll need to develop a strategy, do some market research, and of course brainstorm lots of ideas. So instead of taking advice from your “really computer smart” uncle, here are seven best practices for buying a good domain name.
1. The best TLD is .Com
Despite hundreds of new top-level domain extensions hitting the market in recent years, .com still leads the way in overall brand recognition and search traffic. In fact, only 12 out of 50 non-.com domains – such as .org and . net – and only a few use a new TLD! This does not mean that your business is doomed if you choose a less traditional domain extension. Just plan to increase your marketing spend if you choose something like .hiphop, .kitchen, or .studio.
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2. Think about keywords and translation
If you’re a local business, trying to get the community to know about your services using regional or descriptive keywords is a solid plan. While many local business owners may already have taken advantage of this method in your area, you can look at different variations of keyword combinations to find a suitable match that still works for you – LAshoerepair.com vs. shoerepairLA.com, for example. Depending on your budget, you can consider buying different variations of your domain name and having them redirect to your site. This would impede competitor intervention—a lesson Jeb Bush learned the hard way during the domain wars of the 2016 election.
Related: How to do a keyword research for your WordPress blog
3. Spell it simply
If your domain follows the basic principles of the English language, you have already taken a step in the right direction. Consider the scenario of offering your business offline to potential clients. If they sign up for your presentation, their next step is to go to your website. If your domain uses a colloquial or non-traditional spelling, you have already put a barrier in front of your potential customer, which can have a negative impact on your business
4. Keep it short and cute
With our attention span shrinking, people these days can’t bother thinking – or writing – for long. So keep your domain name simple. While your idea may be the greatest thing since slicing bread, you should tighten it if it has more than three syllables.
Related: Improve your search engine rankings with these tools
5. Make him roll off the tongue
Word of mouth is still – and always will be – one of the most effective marketing tools for your small business. If your domain name sounds like crap, potential customers probably don’t know how to spell it either.
6. Avoid anything that is not a message
Adding numbers or hyphens to your domain name is like having to tell someone your email address. Mistakes will inevitably be made, and you usually end up having to write them down. But even when you are able to have your own domain without the hyphens, the clever domains often buy the hyphenated variations of their base domain too – in case of competition.
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7. Exchange of ideas and research in the field of ideas
Now for the fun part. Create the 20 domain names you want, keeping in mind the best practices we outlined above. Next, search for each of these names using our domain search tool. If you see that the domain is already taken by a legitimate company, put that at the bottom of your list. If you come across a domain with generic guides, “in-progress” graphics, or just a blank page, you can see who owns the domain and try to contact them about a potential sale. Or you can check out the thesaurus and come up with some other ideas.
Related Topics: What is Domain Privacy Protection?
Get ‘Em while they’re hot
The number of premium domain names available is slowly fading due to the increase in Internet access worldwide. Moreover, the number of domain name disputes is increasing at an alarming rate. There were more disagreements in 2016 than in the previous 10 years combined. So the longer you wait to buy a domain, the more chances you have of hitting the domain you actually want.
Like most things in life, finding the right field comes down to good preparation. Now I’m done with work. You know what makes a good domain, you have 20 ideas that could work for your business, and you know where to check availability.
After all, what is the name? In one word: everything.
Reporting by Matthew Lebo