Choosing the Best Name for You
You've decided that you want to own a domain name. That's great, domains are a fantastic way to brand your business online or earn revenue through a hobby website. There's just one problem - you're not sure how to choose a good one. It is actually easier than it sounds.
If you have a bricks and mortar business and you want to develop a website to create an online presence, or you have a personal interest and you want to develop a hobby site, choosing and registering a domain is the first step. The best domain names are those that are memorable and reflect the purpose of your business or personal website.
Below are two vital elements you should keep in mind when looking for a good domain to register:
- Make it memorable
- Think about branding opportunities
Make it Memorable
When you think about your favorite websites to visit, you can almost guarantee that the website will have a memorable domain name. Creating a domain name that is memorable is simpler than you might think.
Most memorable domains are ones that sound familiar to us, meaningful and unique. Here are some tips for choosing a great domain name:
- The extension .com is the most common domain extension. It is generally accepted that a .com domain is the most valuable.
- A combination of two short words that are unique and meaningful to your business or website topic.
- A combination of generic words that relate to your business or website topic.
- Keep the domain easy to spell.
There are two types of domains to choose from when you're thinking of branding your business - brandable domains and generic domains.
Many online businesses choose to create an original domain and use this to brand their business. Websites like Google and eBay have used this strategy successfully. If you have an offline business you may have already spent considerable costs to build your brand. If this is the case, a simple "YourBusinessName.com" would be appropriate. People who know about your business will usually first try "typing in" your business name as a domain name. It makes sense that you should own it, and if you don't, you should make it as important and register as soon as possible.
Generic domain names are an extraordinary way to brand an existing business online. For example, if you sell running shoes and your offline business is called "Bob's Shoes" it would be smart to purchase the domain bobsshoes.com. A generic domain name that would be beneficial to this business would be runningshoes.com. By directing this domain to your website, you are aligning your business with the entire industry of running shoes. Visitors will associate Bob's Shoes directly with running shoes. The results of this type of branding are phenomenal.
In some cases, you may purchase the domain before you build your online business. For example if you want to build a business around mortgage insurance, you will find that this is a competitive industry and you will need to be clever about creating or choosing the best domain.
In this case, it is wise to select a generic domain name. A generic domain name is one that is made up of generic words that are common, for example, homeinsurance.com. After you have purchased the domain, you can now brand your website as "Home Insurance.com".
Now you should have a solid knowledge about what makes a good domain name, and several possible branding strategies. We'll leave you with some final thoughts to help you choose the best domain for you.
- When you have decided on a domain name, you may want to register variations of that domain name to protect your brand. For example, if you own bobsshoes.com you may want to register bobsshoes.net or bobsrunningshoes.com.
- Choose a registrar that will provide easy access to managing your domain and 24/7 customer support.