One of the most important decisions you will make when launching your website is choosing your Domain Name.
How do you choose a Domain Name that is SEO-friendly, represents your business’ unique brand, and one that people want to click?
1. What’s in a domain name?
Your domain name should be your business name. This may seem obvious but you’d be surprised by how many websites have a different name than the business name. Avoid confusing your customers and stay consistent in your branding and advertising. Your domain name is your business’ online identity. In today’s world, people automatically turn to the web for information, make it easy for them to find you.
What if your domain name is different than your business name? If your domain name is different than your business’ name, consider making your domain name a DBA (Doing Business As) and use it in lieu of your business name. The key is to be consistent and make your business easy to find.
2. Stick with your brand.
If you sell books, a generic domain name like “books.com” may have been a good idea 10 years ago but with the thousands of bookstores today, it’s best to stick with your unique brand. Your domain name should reflect the uniqueness in your company. Tell us, what adjectives would you use to describe your services or products? What makes you different than your competitors? Choose a domain name that tells your customers why you’re special. That’s how they’ll remember you.
3. Too long? Too short? Just right.
A domain name can be anywhere from 27 to 67 characters. There is some debate whether short or long domain names are better. Some say shorter domains are easier to remember but longer domains allow for more keywords (which may improve your search rankings). We believe the most important factors when thinking about length is to make it easy to type and easy to remember. Your domain name should be meaningful and specific to your business. A shorter domain name will allow for more characters in the URL on search engine results pages and a better fit for social media posts, business cards and other offline media.
4. Possessives and Plurals
What’s the deal with possessives? Should you include “The” or “My” in your domain name? Sometimes, if the domain name you want is not available, domain name registrars may suggest alternative forms of the name for you like “thecompanywebsite.com” instead of your desired “companywebsite.com.” It’s a small detail, but it’s important. We say, keep it consistent. If your business name is advertised as “The Company Website” than advertise your website as “thecompanywebsite.com.” Always stick with your brand. Otherwise, people may forget to add “The” or “My” and be sent to your competitor’s site (yikes!).
So, what about plurals? Another common question is, should I take the plural form of the domain name (i.e. companywebsite.com)? This may be another option domain registrars give you if your requested domain is already taken. We say no. The chances of a visitor failing to add “s” to the end of your domain name is very likely. Anticipate the error and keep it singular, unless your business name naturally ends in an “s.”