One of the most important tasks when formulating your digital marketing strategy is developing a great domain name for your website. A domain name functions as part of your branding campaign, so it should distinguish your company or blog from the crowd. Make sure it conveys a little about who you are and what you do. Creating an effective name is often a straightforward process, but in order to avoid any pitfalls, here are a few tips to consider.
Short, descriptive and memorable
The domain name you select should be short but easy to remember. If it’s too long, people won’t be bothered to type the entire thing in and you’ll miss an opportunity for direct traffic. Your basic plan should be to devise a memorable name that’s descriptive of what you do as well as short. If you can only come up with ideas for two out of these three criteria, go for short and memorable. You can then use SEO content to drive people looking for your product or service to your site, but you’ll want the site name to stick with them so they can easily find you again.
Don’t go for a generic-sounding domain name that includes something like “Top Ten” or “Best.” Anything that basic will look like spam to both people and search engines. If you scare visitors away because they don’t think you’re trustworthy, you’ll never get the customer base you need.
The best domain names include your brand name if you have one. If you don’t, come up with an idea based on your top keywords and add a suffix to make it unique. Some good suffixes include city, hub, book, world, and store.
Easy to type
This may seem obvious, but if your domain name is lengthy or complicated, visitors may make so many typos they give up and go to your competitor’s site instead. Don’t use characters from the far corners of the keyboard such as q, x, z and p if you can help it. Never use hyphens, dashes, roman numerals or anything else that will slow the user down. Your goal is to make it easy for visitors to enter your site and return anytime without needing to search first.
Even though many popular URLs end in .dot, .info or .biz, don’t select one of these unless you can also secure the .com version. Most people type .com automatically, so don’t take the chance that you might inadvertently send your customer’s to a competitor’s site.
Before selecting your domain name, verify that it’s available with a domain registry checker. Most domain registration sites will run a check before you finalize your purchase or you can check yourself in advance using a free site such as instantdomainsearch, domjax or ajaxwhois.
Naturally, you want your site to be unique, but remember that it must be memorable and descriptive. You can make up a completely original word to establish your uniqueness, but if you do, you’d better have a hefty marketing budget. You’ll need an ambitious campaign to get the word out and make the domain name recognizable to your target audience. Don’t use deliberate misspellings either or you may find that more often than not, you send people to the site that spelled the word correctly.
Creating the exact right domain name is a crucial task, but not a complex one. Think about your own web surfing and focus on the kinds of names that are easy to remember and type. Your domain name should have the same characteristics. Follow the five suggestions outlined here and you’ll end up with a domain name that’s intriguing and catchy.