Choosing a domain name for your business is not as simple as choosing your outfit for the day.
Your domain name defines your brand and online identity. It’s your audience’s access to your website — and it’s going to stick with them for a while. Make it count.
You may already have a domain name in mind, but don’t register it just yet. Here are 10 key factors to consider before choosing your business domain name.
How to Choose a Winning Business Domain Name
1. Let it stand out.
Think of something that someone can easily pass along to others — whether by text or word of mouth. Research shows that word of mouth contributes to 20% to 50% of customers’ purchase decisions.
That said, make sure to choose a domain name that stands out. Let your creativity run loose!
But a word of caution: make sure no matter how memorable it is, your domain still ties well with your brand.
A good example is mywifequitherjob.com.
For one, it’s catchy enough to grab our attention. Also, it closely relates to the website’s mission — empowering people to build their own ecommerce businesses and give up their day jobs.
2. Keep it short and simple.
Longer domain names tend to distract your audience. Plus, they’re hard to spell. You wouldn’t want potential customers misspelling your domain until they lose interest.
If you have a long brand name, try shortening it for your domain.
For instance, turning Mexican Mama’s Pizza and Tacos into a domain name would be a disaster. A shorter version, like mexicanmamas.com, will do the trick.
3. Keep your business in mind.
But if you feel like you’re getting off-track, think of your brand identity.
Your brand identity keeps you grounded. It helps you think of a domain that actually reflects who you are.
4. Consider ideal extensions.
Top-level domains (TLDs) — like .com, .net, and .org — are ideal for brands targeting a global audience.
But if you’re a startup looking to gain local traction, a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) is the ideal choice. These domains represent your target country, which includes:
- .sg for Singapore
- .co.nz for New Zealand
- .com.au for Australia (and soon, a .au!)
Locals also trust businesses that hit home. By using a ccTLD, you don’t just tell them you cater to them — you’re also embodying the values they believe in.
5. Ditch the hyphens.
Not only that — it’s often used to work around a domain name that’s already taken. For example, a business may resort to kickin-car-parts.com if kickincarparts.com is already registered.
You don’t want people to bother with the hyphens, let alone regard your business as a copycat.
A domain name that’s similar to other companies can drive your audience to the wrong website.
6. Go with keywords.
If you’re selling claw machines, go ahead with a domain like johnsclawmachines.com.
This way, people know what you’re selling right then and there. Plus, you’ boost your online presence through an SEO-friendly domain.
But before giving keywords a go, be careful not to pigeonhole your brand for the future.
For instance, John’s Claw Machines may want to transition into a larger amusement company in the future. By that time, johnsclawmachines.com may no longer represent the brand as a whole.
7. Check its availability.
Avoid getting your hopes up for nothing. Check a domain’s availability immediately as soon as it’s at the top of your head.
Use online domain search tools like WhoIs to check if a particular domain name is already registered.
8. Look out for trademarks.
Before applying intellectual property rights, double-check the domain.
For businesses in or catering to Australia, search for your domain name idea using the IP Australia Trade Mark Search.
For New Zealand-focused businesses, check for existing trademarks in the New Zealand Intellectual Property Office website.
9. Remember your social media handles.
Now that you’ve got a catchy, short, and unique domain name in mind, do a quick search if it’s available on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, among others.
Tying in your business name to your domain and social handles maintains brand consistency. And a consistent brand makes you more recognisable in the online space.
10. Move fast.
You didn’t spend so much time working on your web address only for others to take it away.
Most domain names aren’t expensive. And they’re worth the price, considering you get to keep the most fitting domain name for your business.
Your online journey starts nowComing up with the right domain name may take time, or it may come in the next few minutes.
Use these tips to guide you into making a decision that works best for your brand. Now it’s time to get those creative juices flowing!