The right domain name can make your website more visible to search engines and put your business in front of customers who are looking for your product or service. Your name is also central to your branding, marketing and social media presence. Still, many people stress out over this key element of online outreach.
A good URL name is often the first impression people get of your business. Make sure that impression conveys everything you want it to by picking the right name.
How to Pick a Perfect Domain Name
Your name should:
- Make it easy for customers to find you.
- Be easy to remember and to type.
- Refer to your product, industry or service.
- Sum up what you do and where you do it.
Does that seem like a lot to ask? It’s not if you follow these tips to pick the right one.
1. Use Keywords to Boost Your SEO Rankings
Use the same keywords you think your customers would use if they were trying to find you. This will help you narrow down your name choices, but it just makes it easier for potential clients to find you.
This seems obvious, but a lot of people think they need to come up with something that shows their individuality. You can do that for your personal blog. Don’t do it for a commercial website unless you want to be left behind.
2. Make It Snappy
Imagine meeting someone at a networking event or just out picking up your mid-morning coffee. You get into a conversation about your company, and your new acquaintance wants to know more. More than likely, they’re going to ask for the name of your site. If your name is long, complicated or hard to spell, there’s no way they’re going to remember it.
Keep it short, snappy and obvious. “CarDetailingPrescott” sums up exactly what a company is, as do “HappyValleyCarRepair” and “JaniceSmithWeddingPhotography.”
If you look around, you’ll see short, snappy names that are unforgettable in all industries. “LuluBelletheClown” and “SendIntheClownsLA” are both the actual names of services that provide clowns for children’s parties. “JailBusters” is the URL of a Texas bail bonds company. These names are short, memorable and easy to spell out. Above all, they tell you instantly what these businesses do.
3. Don’t Include Numbers
You should never include numbers. They make your name hard to remember. They frustrate people who are searching for you. Adding them because your favorite name was taken and you figured you’d just tweak it by adding numbers makes you look lackluster and uninspired.
If you use a number, the person searching for you doesn’t know if they need to type in the numeral or spell the number out. By the time they’ve gone through this three or four times, that customer is going to move on to something they can remember and find easily.
This one’s easy. Stay away from numbers and any words that could be confused for numbers like “for.”
4. Go Local
It can be a good idea to include your city or region in your name. For instance, if you’re a real estate agent, you may want to use the name of the city or region where you sell in your name, resulting in “TopRealtorTucson” or “SellYourHouseTucson.” If you have a painting company, specify that you’re “QualityPaintingAnchorage” or “AnchoragePaintContractor.”
You might find that names like these are already taken. In that case, try a twist that includes your own company name so that yours stands out. Some examples might be “AndersonPaintingAnchorage” or “JohnsonRealtyTucson.”
5. Be Creative, But Not Too Creative
We get it, you don’t want a boring name. You want something memorable and creative. People in artistic professions tend to think this is more in keeping with the work they do, but in reality, a straightforward name works best. It’s easier for both customers and SEO engines to find.
One way around this is to pick a name that resonates with people in your industry. Other people might not get the meaning, but the people you want to reach will.
If you’re in printing or publishing, you could use “PrintersDevil” to appeal to people in the printing and publishing industry who will recognize that term. If you make or sell hockey equipment, using “HatTrick” in your name will be memorable to your audience.
A real wedding photographer’s site is called “WeddingBug,” which mixes the term “shutterbug” with weddings. Our own site is called “intoClicks, which is a fun way to use a term that’s commonly understood by the online marketing industry.
If you want to be creative, use a term that shows you speak your customers’ language.
6. Choose Your Extension
With billions of names registered with .com extensions, you might find that your favorite domain name and all its possible variations are already taken. If that’s the case, consider choosing a name extension that is specific to your geographic area or industry. Here are some well-known extensions:
- org: Nonprofits.
- co: Used in place of .com or for community organizations.
- info and net: Sites that specialize in IT.
- biz: Online retail stores.
- gov: Government agencies.
- mil: Sites owned or run by the armed forces.
In addition, there are thousands of extensions you can add to your name to make it truly specific and memorable. These include .lawyers, .club, .pizza,.sports and the list goes on. You can find an extension that makes your name memorable.
7. Keep It Clear
Never use a name or word that could lend itself to confusion. If your last name is McIntyre, don’t use it in your name unless you want everyone to ask if that’s spelled “Mc” or “Mac.” Don’t use the word “to” unless you want people wondering if it’s “two” or “too” or the number 2.
Keep it simple and think about how your name’s spelling might be confusing to people.
Always choose clarity.
Wear Your New Name With Pride
Once you’ve chosen a name, wear it with pride. Place it prominently on your social media sites, promotional materials and all customer communications. Choose your name carefully and make sure everyone knows what it is.