Choosing the right name for your business is very important. It practically defines who you are and what your brand is about. It’s not impossible to change a name, but if you’ve built a brand around it, this could effectively be associated with you for life.

Just as your business name identifies you amongst customers and competitors alike, your domain name does the same for you online. This is what people will use to locate you on the internet and what they will quote to promote your business.

So, with more than 300 million domain names, how can you choose the one that’s right for your business?

Here are six points that you should consider when choosing a domain name for your business:

  1. Keep it simple: You want a domain name that your customers and visitors will be able to spell and type without making a mistake. This means keeping your domain name simple. There’s no rule that says your domain name should be the same as your business name. Although that could be effective, if you have a complex business name, it’s preferable to opt for something simpler. Using words that are difficult to spell can make it harder for visitors and potential customers to find your website.
  2. Use keywords: There are SEO strategies to consider, and including keywords in your domain name is one. This will make it easier for visitors to identify the type of business you are and services you offer. For instance, if you are an auto repair business in Southampton, you may choose to use something such as com. Try to incorporate keywords that people use when searching for the type of business you offer. It will make sense to both human visitors and search engines.
  3. Target your locality: If your business is mainly aimed at a local market, you might want to consider adding your town or city to your domain name, as in the example given above. If however you’re targeting the whole country, then opting for a top level country domain name or ccTLD will help you rank well for local search in that particular  country. Almost every country has providers that offer ccTLD to local businesses. For example, New Zealand business owners can search for their choice .NZ domain name at https://www.freeparking.co.nz/domain-names/nz.
  4. Conduct proper research: This could potentially be the first thing to do when planning for a domain name. No matter how unique your business is, there are possibly hundreds of similar organizations located elsewhere – some of which may well be using the same domain name as you’re considering, but in a different form. For instance, you could be considering com, while there’s another business using example.org. This can lead to copyright issues that can be avoided with proper research. You can Google Microsoft vs MikeRoweSoft for an example of one such conflict. An easy way to avoid this is to do a quick WHOIS search before settling on a specific domain name.
  5. Make it catchy: There are millions of websites and domain names on the internet, with more added every day. If you’re to hold your own online, it is essential you choose a domain name that is catchy and memorable. A good idea is to share your domain name idea with friends to see how they react and whether they accept it. If your friends feel that it’s appealing, then it probably is. Whatever you do, just ensure it is something your visitors can internalize and will be willing to share.
  6. Act immediately: As soon as you’ve decided on the perfect domain name, act swiftly. Domain names sell fast. So much so, someone elsewhere might have exactly the same business idea as you. Once you feel you’ve found a domain name that will appeal to your target audience, make a move immediately by buying it. Fortunately, domain names are no longer as expensive as they used to be. With just a few pounds or dollars, you can pay for (and own) your chosen domain name in minutes.

While it is possible to succeed as a business without a website, you are severally limiting yourself. Not only are you missing out on a lot of potential customers who look online for the type of products and services that you offer, you’re also passing up the chance to explore new markets and grow. If you’ve decided that the time is right to have a website for your business, the above tips will help you when the time comes to choose a domain name.

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James Cummings is CEO of DailyPosts UK and an experienced business psychologist. He has successfully managed multiple business projects and delivered staffing solutions to some of the world’s leading brands. Office UK: 023 80 970 979 Office US: (646) 679-7971

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