Believe it or not, first impressions matter. Today, most consumers rely on mobile devices to research a business and, before they even view the homepage, they see the web address. The domain name is often considered a company’s trademark and is a means of recognition and branding for the business. The selection process should be taken very seriously to ensure that the best option represents the business online. Consider the below elements before committing to a name.
It is important to communicate, as closely as possible, the exact name of the company or business as this will be the most guessed domain. In other words, if a new customer wants to search by typing the domain directly, they will generally try “nameofthecompany.com.” Depending on the company name, however, the desired domain name may already be registered by someone else. In this case, consider alternative endings. Last year, ICANN began releasing what will be up to 700 new domain endings like .tech, .lawyer, .shop, .online, and .club, to name a few. To help ensure that customers find the site they are looking for, it is best to keep the domain name simple and to the point.
A good rule for all aspects of business is providing a convenient and hassle-free experience for customers. A domain name should convey the same message of respect, so remember that less is more. A simple and to-the-point domain generally will not exceed 20 characters. The exception to this rule is if the entire name of the company exceeds this amount. The domain name is what the public is searching for, which is why length and detail matter during the selection process.
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Registering multiple domains and extensions will increase the likelihood that a website will be found when searched for. If the company’s name is often misspelled, it is helpful to prepare for those mistakes in advance. For example, if the name is “Bleu Bistro,” it could help to purchase Web addresses with both spellings of “blue” and “bleu,” in anticipation of customers searching for the wrong spelling. Also, explore the possibilities that consumers could search a slogan instead of the business name, use .com rather than .biz, or abbreviate certain words. A reputable Web hosting company can provide assistance for directing visitors from these extra domain names to the main page. Taking these measures will safeguard potential visitors from landing on the wrong website—or worse, a competitor’s site.
Additionally, purchasing variations of the domain helps to protect against cybersquatters. These people can cause confusion and disruption, and even conduct malicious activity such as spreading viruses or stealing visitors’ data. Therefore, owning multiple domains can not only be beneficial for branding purposes and searches, but also the security of the business and its customers.
Obtaining private domain registration is something to consider when purchasing domains. At the time of registration, the ownership and contact information provided is automatically published and made visible to the public. Privately registering a domain is one way to ensure that personal information remains confidential. This strategy will allow full protection for contact details and avoid unwanted solicitation, like telemarketers and email spammers. Often, this feature can require an additional cost but some larger Web hosts offer the option for private registration free of charge.
A domain name should be considered one of the most valuable business assets. So take the time to research and study the options as well as how you to protect the brand moving forward.
Author: As a manager for 1&1 Internet, Inc., Kelly Meeneghan Peters is an industry specialist providing expert advice on how SMBs can thrive online. With a passion for helping SMBs to get off the ground and become profitable, Peters’ goal is to eliminate hesitations of getting online and encourage SMBs to embrace all the Web has to offer. Website design, social media and online marketing is just the tip of the iceberg. For more information visit www.1and1.com or learn about how you can drive success for your business at blog.1and1.com.