When you created your company, a lot of thought went into choosing the perfect company name with plenty of brainstorming and wordsmithing involved. Choosing a domain name requires a similar process and some serious thought.
Another word for a domain name is URL – Universal Resource Locator. Your domain name is your web address – a crucial piece of information that tells customers where to find you online.
Make It Memorable
For many companies, their business website is the main touchpoint for their customers, so it’s important to make the URL memorable. One of the best ways to do that is to use your company name, just as we did. (unclejakemedia.com) When a potential customer thinks of us and wants to learn more, all they have to do is type in our name with a .com at the end. However, that may not be an option for you. If there are similar companies with your same name, it can be hard to find an available URL.
You can check a domain name’s availability via your hosting platform or name.com. If your company name is not available, a bit of brainstorming may be required. Use the following tips to help you choose the perfect domain name.
.Com When You Can
The last three letters of your URL are more important than you might think. When looking for potential URLs, you’ll see plenty of ending options such as .com, .edu, .org, .net and so forth. However, by far the most common URL ending is the .com. We highly recommend choosing .com as your URL ending because it is the most memorable for your potential customers. (See point 1!)
Keep It Short.
A shorter URL will not only make it more memorable but also easier for your customers to access. For example, if you are a law firm with a long name, try not to spell out every word. hwmorrislaw.com is a lot easier to remember and type than hunterwilliammorrislaw.com. If your company uses the G-suite for email addresses, keeping your URL short will also make email addresses shorter and more accessible.
If you own a local business, adding in the name of your city can help with SEO and enable customers to find you. Using a location to help identify your company will also make it clear where you are located and the customer base that you serve. For example, Ellis Law operates in Upstate South Carolina, so they chose the URL ellislawupstate.com/. Potential customers might search for “lawyer upstate sc”, and Ellis Law’s URL will help them reach the top of those search results.
Another example is wnctennis.com. This page uses the acronym WNC instead of the full title of Western North Carolina to indicate their location and also make the URL shorter and easier to remember.
Tristar Transportation uses tristarcolumbus.com to indicate their services in the central Ohio area, specifically the city of Columbus.
Use Keywords but Avoid Hyphens
Your company name is a major keyword to help you better rank in searches. If it’s very difficult to use your name because there are other similar companies, location words such as a city or region can also be good keywords. For example, if you are a bookshop located in Greenville, SC, you could choose a domain such as gvlbooks.com. You may not be using your name, but GVL and Books are both solid keywords that can draw in customers.
One thing to note is that search engines are very skilled at differentiating the keywords in your URL. There is no need to use hyphens. Gvlbooks.com is much easier for customers to remember than gvl-books.com. In fact, hyphens can even hurt your traffic and SEO rankings because they are often associated with spam sites.
We keep referring back to point 1 – make your domain name memorable. If you can’t use your name, location or other keywords, try using your tagline. A good tagline or slogan can be just as memorable as your company name. For example, Atlas Signs uses the URL goatlas.com. This strategy is fantastic for making the domain name memorable.
If you prefer to use your company name as the domain name, you could also purchase the URL with your slogan and have it reroute to your main page. For example, the rental car company Avis uses the slogan "We Try Harder". They bought the domain wetryharder.com, and it automatically routes viewers to the Avis.com website. That could be a fun strategy to try.
We hope these tips are helpful for you when choosing a domain name. If you’re currently in the process of searching for a domain, we’d be happy to help. Contact us to find out more.