A domain name is the address of your website, which is part of a larger system of domains. A domain name might not seem like it could have any significant impact on the quality of your business, but it will likely be the first to leave an impression of your brand on your website’s visitors.
Just as you would put some thought into designing your brand logo, thinking of a good domain name is worth the effort. Even if you do most of your business in person, it’s worth remembering that a domain is an investment in the future. You might want to expand and you definitely don’t want someone else stealing your customers.
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Keep it short and sweet
Brainstorming the name of your personal domain can take as long as you’d like, and it can be whatever you like as long as it’s not taken. A general rule is to keep it short. Long URLs might seem sketchy to visitors and are hard to recall, just like overly descriptive domain names which seem like a pile of words.
Everything is part of the user experience and sketchiness, even in appearance. This is why you can’t go wrong with short, memorable and evocative domain names. They are harder to misspell, easier to remember and much more shareable. Short domain names also have their own market value even if the business fails.
Who says keywords are for content
Another great way to incorporate your domain name into your overall marketing strategy and drive organic traffic to your website is by including targeted keywords in your domain name. This way, Google will be aware of the purpose of your website and will naturally bring visitors to your website.
While this might require a bit of research so you’re well acquainted with what your visitors are looking for on the internet, there’s no need to overanalyze. Neither is there a need to incorporate a keyword at all costs since that can be counterproductive. If a keyword fits nicely into the domain name and clearly communicates what your business is all about, that’s when you should include it.
It all goes from the top
Top-Level Domain (TLD) should also play a significant role in your choice of the domain name. If you choose an extension, it could signal unprofessionalism and damage your credibility. While .com is a no-brainer, it could already be taken, so going with .inc, .shop, .online or something more industry related such as .marketing or technology are all great alternatives.
You could also incorporate your location into your domain by using location-based TLDs, such as .io (Indian Ocean). A well-chosen TLD communicates authority, trust and credibility to your visitors, which is why it might not be cheap.
Write, say and avoid hyphens
When choosing a domain name, you should avoid words that are easily misspelled in order to avoid confusion. Then, your domain name should be easy to pronounce. Easy-to-pronounce domains are pronounced more often and you don’t want to miss out on any word-of-mouth marketing.
If you add any hyphens, they are going to have to be pronounced as well, so it’s better to leave them out. Even if adding a double letter or exchanging it for a number lets you add that .com TLD to your domain, it’s likely not worth it.
Stay on brand
Finally, your domain name should be a part of your brand. Making it authentic will not only make it memorable but will also help you avoid potential legal trouble. You should be thinking of a domain name while you are thinking of a name for your brand. A domain name that’s too far removed from the name of the brand will create suspicion among your visitors. You don’t want them to think they’re on the wrong website, do you?
While your choice of domain name should be well thought out, it’s important to remember that this is not an exact science. Thinking out of the box is quite welcome. Also, try not to get too caught up in thinking of the perfect domain name. You need it to be good enough, not perfect.