Your business domain name is more than your website’s internet address. It’s the foundation of your online identity.
There are more than 330 million internet domain names that are in use, and every single one is unique. But being different isn’t enough! The right domain name for your business needs to “call out” to viewers. This helps your business stand out in a competitive market.
10 Important Factors When Choosing a Domain Name
A short and memorable domain helps people find your business for the first time — and every time after that. It also makes it easy for people to share your brand with others. Through referrals, you grow your customer base and build greater brand awareness.
Readers don’t want to spend a lot of time figuring out what your name means, so limit the name to one or two words. Otherwise, people are more likely to misspell or forget it when accessing your site.
The ideal domain name has about 15 characters. It shouldn’t contain any numbers written either as digits or text. For example, customers might get confused between typing “twomovingmen” and “2movingmen”.
If you’re just getting started, choose the domain and your business name at the same time. In addition to building and protecting your brand— it makes it easier to use one name on all your promotional materials.
Think about the buyer’s journey.
Think about how confused your customers may be if your domain name ends up too similar to one of your competitors. Companies use alternative spellings and/or intentional misspellings in their names. For example, a company might spell “phone” as “fone”, or use “trax” instead of “tracks.”
When you do your research, explore these possibilities— include advantages and disadvantages of your chosen domain. Make sure that you find a name that is totally unique and won’t confuse your audience.
Research different domain extensions as well.
Ideally, you should go for a “.com” extension, since many online users aren’t familiar with other domain variations. If budget is not an issue, you can register multiple domain extensions like .net, .org and more.
On the other hand, country specific extensions or Country code top-level domains (ccTLD) gives startups a LOT of online traction:
- Search engines prefer ccTLDs. Search engines tend to target local domain names. Let’s say you’re searching for “Graphic Design Indonesia”, the first thing you’ll see are websites with .ID ccTLDs.
- Localisation helps you win over more customers. For example, a .ID account gives you more traction for users based in Indonesia. Customers might feel more comfortable or convenient when working with an Indonesian company.
Finally, register your domain with a budget-friendly and reputable domain registrar.
There are a lot of brands that promise a good bang for your buck. But remember, cheap doesn’t always translate to quality service. Read online reviews or get firsthand testimonials from customers to ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment.
You might think choosing a domain name that’s nearly identical to a well-known one increases your website visits.
But this only takes away your credibility. It can also open your business to legal issues when you choose a name that’s too close for comfort. Speaking of too close for comfort…
One way business owners work around taken domain names is by putting in hyphens. For example, if Davesbespokefurniture.com is already taken, they might use daves-bespoke-furniture.com instead.
This is only going to confuse your audience.
Although technically unique, the domain is still too similar to the other company’s web address. This makes it difficult for your audience to distinguish between the two and can drive them to the wrong business.
You want a name that’s unique, but not one that costs a lot.
If you’re looking for a domain name, you’re likely building a start-up or just beginning to work on your online presence. In either case, there’s no need to pay a fortune for it.
You can get a free domain when you sign up for Sitebeat’s website packages. All you need to do is to check for availability and complete the registration process.
Your domain should answer your target customers’ search criteria.
For example, if you have a women’s fashion store that sells and delivers clothing globally, choose a domain name like www.fashionforward.com. You want to brand your business as one that caters to people looking for trendy fashion pieces.
If you have one or more physical clothing stores in Jakarta and only offer limited delivery within the city, opt for a ccTLD like www.jakartafashions.com.id.
The wrong domain can mean huge consequences for your brand. So make sure everything is foolproof before completing the registration process. Too long, too confusing, too boring domain names should be in your list of don’ts.
Remember, business domain names are long-term investments — and the wrong one could mean huge consequences for your brand.
Some domain names are trademark-protected, putting you at risk of legal problems and hefty fines.
Some domains are registered but not used yet. That means you can be guilty of infringing on someone else’s trademark even if it doesn’t come up during an internet search.
Searching for domain name trademarks varies in different countries. In Thailand, you can search for trademark-protected names using the Thailand Trademark Database. In Malaysia, you must do a trademark search with the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia. Meanwhile, Singapore limits .sg domain registrations to registers accredited by SGNIC.
If you decide to register for a trademark, you’ll need a more distinct domain name. You usually can’t register generic domain names like attorney.com or dentistry.com.
Your goal is to drive more customers to your business website. But don’t overlook the role of social media to accomplish that. The most successful businesses have social media accounts that implement the naming conventions of their website domain.
Check to make sure the domain name you choose isn’t already in use on social media handles. If it is, consider choosing another domain name that improves visibility across all platforms.
More businesses register their domain names every day. The sea of businesses providing services like yours makes it even more challenging to make yours stand out. When it comes to something as crucial to finding the right domain name for your business, don’t take any chances of getting it wrong.
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