Although it might seem like an easy decision, choosing the right domain name for a new business is certainly no easy task. The domain name of your business is permanent (unless you decide to rebrand) and will act as a calling card for your brand. If you’re still unsure about whether your business needs a website, stop second guessing yourself – 83% of business owners with a website feel they have a competitive advantage over those without a website.
Before you buy a domain for your business, it’s important to take the time and think things through. The name of your domain will have a massive impact on your business, affecting the search results, the click-through rate and your offline advertising – and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Even more, your domain name needs to target the right audience and act as a representative of your business’s identity.
Choosing the best domain name for a small business
Because choosing the best domain name for your business is such an important decision, we created a list of things that you should consider before committing.
Short and simple
Trust me, you don’t want a long domain name. Excluding the fact that it’s tedious to type out by your potential clients, it will create awkward situations when you create your company emails or print out your business cards.
A short domain name also means that you’ll have a better URL structure. Your clients will have it easier to remember your website’s root URL and type it out directly.
Don’t venture outside the premium top-level-domain sphere
The top-level domain (TLD) is that last part that comes up after your domain name and before all of your subpages. The most popular top-level-domain is “.com”, followed closely by “.org”, “.net”, “.co” and “.us”. In addition to these popular choices, there’s a whole bunch of country-based TLDs. So which one do you choose for your domain?
Well, as long as your target market is local and your only interest is in clients from a single county, you’re better off in choosing the TLD of the country that you’re after. (e.g. “.co.uk”, “.de” or “.fr”). A country-level TLD will rank better in most search engine versions relative to that country.
If you’re after a global target audience, it’s best to stick to “.com“, “.org” or “.net“.
Don’t use hyphens
There’s a reason why most brands stay away from domains that include hyphens (e.g. bad-domain-name.com) in their names. In addition to looking extremely ugly, it’s often associated with spammy websites (and you don’t want that).
Make it relevant to your business operations
Don’t just choose a particular domain name just because it’s simple and catchy. The name needs to depict what your business is about or at least help people make a slight connection.
If your business is local, it might be worth it to include the city (or the country) in which you do business in order to rank better locally.
Avoid legal issues
These cases are extremely rare, but doing your research might just save you from future infringement issues. There are some business names which are copyrighted and trademarked by other entities. Do your research properly in order to avoid costly re-branding efforts later on.
Do the radio test
Your small business domain name needs to be pronounceable. Before you go ahead and claim ownership of the domain, picture it in a radio ad. Is it easy to pronounce? Will the listeners be able to understand it and then type it out in their browsers? If the answer is “Yes” to both, you have your winner!
Because the web is ever growing, the selection of good domain names for each business niche is getting more limited by the minute. When choosing the best domain name for your business, it’s important to be creative and think of a name that will withstand the test of time.