One of the first steps to creating a successful online presence is having a website with a professional domain. But how do you choose the perfect domain name? It has to be easy to remember, reflect your core values, and communicate what your brand is about. Or maybe you just have to focus on one of those factors?
Read on to figure out best practices when choosing a domain name for your business.
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What is a domain name?
A domain name is your website’s home address online. It’s where visitors and search engines can find you, and it’s linked to your IP address. No one can have precisely the same domain name as the one you choose.
It consists of the unique name you choose plus a top-level domain (TLD), which is the end part of the domain name - usually .com/.org/.net or the like. The most commonly used is probably the .com TLD, derived from commercial, whereas, for instance, .gov is derived from government, and .edu comes from the word education. There are also many geo-targeted TLDs (think the country-specific codes like .de for Germany or .dk for Denmark). While a .com domain extension is easy to recognize, it’s also pretty generic - and there aren’t that many good names ending with .com left to choose from unless you’re ready to pay more than a pretty penny for it.
Sometimes choosing a more unique TLD is the right choice for you. Cobiro offers these five TLDs for free, as part of our Starter Plan:
What makes a good domain name?
There’s no formula for picking good domain names, but certain useful guidelines will make the name hunting a bit easier. These are the factors we suggest considering:
- Make it brandable. Domain names should be easy to remember but not sound too generic.
- Avoid hyphens and numbers unless it’s an integral part of your company name.
- Your website is more likely to perform better when your domain name gives visitors and search engines an idea of what your business is about. Are you a hairdresser? Then it makes sense to include that as part of your chosen name.
- Use a strong, broad keyword as part of your domain name - if possible. Getting a keyword mention could secure a better ranking for your website and help clarify what your site is about. But keywords that have a lot of competition might not deliver the results you want, so just be mindful that it’s not always the best goal to have.
A good domain name gives people an idea of what your website, and therefore your business, is trying to communicate. If you can create that kind of instant recognition by the name alone, you’re well on your way to more success online.
How to choose the most suitable domain name for your business
As we mentioned earlier, there’s no perfect recipe for picking the best domain name. That’s okay, though. What you choose should ultimately make sense for you and your company - but it helps if you consider what your visitors and search engines look for.
These are the steps you should take to make your domain name as effective as possible:
- Research strong keywords related to your business and industry and incorporate one or more keywords into your final decision.
- Find a suitable TLD that represents your business. If you’re unsure what to look for, Cobiro gives out a handful of free, unique TLDs that are suitable for business owners. Find out more in this company update.
- Make sure your name is short, concise, and easy to pronounce and type. If people can’t pronounce or spell your domain name, how will they remember it?
- Find something that’s unique and memorable.
Still not entirely sure what to call your website? We suggest checking out different business blogs and domain name generators (such as Domain Wheel or Name Mesh) to support you in your brainstorming. Generators can also suggest keywords and see what domains are available. Write a list of suitable names down and ask friends to select one that embodies your brand and is easy to pronounce and remember.
Going online should be easy
Maybe you stumbled across this article because you already have a company with a website you’re taking online; perhaps you’re just starting up your brand. Either way, you’re going to need a website that is easy to maintain, super secure, and of course, fast enough to impress even the pickiest web users. There’s a lot of options out there, and maybe you’ve already chosen your website builder, but if not then we’ve got a great offer.
Cobiro’s website builder is built on JAMstack principles. What’s that? JAMstack is a modern web development approach that makes websites faster and more secure than other, more traditional strategies (such as WordPress, SquareSpace, or Drupal). Check out the basics of JAMstack to get an overview of this innovative approach.
Whatever you choose for your website, you’re going to need a domain name. Hopefully, this article helped cover some of the easy steps you can take to find the name that’s right for you. While you think of a catchy name, take a look at what not to call your website.
When you’re done searching for the perfect name, why not get a free domain extension with Cobiro? Save the cost of building a website and buying a domain by going with Cobiro’s Starter Plan and one of several free domain extensions.