If you’re starting a small business, then choosing a domain name can be a lot like choosing a name for a new baby – with the added complication that it has to be unique.
We strongly recommend choosing (and securing) your domain name as soon as you decide to set up your business, even if you don’t intend to set up a website any time soon. When you’re making your choice, we encourage you to cross-reference it with social-media handle checkers like https://www.namecheckr.com/ to make sure it’s available there and if so, again, secure the relevant handle, even if you don’t intend to use the platform.
With this in mind, here are three tips on how to choose the best domain name for your small business.
A successful domain name is easy for people to remember, allowing them to type it into browsers without even thinking about it. It’s also one that will be understood easily by voice-activated assistants.
Because of this, it’s usually best to avoid puns and anything else which could lead to confusion, such as numbers, which can be used as numbers or written out in letters. If you are absolutely desperate to use a number, then make sure you can register a domain with it written as a number and the corresponding domain with it written out so that you can automatically redirect people to the correct URL.
You want your domain name to convey at least some information about your business and, generally speaking, the key points you want to get across are what you do and/or where you do it. So, for example, say you run a home-based business making hand-made candles. There are a lot of people doing the same thing so you need to come up with a memorable brand name to form the first part of your domain, you can then tag the word candles on to this for extra information.
If, by contrast, your business operates within a specific geographical area (for example you are a tradesperson) then you could incorporate information about that area.
In the old days, there was something of a land grab for .com domains and, in certain cases, it can be very worthwhile to claim a .com domain. In other cases, however, it is, at best, a waste of time and at worst can compromise your brand identity.
For example, if you’re a local business operating in London, which now has its own top-level domain, then do you really have anything to gain by claiming the .com version of your domain? Alternatively, if you’re pushing forward your UK-location as a sales point, for example, by selling local crafts or other UK regional produce, then you might actually find that a .com domain could be perceived as diluting your overall brand message and that you’d be far better with a .co.uk name.
A few years ago, dozens of new TLDs were added to the mix, so take a look through them and see if any fit your brand more effectively than the traditional URLs.