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May 16, 2020

What’s a Domain Name and How do I Choose the Best One?

You wouldn’t open a business office without a physical address and it’s the same concept when choosing a domain name. You might even say people choose their business office based on a certain location or street. The exact same can be said for a domain address.


What’s in a Name?

A domain name is much more than an address. It’s the literal identity of your business. They are super affordable and easy to register. Domains can be used to connect all of your digital efforts, including your website, landing page, and social accounts.

Many people choose to use another brand’s domain so they can get one for free. That’s a no-no. How will people ever know about your business if it’s under someone else’s name? Here we look at how to choose the right one and get it registered right away.


Finding the Right Domain Name

A domain name consists of three separate parts.

  1. Domain name (the one you choose)
  2. Extension (a.k.a. top-level domain (TLD)
  3. Optional subdomain

All of these are important to consider when choosing a domain. It must be made easy for people to find you. Otherwise, they’ll go to competition they can find.

When choosing a domain, keeps these things in mind:

Keep it Short and Sweet

Your business name should probably be your domain but always keep it short and concise. That’s how it becomes memorable. No matter what you choose, it should be easy to pronounce and spell. Consider these tenets:

No matter what, the domain name should always sound professional. After all, it represents a business.


Get the Best Suffix

When it comes to choosing the extension, there is debate about which is the best. Most people would consider .com the most popular. However, it may not always be the right fit for your brand. There are other top-level domains to consider, such as:


Use Your Keywords

If possible, always try to include keywords. It makes your domain name more searchable. Consider using broad and general keywords to cast a greater net. However, don’t overdo it.

A branded domain name might be more suitable for long-term success rather than one that’s keyword-rich. It’s all up to how easy it is to remember your brand name vs. a simple keyword.


Social Handles

Do some research prior to purchasing. Check if your potential domain name is available for social handles. This helps with brand continuity online. When the brand identity is the same across social channels, it increases your reach. If your top choice isn’t available on the major social channels, consider using another name or tweaking the social handles.


No Baggage!

Research the domain name to ensure it doesn’t come with any baggage or bad press. Awkward foreign translations or trademark conflicts will give you a lot of trouble down the road. You don’t need legal battles when just starting out or people connecting you to another brand.


Registering Your Domain

Once you have the perfect domain name, it must be registered. When purchasing a domain, look for ones that come with an SSL Certification and WHOIS privacy. The more secure the site, the better the user experience. Most purchased domains are automatically registered for a year.


Optimizing Your Domain

Once you have purchased and registered your domain, it’s time to put it to good use. Building brand recognition starts with digital marketing.


Creating a Website

This is your home base and the first place to use your domain name. If you don’t want to pay a developer, look for a site that has easy drag and drop features. There are plenty out there these days where virtually anyone can put a website together.

Remember on your website, in addition to simple pages like “About” or “Services,” make sure you have a sign-up form or some means of collecting user data. You can use it for marketing later on.


Landing Pages

Think of these like mini websites. They’re usually kept to one simple page and contain a call to action. Many brands make them based on campaigns. They are designed to help you reach a specific goal, like launching a new product/service.

The best thing about landing pages is that there’s no limit to subdomains. You can create hundreds if need be so. The idea is to sell directly from the landing page. It’s highly-focused traffic.


Social Media Accounts

Connect social media by creating posts announcing your new subdomain. This ties social activity in with your ultimate goal. Especially if social handles are similar to your domain name. It makes it easier for people to find your brand no matter where it lives online.

Choosing a domain will become more and more important as time goes on. It is crucial not to make a mistake here. The wrong domain name could mean having to rebuild your entire presence online. And that can be costly!

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