According to Jason Otis, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for Axletree Media, “The one decision you make when creating your website that will have the most long-term impact on generating site traffic is the selection of the domain name itself.”
“You cannot underestimate the importance of narrowing down an effective name,” Otis said. “Your website address should be displayed on almost everything you print – whether it’s invoices, business cards, or even decals for truck vehicles. You’ll also want to be able to tell someone over the phone how to access your website, which means you need an easy spelling. So think of how you’ll be using your website address and choose something that makes sense for multiple purposes.”
Domains are extremely important for a business… many owners don’t realize just how important they can be. As the owner, your goal is to get as many visitors as possible to your website. Picking the right domain can be crucial in this respect.
Here are a few tips for picking domains:
One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is getting a domain that is not a ‘.com’
What does it matter if a business get a .net, .biz or .org? People automatically assume a domain ends in .com. If your business domain ends with an extension other than a .com, you ARE sending people to your competition.
Even if a customer is aware of the correct domain name, it’s easy to forget and type in your domain name plus ‘.com’. And your potential visitor has just gone to your competitor!
As with anything, there are always exceptions. For businesses outside the US there are extensions for different countries, such as .ca for Canada, .uk for the United Kingdom, .au for Australia and .nz for New Zealand. Even in countries outside the US, however, .com’s can still be used.
Try to keep the domain as short as possible. This makes it easier to remember and type.
The average American reads at approximately an 8th grade level. If the domain is too difficult to spell correctly, you will lose visitors. You don’t want people misspelling your domain name and going to your competition.
Many people end up using hyphens in their domains because the non-hyphenated domain was already taken. Don’t do it. Like using a .org this can cause potential visitors go to your competitor’s website.
Avoid using numbers as a substitute for words, like 2 for two, or 4 for four.
Even getting a domain similar to a trademarked domain can get you in trouble. The only winners in a case like this are the lawyers. If you’re not sure about a domain you can check for any copyright infringement here.
How many businesses had a name like ‘AAA…’? This was simply to be first in the phone book. Now, who even uses the phone book?
You can make a play on words – domains like Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, even the king of search engines Google… these are all made-up words that have made a huge impact on our world today!
There are basically two types of domains – a keyword rich domain and a brandable domain.
A keyword rich domain is a domain like ‘NewYorkPizza.com’ or ‘ChicagoFlorist.com’.
These are phrases that people are actually searching for. Sometimes people will actually type what they’re looking for in their browser address bar (like DenverDentist), then add .com at the end. This is called type-in traffic.
A domain like this is ‘gold’, because you can potentially get free traffic.
***Note, people often search online differently than if they were speaking. For example, the phrase ‘Tampa Realtor’ gets about 170 searches a month on Google, so one would think TampaRealtor.com would be the best domain for a Tampa realtor to get type-in traffic… not so. The phrase ‘realtor Tampa’ gets 720 searches a month. Yet when speaking, a person would never say ‘I’m looking for a realtor Tampa’.
Having a keyword based domain can also help with website ranking.
An example of a brandable domain is JLSDentistry.com (the name of the business). Well known examples include Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr and Pinterest. Brandable domains obviously help to ‘brand’ the business, so when someone sees the ‘brand’ it will immediately be associated with the business.
Should a business have more than one domain? Click here to find out.
The bottom line is, take the time to find the right domain for your business. It will certainly pay off.
If you’d like help finding the right domain for your business, contact us. We can help you find a brandable domain and/or a keyword rich domain.
And, of course, there’s no obligation.