7 Tips for How to Choose a Domain Name
When naming your company, check to see that a matching dot com domain name is available first. Having a domain name that matches your company name will make it easier for people to find you. It should be easily understood, memorable, and, preferably, named once. You’d most likely name your child once, right? If possible, try to give your company and domain name the same treatment.
Here are 7 tips on how to choose a domain name so you don’t have to ever consider changing it:
Tip #1: If you can, match your domain name with your company name.
Branding and marketing become easier to streamline when you have a domain name that matches your company name. Potential clients can easily search and discover you on various online platforms.
Great examples of well-known brands include:
Facebook.com – product is Facebook
Nike.com – product is Nike athletic apparels
Ikea.com – product is Ikea furniture
If an exact match isn’t available, consider getting creative while remaining authentic to your brand like Gogo, Gogoair.com.
Tip #2: Use dot com. If you’re a nonprofit, use dot org.
Always try to go for a dot com first, as that is often what people default to. It gives your company a professional and credible look, especially for young, growing businesses. Recently, there has been a surge of URLs ending in dot io, but we suggest reserving such suffixes for tech-focused companies.
Here’s how we’d rank the top 4 dot domains:
dot com (dot org if non-profit) — the gold standard
dot io — you’re a startup, most likely in tech.
dot net — the early internet star that is losing its shimmer.
dot everything else — depends on what your company offers, i.e. you’re in video production, then perhaps ending with dot tv makes sense.
Don’t go for the knight, go for the king.
Tip #3: Do not hyphen a domain name if it isn’t available
If there’s no way to match your company name, then make it creative and easy to type.
Keystrokes matter. Using CTRL/CMD, Shift, or a hyphen is not a smooth motion when typing. It’s even worse on mobile. Do not do this. When possible, reduce friction in accessing your website as much as possible.
When it comes to the length of your domain, shorter is better. According to research from Gaebler.com, a magazine for entrepreneurs, the top five websites have approximately six characters in their domain name.
Tip #4: Think long-term
As mentioned earlier, considering naming your domain as you would your child – once. Moreover, treat it with the same importance as you would when naming your company. The timing of both should coincide, and keep them flexible enough so you don’t need a future name change if there are transitions within your company.
Tip #5: Check social media handles on your name
This isn’t a make it or break it but you should definitely register every social media handle with your company and domain name. Doing so will make it easy for your audience to find and engage with you.
Tip #6: Get inspiration from friends and family
If you’re having trouble naming your company, ask your friends, family, and target audience. Getting inspiration and feedback from others will present you with more creative options. Alex Blumberg, founder of Gimlet Media, originally pitched his podcast startup under the name ‘American Podcasting Company’ but later changed it to Gimlet Media when a renowned venture capitalist encouraged him to seek out something stickier.
Tip #7: Use domain name generators like the following
Sometimes nothing clicks, and you find it hard to get any inspiration. If that’s the case, try a domain name generator. Here are some of our favorite domain name tools and generators: Wordoid, Lean Domain Search, and DomainHole.
Once you’re ready to purchase an available domain, you can do so here: Namecheap, GoDaddy, Google Domains. Pricing will vary across providers but a general comparison will provide insight on which is best for your brand and business needs.
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