Do you find yourself thinking and thinking about what would be the best domain names for your business but just simply can't decide?
Rest assured, you are most likely not the only one in the world that faces this same problem and decision of countless hours of over thinking what to get for a domain name
Picking a good domain name for your business can sometimes be a task all in itself if you have never done it before,
OR you are unsure of how to even GET a domain name.
Today's post will give you some pointers and hopefully aid you in making that final decision.
First let's define a domain name in very simple beginner terms….and if you are an advanced domain name person…cool….this will be short.
A domain name is simply an address that you wish for customers or potential customers to visit. Basically behind the scenes, all domain names point to a series of numbers called an IP address.
(IP means “Internet Protocol” in case you were wondering…but at this time for the purpose of this blog post, it is not needed to know for knowledge)
This is very similar to when you order a pizza and have it delivered. (yes, very basic, I know, but I like to keep it simple)
When you order the pizza you don't tell them “Bring it to my house, see you in 30 minutes” and hang up. They obviously need to know where to deliver the pizza, and your address and phone number are required.
Well, a domain name is the same thing…It points to a number on a server (which is like a bucket that holds water for everyone to dip their hands into)….Your site has to sit in a “bucket” to be held somewhere for the world to see. Basic analogy…but very true.
Everything must sit someplace in order to be seen. The above explanation is the definition in my own “simple terms” of a domain name.
I often get asked
“Should my website name be my business name“
My answer: Yes, and no….it's not a requirement, depending on what you are wanting to achieve with your website.
You may say this is a rather strange answer, but I have been a webmaster for a long time now. I have been asked this many times. Let me explain…..
Before we begin, I want you to think about the purpose of your website, and ALSO think of some of the problems that your website may be having being found…so as I continue, keep that thought in mind to help you make a better educated decision in the end.
Let's use the example of a real estate business, and your company is XYZ Real Estate…. and you ONLY sell locally (which, in the real world….you want to reach the MASSES internationally, right?) For example purposes…ok. Now, everyone has known you for over 20 years + as “XYZ REAL ESTATE“. In this example, you have already branded yourself and created a name for yourself locally.
If you own a domain name for real estate sales and it is your company name….GOOD for you! You have begun to brand yourself! This is a GREAT thing!
Then in THIS situation, YES, your site name should be your business name!
Now let's examine a NEW way of looking at this here. Let's say you are “Real Estate Company XYZ” in Florida where they sell vacation homes and you have a competitor who is just kicking the socks off from you with their website and you want to know how in the world they are doing it.
Tip: I want you to WATCH this video below, where I TEACH you how to find out what people are searching for on Google! This will help you craft a new domain name according to searches for keyword terms.
(May best be seen by making it enlarged for learning purposes)
As you can see, people search for different things online in different ways and no two people search the same. My best advice here would be to think of the ways that YOU would search for your business online without knowing the name of the company and then ask a few friends how THEY may search for a business such as yours without knowing the name of your business.
Then, have them conduct a search and see if you can be found. If the answer is NO and you don't come up on the first 3 pages of Google somewhere, then you have some serious issues, my friend!
Next, I want you to PROMISE yourself that you will STOP thinking the yellow pages, advertising pages on PAPER are as effective anymore. In my personal opinion…they are not! Here's why: Ask any young individual to go find you a phone number. Now, carefully watch the FIRST thing that they go to. I can bet it's a tablet, smartphone, computer or SOMETHING electronic. Times are changing…..and newspapers and phone books are becoming an “extinct” item, if not already.
The next question I often get is:
HOW LONG CAN MY DOMAIN NAME BE?
My answer: As long as you like up to 64 characters, and PLEASE save yourself a headache by NOT using dashes and/or hyphens in your domain name.
Think of what sounds naturally though. If it is just a “search term” and it does not come out like you would normally talk, or something EASY for people to remember……you may want to re think that option and pick something different.
My next recommendation is to be original and unique. This is sometimes called brand awareness by internet marketing professionals. What do you think of every time you see the “golden arches”? RIGHT! Food!
What this means for you: If you are selling cars…don't pick something like cars.com or buycars.com (no idea if they are valid domains, but these are just generic examples I am providing)
JUST BE YOU! BE UNIQUE! STAND OUT!
But…in the process….and most of all…..BE FOUND ONLINE!
Without being found online and having a good domain name….your business is HOMELESS!
Q: What type of domain name should I pick? .COM, .ORG., .NET? Are all domain names created equally?
A: This is a very good question, and my answer would be to think of your target audience as my first recommendation. Are you targeting the United States, UK? what country are you targeting?
You see, and many may argue this thought, and there are many many different opinions on this, but let's just discuss a FEW of the points. If you are a local business, and your target market is in the UK, you most likely will want a .uk address. However, in the United States, most persons think to look for the .COM domain name first.
What if you are internationally, well, this raises all kinds of questions then. Like me, I have a blog that people read from all over the world, yet a chose a .com extension. Why is that? My target audience in my mind is English Speaking Countries, thus, I chose the .com……………..it is still seen as an international type domain.
Here's where the opinions come in:
- Others may argue that the .net and .org extensions at the end of the name you choose are equal to a .com. In the earlier years, and to this day, some people often “programmed” their mind to think that a domain name ending in .org was a non-profit organization. Today, others may now disagree. As for the .net property….my personal thought on this is…..if you can't get the .COM, don't buy the .NET in it's place. You never know what kind of content is being placed on the other address on the .com. This is why I recommend if you are branding yourself…..PICK BOTH! .COM AND .NET AND .INFO! Grab all 3! This will do 2 things 1. It will brand you….and 2. It will prevent others from either being your competition in that same market, OR writing bad things about you on another domain extension…I have seen this happen in competitive situations.
- Choosing a .COM is helpful if someone is JUST entering xyz real estate in their browser. It has been known that algorithms (internet search providers terms…this means the rules of the way things are search…keeping it simple) sometimes automatically search for the .COM extension first.
- Some individuals may only settle for nothing short of the .COM…THAT'S IT PERIOD, NO MORE QUESTIONS ALLOWED type of thing. The problem with this is that if you want a domain name relevant to your business, the .COM is more and more hard to come by as far as shortness.Just remember, CREATIVE is always best! (oh, and keep it easy to remember)
I enjoy sharing my knowledge with my readers. I learned a while back that this was my calling…to help others who are struggling with simple technical things that I can share my knowledge about.
If you have something you could share with the world and are passionate about it, CLICK HERE to see how you can profit from sharing these things on your mind!