How to Choose a Name For Your Web Presence

So, you’ve decided to get a website for your business.  That is great!

One of the first things you need to do before your website can be built is to choose a name for your web presence.

Your website address (also known as your “domain name”) will be a core element in your business branding.  You will be putting it on your business cards, your business stationery, your brochures and any other advertising or marketing materials you create.

Choosing a domain name is kind of like choosing your house:  You will be living with it for a long time, and it will become a part of your core identity.  That is why you need to take your time, evaluate your options, and choose your domain name carefully.

With that in mind, here are some tips for choosing a great website address (domain name) for your business.

Choose a name that is available as a “.com” address

For example, www.yourbusinessname.com.”  When you begin researching domain name options, you will often find that the .com version has already been taken.  That’s because the  “.com extension” on a domain name gives businesses an automatic credibility boost. While you could choose a domain name ending in .net, .biz, .info or .org, it’s likely that your customers will search for your business online by typing in “www.yourbusinessname.com.”  If they can’t find you online the way they expect to find you, it could cost you business.

Make your domain name as short as possible

The shorter your domain name is, the easier it is for your customers to remember. It is also easier for your customers to direct people they know to your website.  Lastly, short domain names are easier to type into a computer, and that is a good thing.

Choose a domain name with commercial appeal

Imagine seeing your domain name in advertisements, hearing it mentioned on TV, and seeing it on billboards.  Is it catchy?  Memorable? Does it represent your business in a way that makes you proud?   If not, keep looking.

No Hyphens

Avoid choosing domain names that have two or more words with hyphens separating them.  People tend to forget that hyphens are needed and hyphenated domain names are less likely to get found.  So, make sure your domain name is available to purchase as “www.mylocalbusiness.com” and not “www.my-local-business.com”.

Protect Your Brand

Buy Other Versions as Well.  Once you find a domain name that fits all the above criteria, it’s a good idea to buy all its variations (.biz, .info, .org) to protect your brand and prevent anyone else from buying a domain name that is virtually identical to yours.  Then, you can set things up so all variations of these domain names “point” to your .com domain.

Keyword Rich Domain Names

It’s a good idea to look for a domain name that is “keyword rich.” That means, if you own a jewelry store, you should consider a domain name like “www.mytownjewelers.com” and / or “www.mytownjewelry.com”.

Easily Understood

When someone reads of hears your domain name for the first time, they should easily understand what your website is all about – and communicates your brand at the same time.

Copyright issues

Spare yourself future headaches by making sure your chosen domain name does not infringe on any existing copyrights or trademarks.  You can use the online search function at the U.S. Copyright Office to ensure your domain name does not infringe on existing copyrights before you buy.

Unique

A unique domain name that is short and keyword rich will be easier to remember, and can pay big dividends throughout your years in business.

Memorable

Will people be able to remember your domain name after hearing it once?  Even better!

Next Step

Get your domain name and host! See if your chosen domain name is available at Bluehost. Bluehosts includes a FREE domain name with your hosting package.

We specialize in small business websites. If you would like some help please contact us for a free consultation.

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