A domain by any other name? Picking the right address for you
Last Updated on June 23, 2022
Creating a domain name for your website: Seems simple enough. On the surface, this task is as easy as buying a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks.
Yet, as we all know, one misstep could hinder your customers from accessing your website (and a misstep at Starbucks could result in a poorly caffeinated experience.)
Let’s explore best practices for choosing the right domain name for your digital marketing efforts.
Coming up with catchy (and strategic) contenders
Your search for a great domain name could be as easy as using already-existing elements of your branding. Let’s start at the beginning with the name of your business.
Is your business name easily spoken, memorable, and relevant when it comes to the products and services you offer? If so, that’s a simple and succinct contender for your strategic domain. If not, it may be time to brainstorm alternatives. You want to make sure all of your possible choices are easily brandable. Great examples of brandable domains are Google, Kodak, and Lenovo; basically, you want your domain to sound credible, feel unique, and be easy to read and say.
Before buying any domain name, you want to make sure you have several alternatives either as a backup or to use with additional marketing efforts.
What about creating the domain name extension?
A domain name extension is the set of letters (after the period) at the end of your domain name. According to Sproutriase.com, there are roughly 370+ million domain extensions being used. The top five domain name extensions are com, .tk, .cn, .de, and .net. Other popular extensions include .ru, .org, and .biz. Check out your options to see whether you want to go with one of the top options for accessibility, or seek out less-used extensions for originality. For example, we love Stojo’s URL – stojo.co; it feels light and fresh, and contributes to their branding in a great way.
Put it all together, sound it out, see how it feels
Now put together your domain name suggestions with your chosen domain name extensions. Read them aloud to see if they are easy to pronounce and memorable. Next, see how they look and read on various branding materials. You want to make sure it is readable at various sizes.
Time to make the purchase.
But where do you go for this? There are an infinite number of domain name registrars. Some of the most popular ones are GoDaddy, Network Solutions, Domain.com, BlueHost, and HostGator. You can create an account with any of these options or have your digital marketing team handle the purchase. The purchase cost could start as low as $1 USD.
At a minimum, you will want a 2-year agreement with the Registrar for managing your domain. The Registrar’s role is to make sure your domain isn’t hijacked, accidentally transferred, or lapses out of ownership. Other services offered by a Registrar could be email management, web hosting, and even website builder services.
Before you buy (or skip) any of these additional services, make sure you discuss them with your team. Some may be valuable, and some may just not be for you–but you’ll want to make sure upfront before you make these selections.
What if my domain name is already taken?
If your chosen domain name is taken, don’t worry! This is where the other options you brainstormed can come into play. If you are dead set on your first choice, a domain that someone else may already be using, you can reach out to the current owner to see if they want to sell it. In these cases, it can be helpful to enlist a broker to help negotiate with the current owner.
Need assistance with creating and purchasing a domain name? We’d love to help you figure out the best solution for your needs. Contact us today and let’s talk.