Selecting the right domain for your business website is no minor task. Getting it right can have an amazing positive impact, getting it wrong can relegate your business to some sparsely populated corner of the digital world. It’s critical your domain makes it easy to be found on the web. Making the “right” domain choice is about much more than just a catchy URL, there are a number of factors to consider:
Understand what your brand is about. At a macro level knowing if your business voice is playful or serious, descriptive or abstract provides a filter for evaluating options. This can be somewhat subjective, but helpful as you evaluate different domain options.
Do keyword analysis in your category to understand what terms are being searched and the relative volume around those terms. Keyword analysis shouldn’t be the primary driver for your domain selection, but understanding terms and volume in your category can be useful information to inform your decision process.
Beware of universal terms
A caution related to keywords, don’t get lost in big search categories. One of the objectives of a good domain is making it easy for people to find you. If you select a domain that includes a widely searched term you are likely dooming yourself to becoming lost in a massive set of search results.
Easy is essential
Long, keyword-friendly domains may work well with search engines, but they don’t work so well with humans. For example, orangutanhammocksandotherjunglemonkeysleepgear.com might describe your business and do well in organic search, but good luck getting anyone to type that out.
Combine easy with memorable and you’ve got something powerful. Of course memorable is subjective, but spending a little extra time finding something likely to be remembered can have a very tangible business impact. The less a customer or potential customer has to think or remember the better.
What’s your geo?
Consider what your target geography really is. If you’re a restaurant you might benefit from including the name of your city or community in your domain to improve your chances of capturing local traffic. If you are a national or global company you’ll want your domain to be more universal.
Do your homework
Be sure to research around names and terms you’re considering to assure you’re not running into trade names, competitors or other potential issues that could land you in legal or competitive troubles. A little extra legwork on this can save you an enormous amount of headache down the road.
There are now hundreds of top level domain extensions, TLDs to choose from. A complete list can be viewed here. http://data.iana.org/TLD/tlds-alpha-by-domain.txt
This is also subjective, .com is still the de facto standard, but there things are opening up considerably in terms of other relevant, interesting domain extensions.
More than one right answer
The goal should be to land on one domain that becomes the primary for your website and email. Explore and consider other domains that may be common misspellings of your primary domain or others that might be likely to align with your business. No need to go crazy with this, but registering a couple additional domains is inexpensive and can be an easy way for a few additional customers to find you.
There’s a lot to consider, but selecting the right domain is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your business. Bluehost is here to make the whole process easy, no matter which domain you select.
Get started with a Bluehost and a shiny new domain here, or give us a call (855-803-8158) to discuss domain options.