Believe it or not, about 46% of all small businesses in the U.S. still don't use a website. This can be a mistake for many businesses since you lose out on online marketing and the ability to reach a variety of consumers that like to shop online rather than at b&m stores. Before you set up a website for your business, you'll need to create and purchase a domain name. Domain names are registered on domain name servers (DNS) and are like an online address for your business. All of your web pages, or URLs, will sit under this main address. Here are some tips to help you choose the right domain name for your business.
Search Competing Businesses in Your Area
You don't want to purchase a domain name that sounds to another business website in your area. When potential customers type in keywords or your domain name into a search engine, this other business may show up first instead of your website. Potential customers may click on the other business instead of yours. While you obviously want to keep your domain name relevant to your sector, make sure that it is somewhat unique.
Work with a Domain Broker
There are domain name services and domain brokers that can help you settle on the right name. Domain name brokers can also find you domain names within your budget. As you can imagine, there are catchy domain names that may cost more than a lengthier name. Some domain brokers also provide hosting, which you may want to look into. While the domain name is your website address, web hosting is where the data (images, HTML, etc.) for your website is actually stored.
Try to Get a Dot.com Domain
W3techs.com says that domains that end in .com are by far the most popular. While there are sites with .net, .org, .blog, etc., it's a good idea to do .com since that's often people's default when they type in a web address. If you are unable to get a .com name, then it's a good idea to see if your web host can apply a redirect so that people can be directed to your website even when they type in the address incorrectly.
Keep it Simple
Now's not the time to be fancy. Try to use a shorter domain name if you can since it'll be easier for customers to remember. Don't use hyphens—if possible—and, unless your business contains a number in its name, avoid these characters as well. Consider adding keywords in your domain name that customers will be using to search for your services. Lastly, avoid any alternative spellings of common words or names. For instance, if your name is "Emmalee" and you put that in your domain, people may end up typing "Emily"; so, it may be better to leave your name out of the domain.
Contact domain name services in your area for more tips.