When it comes to creating a new brand, you might have thought that selecting a domain name should be one of the most straightforward parts of the process – but you’d be mistaken.
Selecting an effective domain can be an incredibly challenging proposition. Fortunately, it can be made a lot more manageable by following our straightforward guide below…
1. Keep It Simple
In business, as in life, often the most straightforward solution is the best one. When it comes to choosing a domain name for your online presence, the optimal approach is to choose yourcompanyname.com. It’s simple, effective and the most common sense solution to the problem – however it’s not always an option that’s available. In many cases, you’ll find that yourcompanyname.com has already been registered by someone, particularly if you’ve chosen a less-than-unique name for your brand.
If you find that to be the case, you’ll want to avoid using a name that could create confusion, restrict your company from further growth, or pigeonhole your brand. Adding a descriptive suffix is often a reasonable solution, but keep the potential ramifications in mind when doing so. Looking for broad descriptors is always a good idea. Use “media” instead of “graphics”, “productions” instead of “video”, or “creative” instead of “web design”, so ensure compatibility with further growth. Even if you don’t intend on moving outside your current scope, it’s always good to have the option to do so should things change down the line.
One thing you don’t want to do is start adding in words that make your brand seem smaller, less productive or unnecessarily “niche”. This extends to adding a location to the title, like “Canada” or “Toronto”. On first glance, that might make perfect sense, but what if you want to appeal to potential customers outside that area? Always think two steps ahead and you won’t go too far wrong.
2. Is Regional Domain for You?
In many cases, new business owners rush straight for the top level domain extension that reflects their location, such as .ca in Canada, or .co.uk in the United Kingdom, since they believe it’ll reassure their clients that they’re dealing with a local company. While the sentiment is hard to argue with, there are very few potential customers out there who will ever opt for a company based on whether or not their TLD is regional, but on the flip side, there are plenty who will choose not to a company you because it is.
If you have weighed up the pros and cons of a .ca/.co.uk/etc. TLD and decided it’s the route you want to take, then it’s a good idea to also purchase the .com variant of the domain and forward it to your regionalized domain (or vice versa). This will prevent someone else from picking up the .com version and confusing your customers.
3. A Shorter Domain Name is Better
A shorter domain name is far more desirable than a long one. Wherever possible, try to stick to just a single word, or if that’s not available, then aim for no more than two. While this matters little for URLs shared digitally, whether through social media or via email, it’s a big deal when attempting to verbally communicate your online location to a third party. The less scope for confusion the better.
4. Avoid Difficult Spelling
The last thing you want is to miss out on a potential lead because they can’t spell your website name, or can’t figure out whether to use “four”, “for” or “4” when typing it into their browser. Using numbers can be very risky, so try to look for alternatives wherever possible to give yourself the best possible chance of converting interest to a sale.
5. Don’t Make Rash Decisions
There are plenty of tools out there that’ll allow you to brainstorm domain ideas, such as https://ca.godaddy.com/domains/bulk-domain-search.aspx, so make sure to use them in your preliminary idea sessions. Once you’ve identified a handful of potential domain names, allow yourself to sit on them for a day or two. Ask friends and family for their input, and use their feedback to help you to identify the ones that’ll be the most impactful and effective.
Coming up with an effective domain name isn’t easy these days, but Boundless Productions can help you cut through the noise to find the one that could make the difference between success and invisibility. To speak with a member of our branding team, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 1877.617.2811 today.