With millions of domain names out there, choosing carefully has taken on even more significance. This is true both in terms of branding and ranking in search engine results. To ensure one of the available domain names is the right choice for you, consider these do’s and don’ts of securing your domain name.
Do Include a Keyword
Try to work the most important keyword for your field of endeavor into your domain name. If you’re selling artist’s easels, run a keyword search for “art supplies” or “table top easels” and try to build a name around the most relevant term. In addition to readily identifying your business, this strategy will help it rank highly on search engine result pages.
Don’t Succumb to Trends or Slang
That AwesomeSauce.com domain name might have seemed like a great idea 10 years ago when the words “awesome” and “sauce” were trendy. Today, it just marks you as dated and kitschy. Slang terms have different meanings in different cultures and may not be understood at all in some cases. Choose a name with enduring appeal, capable of being grasped by the vast majority of people. And, make sure it only says what you intend to say.
Do Keep It Pithy
Shoppers might run across your name on a business card, or by word of mouth. In those instances, they will be tasked with typing it into a browser. Do you really want to play the odds that somebody typing a 60-character domain name will get it right on the first pass? Or, that they will even bother trying to type it in at all—let alone remember it? For the best results, keep yours short, sweet, and to the point.
Don’t Get Hung Up on the “.Com” TLD
While the general public has been conditioned to think of the “.com” top level domain (TLD) for anything ‘net related, the pool of available domain names with a “.com” dwindles on a daily basis. It’s better to have a TLD reflective of your location, the interest of your target customer, or whatever industry your business is focused around. Alternatives are likely to be a less expensive choice as well.
Don’t Buy a Trademarked Name
If you stumble upon the fact that a large, well-known concern failed to register its trademarked name for its domain, resist the temptation to claim it and run your site under it. This can be considered a form of trademark infringement and you could wind up paying big money to get out of it.
Search for U.S. trademarks at www.uspto.gov to make sure no one owns a trademark on a name you’re considering. Similarly, investigate the history of your name choice to be certain it is free of legal encumbrances and the like.
Do See If Its Social Pages Are Available
Another consideration when choosing a domain name for your site is its availability on social pages. Given the prominence of social media, owning your name on those platforms is just as important as anywhere else. Before you register that great name, be certain you can use it anywhere you might need to do so.
These do’s and don’ts of securing your domain name will help you choose one capable of serving you well in a broad variety of circumstances. They will also help you avoid the issues many novice registrants tend to overlook. It’s difficult to overstate the importance of getting this right. After all, your domain name is as much your calling card as it is your address on the internet.