Choosing Your Domain in the Age of Dot ANYTHING
Begin by finding a domain name that is creative, memorable and relevant to your brand. A key part of a domain name is the top-level domain extension, that is, the part coming after the dot, such as .shop for ecommerce; .press for media and news; .loan for finance; .law for legal; .bank for banks; or .me for personal; etc.
It is a safe bet that some of the most desirable names may already be taken, so be creative. Your domain name may very well become how the world refers to your company both online and in the real world. Don’t make it confusing for website visitors to figure out what your business does. Say it all with a great domain name.
Choosing the right domain name for yourself or your business is a big decision. Your domain name is more than the words you type into the browser; it’s the foundation for your online identity. Here are some tips:
- Once you choose the most relevant top-level domain extension, then focus your creative juices on crafting the best description for the words in the domain that come before the dot, such as: commercial.loans or beachfront.realestate.
- The easier your domain is to communicate and remember, the better.
- Shorter is better.
- Make it pronounceable.
- Don’t include hyphens.
- Don’t include numbers (because people will forget whether it is the number 7 or the word seven).
- Don’t include words that are not spelled how they sound; avoid difficult abbreviations in an attempt to make the domain shorter. Also, don't use slang like U for you or 2 for to.
- Be memorable. Your name should come to a person’s mind after they have seen it on a billboard or the side of a truck, even if they lost your business card.
- Customers will find your website URL address on email, flyers, newsletters, search queries so make it sticky.
- The more you or your company can tell a story with its domain, the better.
- Put on your marketing cap and make a list of five possible choices.
- Your domain is one of the best places to use keywords. You’ll want to condense them and place them closer to the beginning of your domain: SkyDivingTours.com is better than ToursForSkyDiving.com
- Be careful about trademark or copyright violations, another reason why it might be safer to use your personal name or business name as part of your domain.
- Double-check social media to make sure any relevant social media handles are still available, thus making it easier for visitors to find your business on social media. Use “namcheckr” to quickly check the availability of your name across a wide variety of social sites.
- Once you decide on purchasing the domain name you want, act quickly because it is “first come, first served."
- Consider selecting “auto-renew” or registering for multiple years so you don’t forget to renew.
- If you opt for the Privacy feature, anyone searching the Whois records will not be able to find your name, address or phone number.
- Do it today.
Now is the time to take advantage of the opportunities opening up on the next generation of the Internet. Even if you have a well-established .com domain, consider the opportunity to be among the first to obtain an additional digital identity, one that has semantic value and stronger marketing appeal for you and your brand.
Once again, it is “first come, first served” in the domain world, so explore and reserve your new TLD domain name of choice now and not wait until someone else grabs it.
There is a domain land rush going on. With more choices, it is just more subtle. If you previously failed to secure the .com name you wanted, don’t miss the boat this time.
You can read more from our series: From Dot Com to Not Com in the Age of Dot Anything. In this article, we discuss Driving Awareness and Adoption of New Top Level Domains.
Saul Klein and John Reilly are the Founding Principals of InternetCrusade®, an early Network Solutions Domain Partner, and one of the first domain affiliates of Melbourne IT. InternetCrusade® created the first secure domain transfer systems in the world when ICANN approved five testbed registrars in 1999. InternetCrusade.com has been a provider of quality email and domain services to the real estate industry since 1997.
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