A website's domain name (also known as a website address or URL) is an important consideration when establishing your online presence.
Choosing a proper domain name is the first step in the process of building your online reputation.
Remember to choose carefully because this online address could be where your business resides for the rest of its business life.
Now, there are some important tips to consider before choosing your domain name.
1. Choosing your domain name suffix
The domain suffix or top-level domain is simply the suffix of your website address (.com, .net, .org, .ca, etc.).
Most Internet users are familiar with the ".com" extension and generally use it by default when entering addresses in their browsers.
Choosing the ".com" extension should be your fist choice in case your potential customers forget that your address is www.mywebsite.NET and mistakenly visit your competitor www.mywebsite.COM.
Choosing the ".com" extension gives your website the most credibility in the eyes of your customers.
If your business only serves the local community, it makes sense to get a country-specific domain name, such as the extension ".fr".
A country-specific domain name benefits you in two ways: your customers and search engines like Google will know that your website is registered by the French and operated in France.
Potential customers will feel more comfortable knowing that they are dealing with a French company and not with a business pretending to be French.
In addition, search engines will give your site a higher position in the search results when users are doing a France-specific search.
I personally advise my clients to register both the ".com" and ".fr" extensions, if possible.
This way, your French website will benefit from using the ".fr" extension, while ensuring that they can reach your website if they accidentally type the ".com" extension into their browser.
2. Use your business name
The first choice for any domain name is your business name. This ensures that your customers will remember your website address.
You can't expect your potential customers to remember a phrase that only relates to your business.
3. Choose keywords
Including specific keywords in your website address will help you rank in popular search engines such as Google or Yahoo. It is best to choose a keyword that you think your potential customers will use to search for your business.
Search engine optimization (SEO) experts, such as Cost Effective Design, can help you choose your keywords. This type of domain name is used when a customer does not want to use the business name because it is already registered by another company, or the company name is too long.
Any company that is serious about generating traffic through search engines should get a domain name with keywords in addition to your business name.
4. Don't confuse your customers
If possible, try not to use a domain name that contains the following." 2" for "To", "4" for "For", and "u" for "You". These may make your domain name look "cool" or "trendy", but in reality, they are not practical.
These domain names can cause a problem when directing your customers to your website verbally or by phone.
For example, if you own http://www.UsedBooks4U.com, every time you verbally direct someone to your site, you must state that the URL uses the actual number 4 and the letter U.
5. Using, or not using, hyphens
Given that more and more businesses are registering domain names every day, getting the address you want for your website is becoming more and more difficult.
One- or two-word domains are often already registered, forcing new registrants to choose URLs that contain three or four words. to some, these URLs may look like a whole lot of words.
Using hyphens between words can make them more visually appealing. For example, www.used-books-for-you.com looks better than www.usedbooksforyou.com.
The advantage is that they look better and search engines can easily distinguish between separate keywords for better search placement, but the disadvantage is that they are difficult to communicate and type verbally.
The best solution is to register both hyphenated and non-hyphenated domain names to ensure there is no confusion.
6. Domain Name Length
Although you are allowed to use a 67-character domain name, the general rule of thumb is: the shorter the better.
Although in some cases, a website address may be easier to remember if it is more descriptive.
For example, a domain name consisting of only initials, such as www.iou.com may not create a lasting impression compared to the domain name www.Ioweyou.com.
Therefore, it is best to choose a name that is short but contains enough description to be easily remembered by your customers.
7. Purchase an existing domain name
Maybe the domain name you really want has already been registered, either by a legitimate company or by a domain name squatter who is just selling it for profit later.
You can make offers for these types of domains, even though they cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
There are benefits to buying an existing domain name.
In addition to getting the domain name you want, it may also rank high in search engines for certain keywords and/or generate traffic on a specific topic, which will benefit your business.