Choose a domain name for SMEs

CHOOSING a domain name for a small business requires careful thought, as it is often the first thing people see about your business. A business domain name is often thought of as real estate on the internet or the home of your business on the web. It is at the heart of your company’s digital presence.

Here are eight tips to help you select a domain name that’s right for your business and could serve you for years.

keep it simple

The first rule of choosing a domain name is to keep it simple. If your domain name has an unusual spelling or is difficult to type, chances are people could misspell your domain name and not find you on the Internet. Use proper spellings for words, instead of using “u” for “you” or “c” for “see”. If you have to explain how to spell your domain name, it might be too confusing.

Shorter is better

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Consider aiming for six to 14 characters to the left of the dot. The fewer characters your domain name has, the easier it will be to type, say, and share. There is also less risk of losing visitors who might mistype or misspell.

They also allow more of the URL address to appear in search engine listing results, which could help customers find your website quickly.

Add keywords

Using keywords that describe your business and the products or services you offer could make it easier to recognize the nature of your business.

For example, if you run a business that specializes in cakes, you might want to register a domain name that contains the words “specialty” and “cakes,” depending on your business name.

Try to include keywords that people might enter when searching for your product or service, this could help improve your search engine results.

Mention the place

You may want to consider including your location in your domain name by choosing a domain name extension for your location, such as a.ph. or a .sg domain name, showing customers that you are a business located in the country. This could be important for customers who wish to do business with companies located in their country.

Whether you add your location before or after the dot, customers will be able to find you geographically more easily. They would quickly know they were dealing with someone locally based and supporting a local business.

Avoid numbers, dashes

Numbers and dashes could easily be confusing. People who have heard of your domain may not immediately know if you are using a number or if the number is spelled as a word.

Likewise, if you used a hyphen, customers might forget the hyphen and mistype your URL. Or they would remember the hyphen but put it in the wrong place. Either way, the result is the same, a potential customer lost because they couldn’t find your website.

Make it unforgettable

With so many businesses online, there is a lot of competition. It is therefore essential to have a catchy and memorable domain name. An easy-to-remember custom domain name would help encourage word-of-mouth advertising and help spread your brand faster.

If you couldn’t narrow down your domain name to one memorable word, you might consider joining two words together.

Consider all domain name options

The internet has been around for decades, but there is still a strong tendency to choose the a.com domain name extension. So if you can, you can try registering a .com domain address.

But if the .com domain name you want isn’t available, there are a variety of industry-specific domain extensions available, such as .co, .net, .org, .life, .online, and .news. There are also extensions that could clearly indicate the nature of the business, such as.photography,.shop,.club, and.accountant.

Protect your brand

To better protect your brand, consider registering your domain name with various domain extensions, as well as misspelled versions of your domain name, if you think it might help. This could help prevent competitors from registering different versions of your domain name and then using them to hijack your website traffic.

Once you have found the ideal domain name(s) for your business, it is important to verify that the name is not a registered trademark or copyright of any other company.

It can also be useful to check that the domain name you want is available on social media sites, checking Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to make sure the name isn’t already taken, and useful to have the same name on your website and social platforms for consistency.

And finally, be sure to keep your domain names up to date and registered, because you don’t want registrations to expire. Providers, like GoDaddy, offer automatic renewals for domain names to ensure they don’t expire.

Take your time and do it right, and your domain name will be a proud representation of your business for many years to come.

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