Are you having trouble choosing a domain name?
Discussed below are tips and ideas on how to choose one like a pro.
1. Include Your Brand Name in The Domain
Consider including your brand’s name in the domain to make it simpler and more memorable. People are more likely to remember your brand than anything else. An excellent example of this is Canadagoose.com, the domain for Canada goose is more effective than if it was named Canadianwinterjackets.com
2. Make It Descriptive and Intuitive
Let the domain name be reflective of what the business is about. You can do this by including the main keywords that audiences will be searching for. Don’t make them guess what your domain name is. Affordablehomesinvancouver.ca, toysfortoddlers.ca, etc. are excellent examples of descriptive domain names.
You can use tools such as Google Trends and Ubersuggest to help you discover popular keywords that you can use as well. Google Trends lets you know of the latest trending and keywords related to your business. Ubersuggest will help you discover the number of searches entered for the said keyword in a month.
You might also want to consider including a keyword(s) in the domain as well. Although Google may not show much interest in it, adding a keyword or two to your domain name can give you an SEO advantage. This is particularly beneficial when used as an anchor text in link building.
Use your brand in the primary domain name, then register an additional keyword-rich domain as well. This way, the domain name will help users identify your brand or domain while at the same time presenting information about specific services and products you have to offer.
3. Consider. Com and .CA First Before Anything Else
This, of course, depends on your target audience. If targeting shoppers across the world, then the .COM extension would be a much better fit than.CA. The .CA extension however resonates well with Canadian shoppers if you are doing business in Canada. Secure both extensions if they are available, you never know what the future holds.
Contrary to popular belief, the .CA extension is more beneficial if targeting Canadian shoppers as compared to using .COM. This is because the .CA extension identifies your business as Canadian based, hence customers will look there first.
4. Keep the Domain Short and Memorable
Try to avoid long domain names for they are not only easily forgotten but can also be misspelled as well. For the best results, consider a domain name with not more than 20 characters. Avoid slang or abbreviations that could make the domain harder to spell.
A good example is PopularSci.ca and PopularScience.ca. Although the first domain is shorter, it is not as easy to remember as the second one. It is worth noting that, short domains are rarely available online. 5-letter domains are scarce while 3-4 letter domains have already been reserved for popular extensions.
5. Consider Separate Domains Per Language
If your website is serving bilinguals, you might then want to consider registering two separate domains. One domain will serve one language. If targeting English and French visitors, for instance, you will want both to find the right domain or site. The Hudson Bay Company is a good example of such. It has two registered domains, labaie.com (French) and thebay.com (English).
Spelling may differ from one language to the other. Some words are spelled differently in British and American English. That said, consider using the right spelling for each target audience. This is if you are targeting Americans on one side, and British on the other
6. Get Creative
There are times when you won’t be lucky with a .COM or .CA extension. If this happens, you can then get creative with the hundred’s available domain extension. You will be surprised at the number of domain extensions you can use to serve the same purpose, or even better.
7. The Domain Name Should Be Easy to Pronounce
Go for a domain name that is not only unforgettable, but an easy to pronounce one over the phone or verbally. Easy to pronounce domain names get more attention and positive association as compared to the complicated ones. You never have to spell the domain for people to understand it.
Slang, hyphens, and numbers should be avoided when creating a domain name. If you have to use any of these, say a number, then consider registering both the word and number version of the domain. E.g., Top10lists.ca and TopTenLists.ca. Domain names such as get-more4less.ca should be avoided but register getmoreforless.ca instead.
8. Consider A Localized Domain
This is important if targeting local audiences. Adding a province, region, or city to the domain name will increase relevance to the target audiences. Experts recommend having a main website, then creating additional websites for a specific location using a localized domain and content. This comes in handy for individuals/companies looking to operate stores in different regions.
9. Steer Clear of Trademarks
Although the domain name may be available online, a registered company might have that name already. Using such will only lead to costly legal battles should the registered business decide to sue. For this reason, you need to steer away from any trademarked name and instead, create a unique name yourself. Coming up with a unique name helps avoid all these battles and the possibility of losing your domain name in the first place.
Check with the Canadian Trademark Database for trademarks that are already registered. You should also avoid using or including another company’s brand in your domain name. This is regardless of whether you choose to include typos or misspellings on the same. Doing so only attracts lawsuits.
10. Ensure the Brand and Visitors Are Protected
Registering domains with similar names is one of the best ways to protect your brand and visitors. Commonly known as defensive registration, doing this protects you from competitors and hackers from targeting you or your loyal customers. This eliminates potential showdowns and problems in the future. Defensive registration also helps increase your business’ success rate by increasing traffic.
The most common defensive registrations include:
a. Popular extensions – This involves registering your domain in all available traditional extensions. E.g.CA, .NET, .COM, .CO, and .ORG
b. Misspellings – look out for commonly misspelled words related to your brand, then register the popular variants. These include typos and reverse-spelling.
c. Alternatives – Possessives and plurals can be confusing to the user. For this reason, consider registering plurals and possessives or your brand. A good example is JoesOrganicFoods.com. Joeorganicfoods.com and Joesorganicfood.com should be registered to protect the brand.
d. Bilingual – If considering entering into another market or language, registering a translation of the domain would be a wise move.
Domains cost about $20 per year. Taking on defensive registration can double or triple the amount very fast. You should, therefore, consider risk tolerance, the revenue the business is generating, and how valuable your brand is before making a move.
11. Use a Domain Spinner
A domain spinner is a tool that helps determine a domain accurately. This is because some domains may be already registered even though the website isn’t running yet. A domain spinner provides alternatives and suggestions for the entered domain name. It would, however, be advisable to look for an effective domain spinner to get conclusive and accurate results.
A good spinner should:
1. Provide domain availability results fast
2. Search your domain over a multitude of potential domain extensions, as well as make suggestions
3. Allow easy and quick registration of a domain or more
4. Minimize service upsells
Thousands of fresh domains are registered every day. These are registered on a first come first served basis. Having your domain name registered before someone thinks of it will not only save you time but money in the long run. Some people choose to invest in a domain aftermarket for thousands of dollars. Although buying an already popular domain may seem like a shortcut, the satisfaction of registering yours is fulfilling. You also get the chance to protect the domain in ways the previous user never thought of.
There are limitless opportunities that one can take to register his/her domain name. Using the tips outlined above, the process should be straightforward and without any hurdles. Registered a new domain opens the door for fresh new opportunities for your brand.