What is a good website domain name? It’s a question we are asked quite often. Finding a good domain name for your business is important and can have a huge impact on how you show up online.
Your domain name is a part of your online identity and a key branding element for your business. Some businesses even focus more on their domain name in their advertising than their company name because they know that an easy to remember domain name will help customers find them online. In this blog post, we will look at what a domain name is, how it can help you stand out online, and some tips to keep in mind when choosing a domain name.
Now, what is a domain name?
Without getting too technical, a domain name is your online address used to access your website. Behind this name, is something called an Internet Protocol (or IP for short) address (here comes the technical part). This IP address looks something like 18.104.22.168. Not that easy to remember or type into your web browser, is it? That is why there is a system (called DNS or Domain Name System) that translates these cryptic numbers into letters and numbers that are easier to understand.
Understanding the components of a domain name
These are the components of a typical domain name.
- Domain Name: It’s the unique address that points to your website. It includes a name and an extension. Remember, each domain name can only be registered once!
- Name: This is the important part of the domain name. The goal is to have a name that represents your brand. Short and memorable names are always preferred over long and confusing names.
- Domain Extension: This is the part behind the dot, such as .ca (for Canada) and .com. The same name can be registered under different domain extensions (example.ca and example.com are two unique domain names)
- Subdomain: In most cases, you do not have to worry about this as it is included in all domains. Once you own a domain, you can create an unlimited number of subdomains such as www.upload.example.ca.
Here are some tips on choosing a name for your domain
1. Which domain extension (.CA or .COM) is the best?
Because so many domain names are already taken, it can be challenging to find one that fits your brand. For a company mainly operating in Canada, the .ca is an excellent choice. People instantly know that you are a Canadian company, and for local businesses, this actually may be an advantage. If the .com is available for the same name, it is probably a good idea to register both, just in case someone else (a competitor, for example) buys that domain name. Besides .ca and .com, there are over 1,000 other domain extensions. Many of them are specific to a region (for example .mx for Mexico) or an industry (for example .design).
2. Connect with your target audience
Your domain may be for your business, but you should ensure that your domain name resonated with the customers you want to attract. You have to think of what your customers are typing in to find your products or services. By placing those words and phrases in your domain name can help you show up online better. Maybe try determining who your target audience is before you work on your domain name.
3. Be descriptive
Using descriptive words and phrases in your domain name gives your customers a chance to quickly understand who you are and what you have to offer. This could include your company name or the key products or services you offer. Now, if they already know your name, it will be easier to find you. If they are looking for your product or services, they will have the option of your business showing up. An example of a descriptive domain name might be roverspettoys.com. Businesses can even add their locations to their domains. For example, the domain name could be lacombeflowershop.ca. This can address the keywords your potential customers are typing into search engines to find businesses like yours.
4. Make it easy to remember
Whether it is your customers typing it or telling others what your company’s web address is, it is important to ensure it is easy to remember. Keep it short and easy to pronounce and spell. Also, be careful of using acronyms and unique spelling (example: kool instead of cool) in your URL. It could make it confusing and difficult to remember.
5. Is your domain available?
You went through all that work to come up with a domain that you like and will be easy for your customers to enter online, but now you have to see if it is even available. Domain names are sold on a first-come-first-serve basis, so many names have already been taken out since the launch of the Internet, especially the more popular .com domains. To further complicate things, there are domain hoarders out there that purchase domains in order to resell them for a profit later on. Use tools like ww.who.is to see if the domain you have in mind is available. Oftentimes, you will have to be creative if your business or product domain name is already taken by someone else. As a last resort, you can sometimes purchase a registered domain from someone else, but this can become costly.
Once you have the domain secured and you pay the yearly renewal fee, you will have your domain for life.
We hope this helps in selecting a domain name that works for you. But if you need some more information or tips for your website, check out the Ultimate Guide to Building a Website.
Posted: July 12, 2021