Consider your domain name to be a part of the branding your company will use to attract customers. It should be well-thought out and not chosen with a knee-jerk reaction to something that sounds nice in the moment.
There are many ways people mess up this aspect of setting up their online business. There are several ways to choose a domain, and it depends on how you approach the process of customers finding your business.
For some, the branding of a quirky business name is very important. This can work well if you strategize a way to explode name recognition for your business. But keep in mind, if you have a strange name that doesn’t explain to the visitor what your domain is about, it might be prohibitive in how people view your site.
Take these two examples:
If you chose a domain name based on a business called FightThe20.com, nobody would have any clue what that site is all about. They’d wonder what the 20 was, who’s fighting what and so on.
But if you had a domain name based on keywords or phrases, it would help prospective visitors understand instantly what your site is about. For example, Lose20Pounds.com instantly tells you all you need to know to have a general idea that this is a weight loss site – and not just weight loss in general, but for those who have 20 pounds to lose.
Keywords help consumers navigate the web to find the best options for them. But even then, there’s a right way and a wrong way to use them in a domain name. First, you need to conduct keyword research.
There are countless paid and free tools you can use to get an idea of how consumers are searching online for business topics like yours. You’ll find broad phrases like “lose weight” and narrow phrases such as “lose weight over 40.”
You can drill down your keywords until you find something that attracts your audience perfectly. You don’t want to go too narrow – so much that you alienate potential customers who would also be a good fit.
For example, you wouldn’t want to choose a domain like LoseWeightForBikiniSeasonOver40.com. This is too long and clunky, for starters. You want a short, memorable domain.
But aside from that, you also are alienating anyone under 40 as well as men. Now if your program is for women only, it’s fine to have a domain such as WeightLossForWomen.com or something similar, but the more barriers you put on it, the more you restrict potential sales of your products or promotions.
Another thing you don’t want to do is use oddball, quirky names like Zirba.com, for example. You may have come up with a neat business name, but unless you can really brand that well, it’s going to be confusing for online consumers.
Even if Zirba is your business name, you can still use a keyword-based domain to promote the brand Zirba. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. Whenever you do your domain name research, make a list of everything you find that’s available and give it a short amount of time to see which one feels like the best fit.
The domain buying process can be confusing, too. Keep in mind that all you need is one year of the domain only. You don’t need hosting through your domain registrar. You don’t need to add on site builders or emails or anything else.
If you end up adding on all of their suggestions, the domain cost will skyrocket from $12 to $100+, and it’s not necessary. You don’t need all of their bells and whistles.
To save money on your domain purchase, look for a coupon code for the place you’re buying it from. For example, you can search for “GoDaddy 99 cent coupon” and find codes that will give you the domain for under $1.
Make sure you grab a dot com domain, too. It’s the most recognized extension for domains, so even if something is taken as a dot com and available as a dot net, keep brainstorming until you hit on an available dot com. You don’t want your competition siphoning off interested customers because they own the dot com extension and you don’t.
Keep in mind that consumers want to learn action steps that provide formidable solutions. If you can grab a domain like Lose20PoundsIn30Days.com, it will give the prospect incentive to click on the URL and find out how you propose they achieve that.
Whenever you sit down to brainstorm your domain, think like a consumer. If you went to Google and typed in a phrase about weight loss, and saw a results list of 10 domains, which one would most entice you to click on it?
Would it be a random site like AnswerMyQuestion.com? Or would a site like FastWeightLossTips.com pull you in more? The weight loss one is more targeted to their exact needs, and looks more professional than a broad, generic domain that might have everything from weight loss to organizing your closet on it.