If you are trying to do business today, you know that a good online presence makes all the difference. Social media obviously makes the world go around; email is the main form of communication; and your website is your calling card. Your company’s online presence is the main tool in building and promoting your brand. But before you start designing a perfect website, you need to secure a perfect domain name. In reality, that might prove harder than it sounds. But don’t worry! We’ve got some advice on how to grab an ideal domain name for your online empire!
The first thing you might have to accept is that your primary choice could already be taken. The domain needs to be as close to your company’s name or very intuitive and logically connected to your business. It is also important that you make it short and sweet: no one cares to remember a too long and complicated URL. Make a list of possible options – be playful. Sometimes you can create brilliantly catchy names using a different top level domain, or several of them. This is why, it might be a good idea to look for cheap domains, especially if you are about to purchase more than one.
Even if your preferred domain is available, it’s worth checking whether it’s too similar to an already registered trademark. You especially don’t want any legal trouble down the road, when your site is already established and has regular visitors. It’s better to change the name slightly than to end up with a lawsuit on your hands. Depending on your location, you can check out the US Patent and Trademark Office, its equivalent in your country, or one of the online international databases.
Be Careful How You Register
If you have hired an IT professional to deal with buying your domain name and building your website, you are in danger of making a seemingly innocuous mistake, but one that could pose plenty of serious problems later on. Many people fail to register their domain in their own name. Treat your domain name as an asset. You wouldn’t want to have your business or house registered in someone else’s name, so why would your domain be any different. Be aware that if your company’s domain is in someone else’s name, you won’t have any rights to it, even though it is your company.
To SEO or Not to SEO
The point of every website is to reach its audience, but in most cases that is easier said than done. While SEO optimization will always be a huge part of running your page, there is a way to kick-start the process by putting a keyword in your domain. Of course, this requires a bit of thought and balance. A keyword in the domain name will drive traffic your way, but you must be careful to still make the name recognizable as part of your brand. Another really great way to improve traffic is to put your location in the domain. This way, every time someone puts in your location as a search word, your page is likely to pop up. This is an excellent way to improve your business if you are looking for local customers.
Don’t dismiss your domain name as unimportant. It is an integral part of the way you will present yourself online, and will be a useful tool in attracting clients. As part of your branding process, your domain needs to be on message. And of course, you will be stuck with it for years to come, so it’s best to be wise and think ahead.