Whether you are a solopreneur or small business, having an online presence is a must. After all, your website will likely be the first impression of any potential customer or client. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to go about getting set up with one of the most important factors in running a successful business.
The only thing more important than having a website is picking the right domain. And with millions of options out there, what is a founder to do when it comes to registering a domain? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back:
Keep It Simple
No one is going to remember a domain name that could double as the world’s most secure email password. Keep it to a long word or a short phrase so that potential users will be able to remember it and visit again without pulling out a notepad.
As for punctuation, the only kind you could technically use is a hyphen but you should avoid it, particularly because it’s impossible to use any other kind. Even numbers are a bit iffy, as you’ll want people to spell what you pronounce easily. Simplicity is your best friend when it comes to picking your domain name, and if you can get away with a little personality and creativity, more power to you.
Research, Research, Research
While simplicity is key when it comes to picking a domain name, hastiness can be deadly. If you didn’t already know, the internet has been around for a long time, which means a lot of domains are taken and accounted for and might have baggage.
The list of issues this can cause for a startup with a new website is infinite. You could end up with a domain name that can be easily confused for another. Your domain name might actually be a curse word in a foreign language. But if you do your research, you’ll be sure that you picked the right one.
As for the baggage, make sure to check the history of your domain. It would be good to check it out on Whois that unveils the name of previous owners, history, diagnostics and previous owners. Another tool is Internet Archive that has some information on previous websites on your domain since it launched.
That Pesky SEO
SEO, in all its confusing glory, does play a big part in the exposure of a website. Having things like keywords and geographic locations within your domain could give you the added boost you need to really make an impact.
If your company is based in Chicago, maybe try to throw that in there to get a little extra attention. If you’re company makes shoes, but the word “shoes” isn’t in your company name, maybe add it at the end to make sure anyone searching for shoes end up on your page. However, you have to be aware that just adding a keyword is not going to cut it. When it comes to SEO rankings, it’s all about the content and the value you provide to your users.
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Make It You
If you are looking to highlight the culture of your company, the personality of your team or if you really want to make an impact with your online presence, a catchy, unique domain name could make all the difference in the world, particularly with such a saturated market when it comes to popular websites.
An interesting domain extension, a clever arrangement of letters, even a cheeky pun could be all you need to attract potential customers to your website. And if the first impression was that strong, there’s no telling how high you’ll be able to fly.
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This article was brought to you in partnership with .ME, the premium top-level domain for professionals focused on building their online reputation. Learn more at www.domain.me.