Selecting a domain name for your business is much like naming your first-born – it's a decision that will stick with you for a long time. It's crucial to put thought into this, as it's often the first impression that potential customers have of your business. While it’s tempting to pick a funky or ultra-creative name, there are some dos and don’ts to consider. In this post, we’ll be your naming sherpa, guiding you through the mountainous terrain of domain naming, and spilling the beans on its relationship with SEO.
Do: Select a domain name that is easy to remember. If it's catchy, short, and mirrors the name of your business, you've hit the jackpot. Think ‘Amazon’ or ‘Google’ – short, snappy, and they stick.
Don’t: Veer into the realm of hard-to-spell or overly complex words. Your domain name shouldn't need a pronunciation guide or a treasure map to be found.
Do: Stick with letters. This minimizes the risk of typos and keeps the domain easy to share and remember.
Don’t: Get hyphen-happy or become a number enthusiast. Adding hyphens or numbers can lead to confusion. Is that "Five" or "5"? To hyphen or not to hyphen? Spare your potential customers the riddles.
Do: Choose a domain that reflects what your business is all about. If you’re selling handmade candles, something like ‘handmadecandlecraft.com’ could work wonders. Though shorter is better, so craftedcandles.com’ could be even better.
Don’t: Make it vague or irrelevant. Avoid the temptation of picking a name that has nothing to do with your business just because it sounds cool.
It's tempting to think that stuffing your domain with keywords (e.g., bestcheappizzaintown.com) would be an SEO wonderland, but here’s the plot twist - Google has evolved, and such tactics don't hold much weight anymore.
Do: Focus on building a brand. While keywords in domain names had their moment in the sun, Google now values brand signals (elements and indicators that collectively help Google recognize and assess the value of a brand; things like brand searches, backlinks, social presence, reviews, and consistent name/address/phone online). A branded domain can also result in higher click-through rates.
Don’t: Obsess over including keywords. They won't harm you, but they aren't the golden ticket. Your energy is better spent on other SEO aspects like page speed, quality content, and backlinks.
Do: Choose a name that will grow with you. If you’re selling tea but plan to expand to all kinds of beverages, ‘TitanBeverage’ gives you room for expansion.
Don’t: Box yourself into a corner. Avoid overly specific names that won’t make sense if your business expands or shifts focus. ‘TeaTitan’ might limit you down the road while ‘TitanBeverage’ wouldn’t.
Remember, while an engaging domain name is essential, it's just the tip of the iceberg. SEO isn’t solely hinging on this choice; elements like content quality, page speed, backlinks, and user experience are the power players in that arena. Think of your domain name as your street address in the vast city of the internet. Make it easy to find, reflective of your style, and a place where visitors want to keep coming back. In a nutshell, keep it simple, avoid the hyphens and numbers, reflect your brand, focus on building a brand (not just keywords), and think long-term. Happy naming!
Founder and visual artist, specializing in all aspects of a businesses presence from imagery and video to graphics and web. A graduate of IPFW with a Bachelor in Fine Arts, Concentration Photography as well as an Associates Degree in Business. His personal photography works are focused on landscape, travel, and aerial photography.