What is a domain name? Well, this is basically the name of your website. It is the address where Internet users can access your website.
Selecting the right domain name is one of the most important decisions that one makes for their business in today’s world. This is because usually, the first thing your potential clients do when searching out your product or service is to conduct a web search, and if your website is relatively easy to find and navigate, you’ll greatly increase your chances of making a sale.
Here are some things you should always consider when choosing your domain name.
- Does it match your company/business name?
Having your domain name match your business/company name is very crucial for your business because it will help potential clients find your website more easily. This easy access will allow them to know your services and also acquire your contact details much faster.
Consistency is key and will prompt you to grow a memorable and strong brand.
- Is it ‘well branded’?
A good brand name is: Unique, Clear, Short, Catchy yet meaningful.
Does yours depict all those traits?
If not, then it’s time to revisit your idea. Think about how it sounds, what it looks like when written down and how relatable it is; if there is a hidden meaning or play on words you’re going for, put your options out to your network and get feedback.
- What appears when you carry out an internet search for your products or services?
Carry out an internet search for your products or services in order to get an insight into what of kind of names get ranked highest. This will give you an idea on what keywords and terms are highly ranking for your chosen products. If you are going to compete with many outstanding domains, sure you pick something which is unique and will easily appears in search results
Tip: Make use of Google AdWords’ Ad preview and diagnostics tool to see what ranks for your brand name in various different countries using various different versions of Google.
- Is it easy to read/spell?
This is a no-brainer for building a strong brand which people remember. Not only that, but it will help people find you.
- Don’t go over the top with keywords
For example, I would choose a good, creative brand name over a keyword-heavy domain name. That’s not to say you can’t have a domain name with a keyword in it if it makes sense.
Let’s say I was building a city guide for Kampala, I might go for a domain like Kampalacityguide.com over Kampalacityguide-locationmap.com. That way I’m including a keyword in “cityguide” but I’m prioritizing a good brand name over keyword stuffing.
Also remember that Google “pursued” low-quality exact match domains (EMD) in 2012 to ensure they do not rank well in the Google search results. That should tell you what Google thinks of spamdexing domain names.
- What TLD?
TLD stands for top-level-domain. A top-level domain is the part which comes after your domain name and before your subpages.
The most common TLDs are: .com, .org, .net, country specific like .ke, .ug, …There are so many other TLDs. But with so many options, how do you know which one to go for? That depends on the nature of your company or business and one’s preferences.
But here are a few things to note for example;
- For business owned and started in a specific country, one may use the country TLD like .ug for Uganda. One may also use a country specific TLD to identify the branch website of the company specific to a particular country.
- For organization, one may use .org
- .coms can be used for any kind of business from shopping sites to corporate companies and some charity organization
- Is it Unique?
Always ensure that no one else is using the same domain that you are aiming for. You might find that although the one you want to go for is available, someone else is using the same domain with a different TLD.
Ideally you want a domain name which is completely unique. You can buy your domain name from various domain name providers, but to help with tracking purposes it’s best to pick it up from the same company you choose for hosting.
Visit https://registry.co.ug to get access to .ug domains available for use.
- Are all the social handles available too?
We agree that it can be quite frustrating to dream up the perfect brand name, get hold of the domain name, and then find out someone else has taken that name on one of the social media platforms, right? Advise here is to carry an intensive search across the internet for the name you plan to use. Try tools like namevine. Even if you don’t plan on using them right away, get hold of the profiles to prevent others from taking them. You know what they say, “Better safe than sorry”.
- Do trademark check
Cover all bases before you go steaming in with your credit card details to buy your dream domain, make sure the name is not already trademarked. You should also look at trademarking the name yourself to avoid potential copyright problems in the future. By trademarking your brand name, you can also stop competitors using that name on their AdWords campaigns.
Whether you own an existing business or have an idea for a startup, you need a strong online presence with the right name. With that in mind, it’s important to be creative, think outside the box, and come up with a domain name that will last a lifetime.