First Steps: Choosing a Domain Name
If you are rebuilding your current website, choosing a domain name may not seem as important as it is for those starting fresh. But there are some important points for consideration in either case.
If you are starting a new website, it is critical that this task be performed as one of the first steps. It will set the stage for many of the other decisions that must be made as the project progresses. The domain name is the primary means that your customers will use to find you.
No matter if your customers search for you in a search engine, look you up on a social network, or respond to an advertisement; the domain name will be the one consistent thing that identifies you, your company and/or your products and services.
Why is a domain name so important?
The domain name represents or reflects your brand; who you or your company is and in some cases the products or services that you will be offering. Having an appropriate domain name associates your brand with the website and the message you are trying to convey to your online audience.
A domain name also add a level of trust for your visitors. Have you ever been to a website that refers to a Gmail or Hotmail email for contact information? Having a contact email with the same domain as the website indicates a focus and commitment to the user. It offers them a bit of trust in the message that is being communicated or with the products being sold on the website.
What’s in a domain name?
The cost to purchase a domain name is low; usually between US $10 to $25 per year.
The purchase of a domain name is considered an asset and belongs to you or to the company.
Here are some guidelines for coming up with a good domain name:
- Try not to use dashes or numbers in the name
- Make it pronounceable
- Make it as short as possible
- Try and get a .com
- Make it intuitive – use keywords to tell people what the site is about
You will want to avoid making your domain name sound like a larger company so as not to encounter trademark infringement. Make the domain name your own.
It is ok to break some of these rules but try and keep with the plan. There are no written set of rules for creating a domain name for a website.
Resources or Other sites on the Topic
- How to Choose a Domain Name – Rand Fishkin, moz.com
- 10 tips for choosing the perfect domain name – GoDaddy.com
- 14 Best Free Domain Name Generators on the Internet – WP Beginner
- Best Domain Name Generators – Guru 99
Where do I go to get a domain name?
One item to note here, we purchase our domain name separately from our hosting accounts in order to maintain a level of security. It is nice to have a single place where we manage all of our domain names. But these are kept separate from our other systems and we can configure the domain names to point the various services as required.
Here is a list of a few websites that offer domain name management and purchasing:
Register Social Network Accounts
Another priority, once you have decided on a domain name, is to setup your primary Social Network accounts; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Just like with domain names, it is a good idea to reserve your branded domain name in each Social Network so people can easily associate your domain name brand with your Social Network brand.
It really matters because connecting with people you think might use your products or services will help to collect valuable consumer insights and define your target market.
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