8 Tips for Registering a Business Domain Name
Setting your business up with its own domain name has a wide array of benefits: it adds credibility and professionalism to your business, it enhances your branding and image, it creates a connecting email address, and it gives you the option to invest in privacy protection for your website.
However, registering a domain name is not as simple as you may initially think. Literally hundreds of millions of domain names have been created since the Internet first took on worldwide prominence in the early 1990s, meaning that creating a unique domain name can be a tough task today. That's why we've compiled a list of handy tips to help simplify what can be an otherwise arduous task.
1. Keep it simple and relevant. This means short, catchy, and memorable. Essentially, you want a domain name that is easy to spell, easy to remember, and of course reflective of your business – not only its services, but also its staff and specific style.
2. Don't restrict yourself. While you want to keep your name relevant, you also want to allow yourself flexibility to expand your business or shift its direction later down the track. Changing domain names is a lengthy and laborious process, so it's wise to choose one you can stick with for a long time.
3. Consider your online business strategy. Do you plan to generate traffic to your website via SEO (search engine optimisation) or PPC (pay per click)? You can easily incorporate SEO keywords into a more general and wide-encompassing domain name, therefore bolstering your website's discoverability and creating high rankings on Google. If you have decided on paid advertising such as banner advertisements on related websites, a more unique and 'brandable' name might be the way to go.
4. Avoid hyphens and numbers. When the domain name you had your heart set on is already taken, it can be tempting to simply add slight variations to your desired name in order to secure its availability. However, this is highly unadvisable – symbols such as hyphens and numbers are difficult for customers to remember and business-owners to communicate, and can often appear cheap and spammy.
5. Opt for '.com'. There are many domains out there, but the most popular top-level one is the globally-recognised '.com'. When typing a website name, most audiences will instinctively add '.com'. If your business is specific to your country, for instance Australia, then it may be wise to choose the domain name '.com.au'.
6. Do your research. Take the time to check whether your desired domain name has already been used in the past. Often spammers will purchase domain names then abandon them, meaning that when they become available again they have already been banned by Google. Obviously, this will make your business incredibly difficult to discover online!
7. Protect your niche. Depending on your intended cost output, it can often be a good idea to purchase multiple domain names that are similar to yours in order to protect your brand and decrease your business's chances of competition against related websites.
8. Lastly, get a second opinion. When you spend hours and hours deliberating over the perfect domain name for your business, you often become immune to the very task at hand. As with anything, it's always a good idea to run your ideas by a fresh pair of eyes (and ears!) before you settle on your final decision.