There’s a lot of speculation in the world of domain names. What type of domain is best? There are so many types available today that you could easily pick a domain and think it’s perfect when it could actually hurt your business online.
When I google to see how many “top-level” domains there are (I always just say the type of domain – I’m not too down with the lingo), Wikipedia says there are 1543 top-level domains and if we’re being honest there’s only a few that are actually any good. You’re probably asking, what do you mean only a few that are any good? I would recommend you do some research on a term you may not have heard of before called SEO (search engine optimization). I will be sharing tips in the future related on SEO, but essentially your domain name can be a good or bad first step towards being easily found on Google.
There are new fancy domain names like .xyz (I love this one by the way), .shop, .clothing, etc that have come out and although these are very inviting (I’ve bought a few and do enjoy them), they are not very good when it comes to SEO. I would most likely use these to redirect to your real website. So for example, you can use beautiful.clothing in your marketing because it’s easy to remember and have it redirect to your real website which could be beautifulclothing.com. It’s totally up to you, but I just don’t believe it’s a good idea for you to buy any of these and use it for your actual website.
The best top-level domains to use are the original top-level domains. Obviously, the .com is the best. The rest that follows are great too, .org, .net, .co, amongst a few others. So if your domain isn’t available within those choices, I would recommend picking a new name.
Let me give you a few recommendations to help you pick.
1. Make sure your domain is short and easy to read and remember.
Your domain shouldn’t be something complicated or too long. Most companies pick one or two words within their domain, which is a good thing to follow. For example: facebook.com, google.com, wealthytourist.com. Another thing to remember is to not use hyphens, they don’t look professional and aren’t great for SEO either.
Think about it this way:
- If you can’t easily tell someone over the phone what your domain name is, pick a new one.
- If it’s easily confused with other domains, pick a new one.
Imagine yourself on the phone telling a prospect, go check our website sallystasteebuns.com, that could be written in several ways. It could be salystastybuns.com or sallystastybuns.com or maybe the client forgets and thinks it’s shelleystastybuns.com. They could use google to try to find you, but what if you’ve got yourself a .buns domain (I don’t think that’s actually available) and they can’t even find your website on google. Business could be bad. Make sure to test saying your domain before buying. It needs to be something that is easy to remember, easy to say, and easy to brand.
2. Make sure you use the right top-level domains.
As I said already you should always use .com if it’s available. If you really love the name of your domain and don’t want to pick another, you can look for it as a .org, .net, .co, or even the country code top-level domain.
You shouldn’t use a .org domain though if you are starting a business since that is used more by non-profits. So it’s important to use the right domain for the job.
If you are going to use a country code top-level domain, you are required to prove you live or do business in that country so someone from America wouldn’t buy a .ca domain unless they had a corporation or lived in Canada. A business trying to do business with people worldwide shouldn’t have a country code domain in my opinion, because it doesn’t feel like they are a global enterprise.
3. Make sure to avoid trademark infringement.
Let’s say I’m starting a computer company and it’s called mocrosoft, my website would be mocrosoft.com. Imagine all the traffic that would go to you from the people who mistakenly type in mocrosoft.com while trying to get to Microsoft.com? It’s perfect, except for the fact that we’re getting sued by an extremely large company because our domain name can be confused with a well known trademarked brand. If you plan on starting a business named Apples which creates phones, I’d talk to a lawyer before investing too much money.
With all this in mind. Let me put an example on the board and try to help you figure out what’s a good domain and what isn’t.
Let’s start a pizza website with recipes. What could our website or brand be?
Number 1 would not be good to brand. Number 2 is too hard to say, I can’t even say Connoisseur properly. Number 3 is great, because it’s easy to say, brand, and remember.
If you need help picking a domain, feel free to get in touch and let us know what you are thinking. If you are ready to buy your domain, I’d recommend going with GoDaddy as their domain name services are fantastic and their phone support/customer service is fantastic as well. You can get your first domain for $0.99 with this link until 2019.
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