Finding the right domain name for your business can be an astoundingly unnerving task. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the countless options out there, and making a mistake could ultimately be debilitating to your business.
You are not alone.
There are small-business owners all over the world who find themselves scratching their heads on how to approach this important decision. Follow these helpful dos and don’ts and the search for the perfect domain for your business will become less daunting.
First – The dos of buying a domain:
- If your business has a geographical focus, (i.e., the location of your business has a direct impact on your business), then you should consider including the location name or the most relevant and important keyword for your industry. If you are located in Santa Claus, Arizona (yes, that is a real place) then you want your domain name to be: santaclaus[relevant keyword].com.
- Always register your domain name under the business owner’s name rather than under an administrative contact. Think of it like owning a house. When and if it ever comes time to sell that house, only the actual person who owns it can do so. Don’t leave the decision to sell your “house” to an administrator who may not have any long-term investment in your success.
- Set up automatic renewal payments or pay the lump sum of 5-10 years in advance. If you do set up auto renewal, make sure to pay close attention to the expiration date on the card you use. Losing your domain can mean losing contact with clients, or even access to client information, and this can be crippling to your business. Losing clients can quickly cause a business to close its doors.
Second – The don’ts of buying a domain name:
- For most small business, the.com extension is all you need. Don’t waste your money on unnecessary versions such as .net or .co unless you are protecting a trademark or have the marketing power to make it work. The .com has the most value and that’s what you should focus on.
- Say your company’s name is “Yada Yada Yada,” you are probably looking for the domain name yadayadayada.com. If this is unavailable, avoid choosing an alternative that involves dashes, abbreviations, or numbers. It’s much easier for people to find your site without having to type out “Yada-Yada**Yada(blue bird emoji)-wingding”… you get the point. Keep it simple and relevant.
- Make sure you do your homework and never buy a domain name without diving into its history. Without properly checking a domain’s past you may end up with a name that was banned by Google while under previous ownership. On the other hand, if a domain name is too similar to another company’s trademark, even if it is an available domain, you may find yourself in a legal bind. Either way, this leads to time wasted, possibly thousands spent in legal fees, and ultimately finding yourself back at square one in the search for a domain name. And it all could have been prevented with a little research.
These are some simple dos and don’ts, but they are a strong foundation that will make it easier to find the perfect domain name for your business. It’s not a difficult as you might think, and a premium domain will make a big difference in the long run.