Step One of Setting up Your Website: Deciding On your Domain Name

Deciding on your website domain is a serious endeavor

How to Select a Website Name

Choosing the right domain name is important for any business as it can impact your brand identity, search engine optimization, and overall online presence. Ideally, your domain name should match your business name as closely as possible (so if you don’t already have a business name in mind, this is your reminder to start with that!). This helps to reinforce your brand identity and makes it easier for customers to find you online. When people search for your business, they are likely to search for your business name or a variation of it, so having a domain name that matches your business name can improve your search engine optimization and make it easier for customers to find your website.

However, sometimes it may not be possible to find or obtain a domain name that matches your business name exactly. Most often this will happen if your business name is not unique enough or already taken. In this case, you can consider using a variation of your business name or incorporating relevant keywords into your domain name. You might also consider using a different top-level domain (TLD), which means that you could see if the domain name you want is available with a different FINAL PART of the domain name (for example, instead of the usual “.com” ending, you may find that the name you want is available with a TLD of “.net,” or “.io”).

The use of “non-dot.com” TLDs has become more common and accepted – but keep in mind that certain TLDs have a specific meaning (for example “.org” tends to signify that the website represents an organization and often gets used to signify that the site represents a government agency or non-profit group). So the point here is, you can certainly make use of a less-common TLD to get the domain name you want (often they are available for significantly less money!), but do your research and make sure that you understand the meaning of the TLDs before you purchase a domain name that ends with something other than “.com.” The key is to choose a domain name (including the TLD) that is easy to remember and relevant to your business.

How to Research Available Website Names

There are many companies that offer domain name registrar services, and chances are that you’ve heard of some of them: GoDaddy is well known for its advertising campaigns, and domain.com is another, and there are a myriad of others – but they all essentially offer the same service: If you search for a name, they can let you know if that domain name is available, and they can also sell you any available names you find and then register it to you so no one else can make use of that name after you purchase it. So if you are still searching for a name, you can check the availability of domain names (and compare prices) on any one of these registrar websites.

The domain name registrar we use and recommend is name.com. If you will be following our step-by-step guide for launching a website, we recommend using their services simply because we can provide more detailed instructions for some additional steps later in the website launch process. But you are welcome to use any domain name registrar you like.

It’s important to note that even if your domain name doesn’t match your business name exactly, you can still create a strong brand identity by using consistent branding elements such as your logo, color scheme, and messaging across all your marketing channels.

Additional Suggestions for Domain Names

Here are some additional recommendations for finding balance when picking a domain name for your business:

  1. Keep it simple and memorable: Your domain name should be easy to remember, easy to spell, and easy to pronounce. Where possible, avoid using hyphens or numbers, which can make it harder for people to remember your domain name.
  2. Use relevant keywords: Consider incorporating relevant keywords into your domain name that relate to your business or industry. This can help with search engine optimization and make it easier for people to find your website.
  3. Make it unique: Stand out from the competition by choosing a domain name that is unique and distinct from others in your industry.
  4. Consider branding: Your domain name is a crucial part of your brand identity, so it should align with your overall branding strategy. Make sure your domain name is consistent with your business name and other branding elements, such as your logo and tagline.
  5. Check for availability: As mentioned above, before settling on a domain name, make sure it is available and not already in use by another business. You can use any domain name registration website to check availability and reserve your domain name.
  6. Think long-term: Choose a domain name that you can grow with and won’t become outdated as your business evolves. It’s also important to consider potential trademark issues or conflicts in the future.

The key idea is choosing a domain name that reflects your brand and helps you stand out online. With some research and careful consideration, you can find the perfect and balanced domain name for your business – and hopefully for a reasonable price! Popular or common name domains will usually cost much more than something unique, but you should be able to find a domain that is available and that won’t break the bank. (Most domain names will cost you no more than $20 per year or so.)

Happy name hunting and comment below to let us know how this step went for you!

P.S. If you’ve completed this step, keep the momentum going! This article will walk you through the next steps.

Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-and-black-scrabble-tiles-on-a-white-surface-5652026/

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