5 Tips For Choosing A Name For Your Website by Market Action Research
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When you create a free website, using popular platforms like WordPress, Shopify, Wix, and others you probably noticed your site’s default web address to be something like yourbiz.wordpress.com. When you’re ready to expand your idea and establish a more professional appearance online – the next reasonable step would be to purchase a custom domain name (web address), such as www.Martians.co (if it wasn’t already taken!). Having a custom domain name is a smart next step to carve out your online presence.
You can search and register your domain in just a few clicks and a few minutes, but choosing the right domain name for you site can sometimes prove to be a challenge. Here are a few tips to consider before you choose your domain name.
Search to See If a Website Address is Available to Buy If you’re a one man show or big organization, it has become more important in today’s world than ever to have real-time information. There are several sites that you can use to search for domain names, but one of our favorite tools to use is NameCheap.com. NameCheap allows you to search for free to see if a domain name is available, and within seconds return alternatives or names that are close to your search. This saves tons of time, and potentially lots of heartache in cases where an agreed upon and beloved name is already taken.
Does your website name make sense? Does your website describe in some way what you do? Is your domain name easy to read and say aloud? These are a few good questions to ask when deciding if your new domain name will be memorable. Puns can be fun to use for your business name, but should not be used at the expense of clarity of what your business is all about. If it takes more than a few seconds to explain your domain, it’s probably too confusing.
People generally search for three reasons; because they want to “do something”, “know something”, or “go somewhere”. With this in mind, each company has to decide how they want to build their brand. We highly doubt that in January of 1892 when Coca-Cola opened it’s doors were wondering how many people would search for “Coca-Cola” or “Coke” online in the future. Besides the fact that internet would not be invented for over 70 more years, this would have been impossible for many reasons at the time. Point is, that each brand name will have its own hill to climb to reach a point of recognition to become a “household” name.
Since the advent of the internet, there has been several changes to the way that people find websites. We’ll skip the history lesson this time, and jump into what it is right now. Before, having all the right keywords in your domain name had a higher dominance in search engines. Today, popular search engines like Google, Yahoo, & Bing are more interested in the content of your site than a domain name with all the hit keywords. In other words, it’s easier today to come up with a brand name like Coca-Cola than it was a few years ago and have it become a recognizable and searchable brand online.
However, we do find that marketing a name that actually makes sense can generally make it easier to market. For example, an online pet food store called “PetFoodOnline.com” is probably going to be an easier sell to make in paid advertising (like Google AdWords), than a site named “FluffyScruffyMcDuffy.com” Although the second name rolls off the tongue with ease, it does not really make a whole lot of sense and is hard to identify as pet food by the name.
Nothing can be more confusing when the website of a company is different than their Facebook Page, which is different than their Twitter handle, which is different than… You get the point! Making sure your domain name is available on social media is sometimes an often mistaken step in a domain name search. Investing a ton of time and money into a webstore is already a big and important undertaking, and would be a shame if parts of your marketing dollars were going to fund your competitors or another person’s company (although we a sure they are all great people!). The bottom line is to make sure your marketing efforts are going towards actually benefiting your brand. Spending the extra time to research if your domain is also available on social media is something you won’t want to forget!
Speed and real-time information, like mentioned earlier, are more important in today’s world than ever before. Remember when we mentioned using sites like NameCheap.com to search? Well, you have got to remember that there are other people and companies that are out there too that have the tools. In fact, some companies even search through the searches made for domains by other companies so that they can purchase them for themselves and sell at a higher and later price. This sometimes happens within minutes of the search. So we suggest that if you find a name that is a strong candidate for your domain name, buy it now, and decide if you want it later. You can always buy a domain, and later set it to redirect to your primary domain name if it does not end up being the actual name of the business.