10 Tips on Choosing the Right Domain Name for Your Business

Before we jump into this, I understand that your business may have a website domain name that you have been using for years. No problem. Seldom have I recommended a client change a domain. And a business can still optimize their website even if another domain name might have worked better.

So let’s get started.

1. Use keywords. These are words typically used in searching online for the goods and services you offer. And Google wants to know what you “are” more than what they want to know what you “so.” So the word “dentist” is preferred over “dentistry” in the domain name; “plumber” is preferred over “plumbing.”

2. Include your locale in the name. This assumes you are targeting clients closer to your place of business. duluthdentist.com is better than happydentist.com for a searcher in Duluth. It probably does not help in neighboring Johns Creek, but it will not hurt a Johns Creek search.

3. Be a “.com”. This is more of a customer expectation issue. The .com extension seems to reflect to consumers a business this in more established and a leader in the field. If your target group is the general public, this should be a consideration.

4. Make it easy to type. (A) It should not be too long. (B) It should be easy to spell. (C) It should not contain words or sounds hard to remember.  Some tout that you should not use hard to type letters and they include the following: q, z, x, c, and p. I would not worry about this last consideration too much.

5. Keep it short. This was in the prior tip, but it bears repeating.

6. Don’t use slang. Using a “U” instead of “you” or “xpress” instead of “express” creates a retention problem for people when you give you website out.

7. Avoid hyphens and numbers. @tlanta inbound violates this rule (for a reason) but I do regret our “-” every time I give our website out verbally. Of course, if the domain includes a number, you must explain if it is the numeral or the word.

8. Meet expectations. Do prospects know what you to expect from you business from your domain name. CareerBuilder.com and AutoTrader.com do this. Amazon, Zillow and Google don’t. These latter domains work only after a big effort at brand marketing. With limited resources, locals should be careful.

9. Be wary of trademark issues. You can visit the US Trademark and Patent Office website to do a quick search.

10. Miscellany. You can be personal and use your name, but that does not help in search and usually lengthens the name. The website does not have to be your technical business name (@tlanta inbound is really just a small portion of our business name).  Don’t use abbreviations and first letters of words – they really provide no help in search and hard to remember.

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