Selecting the right domain name plays an important role in setting up a great website, creating a strong brand and establishing a successful online presence. It has come to gain even more prominence after the Google EMD (Exact Match Domain) update. Many a time, one tends to select the wrong domain name either out of ignorance or from temptation of short term gain. Since the domain name is going to stay with the site for ever, it is but imperative to take a long term approach. Here are some useful tips on selecting a good domain name for your business.
1. Avoid trademark infringement
Ensure that your domain name does not infringe upon the trade name or trademark of somebody else. Though it may not seem to create any problem in the beginning, you may end up losing the domain as well as coughing up a huge compensation once you grow big. So, if you deal in Samsung products, avoid using the word ‘Samsung’ in your domain.
2. Have regard for your target audience’s language
Sometimes a word so popular in one language may be vulgar/taboo in some other language. So, if you are selling in multiple countries, you should try to find out what your domain name really means in your target country.
3. Choose the right extension
If you are targeting global audience, go for a generic top level domain (GTLD) like .com, .net, .org, etc. – .com is the oldest and has the highest authority. If however your market is limited to a single country, it does make sense to go for a country specific domain or what is more technically known as country code top level domain (ccTLD) like .us, .ca, .co.uk, etc.
4. Think about future expansion
Keeping your future expansion plans in mind is equally important. Today you might be dealing in a single product, say for instance, mobile phones. So, if you make your domain name specific to mobile phones, it may become unsuitable if you expand your business to cover laptops, cameras and other electronics.
5. Relevancy is important
This is the most obvious one. Your domain name should be relevant to your business and the brand you want to create.
6. Stay away from certain words
There are certain words and phrases that search engines just hate to see. For example, those relating to gambling, hacking, porn, etc. So, unless and until you are really into these activities, it would be in your best interest to stay clear of them.
7. Avoid confusing words and combinations
Never go for a name that may confuse your visitors with some other brand, business or line of activity. For this you may want to avoid words with dual, unclear meaning as well as those sounding like something else. Since your domain name will be one continuous string of characters, also see to it that no unintentional words/phrases are formed out of it. For example, instead of saying I Am Possible, if you just want to say I M Possible, it will become a misleading domain name: impossible giving altogether a different meaning.
8. Keep it short and simple
Having a name that is difficult to spell will give your customers tough time finding you even when they want to. A short and simple name is easy to remember; so why not take the advantage! Get something catchy that easily goes down with your visitors and stays with them forever. In the long run, this will also cut down your cost on branding.
9. Avoid hyphens
To the extent possible, let there be no hyphens and numerals in the domain name since they tend to take away the ‘brand authority’ without giving any visible mileage in terms of SEO. Some numerals like 101 (meaning FAQ), 365 (meaning 365 days), 360 (meaning 360 degrees), 247 (meaning 24×7) however should be okay if you are getting some good name in the bargain.
10. Avoid EMD
Not very long ago before the Google EMD (exact match domain) update happened, everyone ran after domains that had exactly the same keywords that the business wanted to target. However, with the subsequent degrading of EMD in SERP, the situation is quite different now. So, your focus now should be on creating a brand of your own rather than stuffing your domain with keywords.