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9 Steps To Take Before Picking Your Domain Name

26 October 2016 | 0 comments | Posted by Che Kohler in nichemarket Advice

How to pick the right domain name

The first decision you'll have to make about your site and one that you'll have to live with for a long time is the domain name you choose for your site and often a decision people get wrong. The fear of the dreaded SEO monster and his buddy google has pushed many consumers into habits that as a digital marketer bring me to tears. Nothing breaks my heart more than someone who chooses a domain name of a generic keyword like capetowncarpets.co.za because they assume that this what people would search for and would give them automatic traffic gains for no reason. Unfortunately, this is an outdated practice, that

  1. won't get you an amazing amount of traffic,
  2. bastardizes your brand and
  3. confuse your potential customers.
Picture someone googling capetowncarpets for some odd reason, perhaps their spacebar doesn't work or they're lazy, they find your site and click through to find quickcleaners as the branding, more often than not a user will see this as spam or a mistake, resulting in them bouncing, if this trend persists it will eventually lead to Google pushing down search listings until you are no longer found. So in a bid to stop this madness and end the self-sabotage, I decided to put together a list of things to consider before buying your domain name.

1. Research

Make sure the name you’ve selected isn’t trademarked, copyrighted or being used by another company. It could land you in hot water and lead to legal implications that could cost you a fortune, as well as your domain!

2. Keep it short

If your domain name is long and complex, you risk customers mistyping or misspelling it. Short and simple is never a bad thing with domain names. While keeping it short is always a good idea don't take it overboard by using shorthand this isn't a teenagers Instagram account, Openl8.com is a no-no, openlate.com is.

3. Easy to pronounce

Think about how many syllables it takes, will a user read it and translate it easily, will it be something that can be easily mentioned in conversation, if it is, you're on the right track.

4. Make it a brand

Can you see this domain name becoming a brand, will it stick in people's minds and be easy to remember, will it be something that transcends digital into the physical world. Will it translate into product branding, business cards and other corporate merchandising?

5. The .com bias

It's a weird trend we know but even in 2016 people still think .com is the only tld extension available when actually we have infinite options. You can now not only select localized versions like co.za but custom tld extensions like .cpt if you were so inclined. But to be fancy or ahead of your consumer base isn't always the smartest choice, so while the trend persists, we recommend registering your domain name as a .com, if it is available. If .com is not available don't stress, your localized version will do just fine,
Pro tip:If your localised and .com domain name is available, register both and redirect your localized version to your .com

6. Avoid numbers and hyphens

Great websites flourish with the amount of direct traffic they receive, allowing users who love your brand and service to skip everything and go directly to your site. So be careful with the use of numbers and hyphens as they can be easily and are very often misunderstood. People who hear your website address don’t know if you’re using a numeral (6) or it’s spelt out (six) or they misplace or forget the dash could lead them to a dead link or worse sends them to someone else site who benefits from your marketing.

7. Don't stress about keywords

If it makes sense for your business and keeps the domain name short, you can include a board keyword into your domain name. It will help, but it is not worth dropping your favourite domain name just to include it. So don't stress about it

8. Localise it

Similar to my previous point if your business is local, will always be local and never planning on going anywhere. You may want to consider including your city or suburb in your domain name to make it easy for local customers to find and remember. Example: repairmancapetown.com. (if and only if your brand name is repairman) url bar in chrome

9. Act fast

Domain names sell quickly with new websites being registered every day. Acquiring a domain name from someone else can be a costly affair and should be looked to as a last resort. Thankfully, most domain names are inexpensive, so register your favourite domain names as soon as possible. If you’re having trouble finding an available name, domain registrars like GoDaddy will suggest alternate names during your domain search to help you find the perfect domain name.

Contact us

If you want to know more about domain names don’t be shy we’re happy to assist. Simply contact us here

Tags: How to, SEO

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