Is your website struggling to pull in traffic? Are your sales not what you’d hoped they would be? Your domain name might be to blame. Not only can a poorly-chosen URL stop customers from clicking on your site, but it can send them right into the arms of your competitions to boot.
So how can you avoid such a terrible fate? How can you choose a domain name that’s professional and personable? Here are just a few ideas.
1. Use Your Keywords
Your biggest and most important keywords should be the center of your domain name. For example, if you sell produce, then “produce,” “fruits,” or “harvest” should be right there in your title. Don’t center your business around a sub-keyword like “bananas” or “peaches.” You might lose customers who assume that your business is only about bananas or peaches.
2. Avoid Misspellings
Intentional misspellings may seem clever in the boardroom, but in the real world, they’ll only confuse customers and send them to your competitors instead. People can’t hear the Zs in KidzPartyAccessoriez.com when it’s spoken aloud, so anyone going off a half-remembered commercial will probably type KidsPartyAccessories.com into their address bar instead. The same goes for numbers. 10Slippers.com sounds the exact same as TenSlippers.com when spoken verbally.
3. Beware Copyright Infringement
Sometimes that perfect domain name has already been trademarked by someone else. Sometimes variations on a popular name will be taken, too, when the company is trying to stop copycats. Make sure you aren’t infringing on anyone’s copyright when you choose your URL. Not only will this help you avoid legal trouble, but it’ll cut down on wasted time fighting the man.
4. Keep it Short and Sweet
The only clicks you’ll get at DinnerRecipesMadebyGrandmaCarrie.com will be from Grandma Carrie herself. You can’t actually start a business with such a long, unwieldy name. Try to limit yourself to 10-15 characters max, and don’t be clever with wordplay. Save that for your tagline.
5. Experiment With Extensions
Dot-com (.dom) is easily the most popular website extension, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s your only option. There’s also dot-net (.net), dot-org (.org) and dot-info (.info). If you’re an official educational site of any kind, there’s dot-edu (.edu). Make sure you look at all the possibilities before making your final selection.
6. Use Your Location
This is especially important if you’re a local business hoping to attract local customers. WindowRepair.com may or may not call to the residents of Albuquerque, but AlbuquerqueWindowRepair.com certainly will. You can also use your location as a selling point if it implies something exclusive or high-value about your brand, like ParisFashion.com.
These are just a few things to keep in mind as you buy a domain name. Remember, domain names are the handshakes of the digital world; they give people their first impressions of you, and those impressions will play a subtle but critical role in how well they like you. Make sure your domain name is up to the challenge.