Your small business’s web domain says a great deal about your company. A well-chosen business name speaks to your company’s target audience and how well you understand it. The domain name you choose says more about the space your company operates in, how you view that industry, who you are as a small business owner and how well you are cultivating your brand. Have a catchy and memorable domain name that is unique but understandable and related to your company.
Select a domain name that is very specific to your company. For one thing, this increases the likelihood that the domain name is available. The best approach is to start generic and then add more specific elements to the name until you find one that is both appropriate and available. For example, let’s say that you own a bakery in Colorado Springs called Julia’s. Domain names like bakery.com or bakerycoloradosprings.com are too generic and are almost certainly taken. Also, neither option reveals anything about your company. Continue adding elements specific to your business such as juliasbakery.com until you find a domain name that is available and that suits your business.
Dashes, Abbreviations and Numbers
The goal is to have a domain name that is memorable and easily communicated through word of mouth. Often, small business owners resort to domain names with keywords abbreviated, dashes between words or numbers thrown in at the end because the simplified version is already in use or carries a hefty price tag. Avoid falling into this trap. Don’t use abbreviations, dashes or numbers unless your company name uses them. Current and potential customers searching for your company will have more difficulty finding your site and even greater difficulty remembering the sequence of these elements or the spelling, so they will be less likely to provide the correct domain name when sharing your business with others. Studies constantly show that site traffic increases exponentially when a domain name is easy to remember, making any upfront purchase costs worthwhile in the end.
The Right Extension
Since 1985, the .com extension has been the default domain. For this reason, it is the most memorable, the most widely used and the most recognizable by general internet users. Also, search engines tend to trust .com sites more and include such sites at the top of most searches, above .net, .co and .ca. Your business will have to pay for any domain, and .com extensions often cost more because of their popularity. Price can be a significant factor for a new small business owner. However, as with simplified names that exclude special characters, the upfront cost of buying a .com over a .net is usually paid back, with interest. A domain name with a .com extension is more recognizable, more memorable, and more likely to boost site traffic and increase your sales and profits.