Is a domain name by any other name really as sweet?
Do you remember the recent controversy around the name Talula Does the Hula from Hawaii? A New Zealand court ordered parents to change their daughter’s name because it risked making her the target of ridicule and giving her a social handicap. Would you believe that your website’s domain name could also cause your business to suffer similar consequences?
What if your website was named www.atls-is-g8-4-ur-biz-4-realz.com.au? Does that name tell you anything about that business? Would your Mum approve of that name? The answer is probably not. Just as your name is your identity, so too is your domain name (or web address) your identity on the internet. Picking a domain name can be tricky, but we’ve got some tips on how to choose the perfect name for your business.
- Keep it short. Short domain names are easier to remember, and are also easier to fit on business cards and other marketing materials. We do love our nicknames, so even if you Shazza it up, make sure that whatever short nickname you give your business also complies with the rest of these tips.
- Keep it simple. Make it easy to type and easy to spell. A simple simplicity check is to see if the domain name is easy for you to tell somebody on the phone.
- Make it memorable. If it’s memorable, visitors are more likely to pass it on and remember it in the future. When in doubt, select a domain name that is the same as your business name.
- Make it unique. Choose something unique — if your domain name is similar to your competitor’s, it may confuse your customers.
- Make it relevant. Choose keywords or phrases that potential customers will be searching for. Research this by doing a keyword search in Google and seeing which websites show up and how they’re ranked. For example, if you are an accountant, try to include either your practice name or the word ‘accounting’ in your domain name.
- Avoid using slang. Slang might mean something to you, but it probably won’t be something that prospective customers associate with your business.
- Avoid using numbers. Avoid using numbers, particularly the number 0 which is easily confused with the letter O. Also avoid numeral substitutions. For example, use ‘for’ instead of ‘4’, and ‘to’ instead of ‘2’.
- Choose extensions. If you have an international scope, then go for .com, .net and .org domain name extensions. If you’re aiming for your local market only, then go for, say, .com.au and .net.au, or .co.nz and .net.nz. You also can always protect your brand and claim all versions of your business name to make sure that no matter if your customer types in www.yourbusinessname.com.au or www.yourbusinessname.com, they will get to your website.
- Brainstorm. Bounce ideas off your family and friends, just as you might do with a baby name. Think of your ideal domain name and then brainstorm as many words and combinations of words related to it as possible.
Domain names are unique, so secure yours as soon as you can before someone else snaps it up! Don’t have a website? You can get started with a free website and a free .com.au or .co.nz domain name with MYOB Atlas.
Get started and good luck picking the perfect name for your website!