Your domain name serves as your identity in the digital world. Establishing your identity and authority in the digital realm requires almost the same efforts as when creating a brick and motor business. One of the most vital steps in building authority online is choosing a domain that’s not only good for your online venture, but also for your target audience and the search engines.
Buying a domain name is a very simple task but finding a domain name that will establish your authority and not compromise your online identity is an overwhelming task. A bit of research is needed to find a good domain that’s brandable and related to your niche. Here are tips to help you secure a good domain for your online business.
1. Pick a good domain extension
There are hundreds of domain extensions you can find on the market today. Some common domain name extensions you and I are probably aware of include “.com,” “.net,” .info, and .biz.
While the internet is rapidly getting populated with other domain extensions, the search engines, internet marketers, webmasters, and web surfers tend to be “conservative” and still prefer the tried and true top-level domain extensions such as .org, .net, .com, or .info.
You might ask what about other domain extensions like .co.ke for example venasnews.co.ke?
Well, a .co.ke or a .co.uk are known as country-specific domain extension. For example, you can only choose a .co.ke domain extension if your website will be targeting Kenyan audience. A .co.uk will target audience in the United Kingdom.
If a .com version of the domain name you want to buy is available, make sure that you get other extensions of the same. For example, if your domain name is Marketing.com make sure you scoop other top-level extensions like marketing.org, marketing.info marketing.net and redirect them to your primary domain name. This will prevent a competitor from registering a domain your domain name in another top-level extension.
2. Find a Brandable Domain Name
A brandable domain name is better than exact domain match (EMD) or generic names.
What comes to your mind when someone mentions Venas News.co.ke? A media website right?
A brandable domain name will often stand out from the crowd; it is unique and memorable. For example, Sony.com is unique, and when you hear of such a domain name you know, there is a trust factor there.
Additionally, a brandable domain name can potentially skyrocket your website traffic through what is known as navigational search.
For instance, if you want to navigate to the Safaricom website, you will most likely type “Safaricom” on google, and the first thing you’ll see is the Safaricom website.
How to a find brandable domain name:
- Come up with unique and catch words or phrases and use the thesaurus dictionary to find synonyms that can be branded
- If the first step sounds like trouble to you, you can use domain name generators like Shopify domain generator, Name Mesh or Nameboy domain generator.
3. Use Keywords in your domain name
While a good user experience, relevant content that answers your visitor’s query, the use of keywords in your domain name can also help your website rank higher on google.
However, it can be an uphill task to find a brandable domain name with your specific keywords that’s not taken. If you’re creative enough, you can combine your target keywords to make your domain name unique.
According to Neil Patel a successful internet marketer and SEO guru, here is what you should avoid when adding keywords in your domain name:
- Avoid Exact-Match Domain (EMD) Names- They are also known as keywords domains. g., if you wanted to rank for best stroller fans for Disney, your EMD domain should look like this www.beststrollerfansfordisney.com. While this can sound like a good strategy for your website to rank well on search engines here is the bitter truth:
Some years back, Google found out that many webmasters used this strategy to rank their website higher on the search engines. Back then you could rank fast for a keyword like “Best strollers” by merely registering www.beststrollers.com domain for a few shillings, adding some crappy content without a single backlinking effort.
Google EMD update saw almost 90% of EMD domains sink and never recovered from the penalty.
4. Avoid numbers and hyphens
Use of numbers, hyphens and other punctuation marks only makes the punctuation of your domain name difficult.
While the use of numbers and hyphens on your domain name cannot be the end to your digital venture- domain names with punctuations are in most cases spelled incorrect and could send potential traffic to your competitor’s website.
If you registered www.social-mediamarketing.com because www.socialmediamarketing.com is already registered, this could be bad for your business.
A visitor intending to visit your website might omit the hyphen while typing the URL on a search engine and they may end up landing on your competitor’s website. You will instead be benefiting your competitor more than your business.
5. Keep the domain name short and memorable
Your domain name should be short for visitors to remember. A Domain Length Study carried out by Gaebler.com shows that the top fifty websites in the world have six characters in their domain names.
But does a short domain name translate to success?
It’s obvious that most internet surfers will be willing to type a shorter domain name rather than one which is long and tedious. The study also revealed that some other factors have an influence on the popularity of the short domain name- the domain has to be memorable.
In short, the domain name should be short and memorable. Otherwise, it’s better to have a long domain name that memorable than a short one that not.
Finding the right domain doesn’t have to be a complex and overwhelming task, but it can be the thin line between the success and failure of your digital venture. Dedicate your time and perform some research following the above tips and you will be on your way to establishing your authority in the digital world.
About the Author: Andrew Matenzawa is an online entrepreneur, an experienced copywriter and loves helping aspiring online entrepreneurs establish their business online.