So you’re ready to get your business online! Awesome, what’s your domain going to be?
Your business name and your domain name go hand in hand. A domain name not only serves as the online address for your website but also represents your brand and influences your search engine rankings. Since domain name represent unique locations, you might find it difficult to get exactly what you want because someone else arrived first. In this blog post, we will delve into the process of researching and purchasing a domain name, helping you make an informed decision that aligns with your business goals.
Define your Brand Identity
Before diving into domain research, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your purpose and brand identity. Define your niche, target audience, and key objectives. Consider the image you want to portray and the message you aim to convey. These aspects will guide your domain name selection process.
Conduct Keyword Research
Keywords play a vital role in domain selection as they influence search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Research relevant keywords related to your industry, products, or services using tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush. Aim for a domain name that includes one or more relevant keywords to enhance your website’s visibility in search engine results.
Brainstorm Domain Name Ideas
With your purpose, brand identity, and keywords in mind, it’s time to brainstorm domain name ideas. Start by listing variations of your brand or business name, incorporating keywords, or creating a unique and catchy name that reflects your identity. Explore different word combinations, prefixes, and suffixes to find an available domain name that resonates with your audience.
Tips on assembling your domain
- Try to keep it short and memorable
- Avoid numbers and hyphens, if possible – they are more difficult to remember
- Test the pronunciation and spelling – make sure you aren’t accidently creating an unfortunate combination of letters or sounds
- Check out competitors and see if your name stands out!
Check Domain Availability
Once you have a list of potential domain names, check their availability. Utilize domain registration platforms such as GoDaddy, Namecheap, or Google Domains to search for the availability of your desired domain names. Ensure that your domain name is unique and distinguishable from existing websites.
Consider Domain Extensions
Domain extensions, also known as top-level domains (TLDs), are the suffixes that appear at the end of a domain name (e.g., .com, .org, .net). The most common and recognizable TLD is “.com,” but other options like “.org,” “.net,” or country-specific extensions can also be considered. Although a “.com” is the most common, you may have more success getting the domain name you want with an alternate domain extension. Most registrars will let you know what other extensions are available for your chosen domain.
To avoid legal issues, take a moment to research trademarks and copyrights related to your potential domain name choices. Visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or similar organizations in your country to verify if any existing trademarks or copyrights conflict with your desired domain name. It’s crucial to protect your brand and avoid potential legal battles in the future.
Evaluate Social Media Availability
Maintaining a consistent brand presence across various platforms is essential. Check if your desired domain name is available as a username on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Having the same username across these platforms helps in building a unified online brand identity.
Purchase your domain name
Once you have finalized your domain name, it’s time to purchase it. Choose a reputable domain registrar that offers reliable services, transparent pricing, and good customer support. There are many options out there. My personal preference is Google Domains. They register domain names for $12 each per year and the cost doesn’t change year to year. I recommend setting your domain to auto-renew so you never have to worry about losing your domain.
Tip: If your domain contains words that are commonly misspelled, consider also purchasing those domains and having them forward to your actual domain.