Choosing your domain name is an exciting prospect, and a huge part of your business strategy and setup, so it’s important to get it right. Here are five of the best rules we’ve discovered to help you make the appropriate choice.
1) Get the .com as soon as you can
Believe it or not, plenty of people out there still think that .com domains are all there is, and even if not it’s the original ending, and you won’t risk people forgetting any ‘.au’ or other suffix. It might not be the only one you want (it probably won’t be actually), but you definitely want it.
2) Short names, with one possible spelling = commercial winners
It is important to remember that the average internet user could be anyone, of any educational background, in any country, so think universal when selecting your domain name. You might like something that sounds obscure, or find it cool that people have to learn the name of your business, but you need to have a large and loyal following already to get away with that, so start out with the basics and build it out from there if you want to experiment. The only exception is if you can snag a name with one or two syllables that are easy in any language – a la Google.com (who had heard of that brand or business 15 years ago? But it wasn’t hard to start using the word once you had)
3) Check the dropped domains listings if you’re still undecided
When looking for a relevant domain name, it’s always worth checking which names have recently switched from being registered to unregistered. Names can be dropped for any number of reasons, and they’re not all bad. Maybe the owner changed the focus of their business, couldn’t afford the renewal fee, or just became forgetful. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure so start digging! The price should be reasonable for these names too – though that may also vary.
4) Don’t get too fancy
Domain names with hyphens, numbers, awkward letters and the number 0 can easily be misread and therefore mistyped. If possible avoid these, or move on from names with hyphens as soon as possible if you really can’t.
5) Avoid these: copyright issues, industry jargon, slang
You don’t want your name to get you into trouble right off the bat, so do the necessary research (or find a reputable consultant to help) and avoid taking a name that will infringe upon someone’s trademark or IP law rights.
The reason to avoid jargon terms from your industry is that you will be narrowing your field of potential customers and connections by getting too specific without sufficient explanation of what you’re on about. Again, once you’re established, and you have a strong niche following this could potentially be relaxed a little.
Slang is just plain offensive to too many people, so don’t risk it and again don’t narrow the field of prospects unnecessarily with it.
So, there you have it. 5 simple rules to make one of the biggest decisions for your business that much easier.