by Ray Blakney, CEO and co-founder of Live Lingua
To be successful in today’s digital age, it is absolutely crucial that your business has an engaging and informative website. This is so that potential customers can find your company when they look up certain keywords in major search engines like Google and Bing. It will also give your current customers and clients a way to stay updated on developments in your business, such as new products you offer. In order to create a successful website, the first step to take is choosing the right business domain name.
When you’re brainstorming which domain name to pick for your company, there are many elements to keep in mind other than making it easy to remember. Here are a few fundamentals to follow when choosing the best domain name.
Select a Generic Name.
Pick a domain name that can potentially be used in another company in the future should your current business fail, or if you need to make a pivot. One of the biggest values of a domain, especially after time, is what they call the ‘backlink profile’, which is simply the amount of people linking to it. That is what makes your site and content rank organically in Google. If you need to change the business and need to make changes to the website but are able to keep the domain because it is generic, your new business/site will automatically rank more highly than you would with a new site.
Some great examples of generic names that could be used for any business are Amazon.com, Nike.com, and Bitly.com. These are all domains whose names don’t indicate a specific business or product. This means they can be reused in the future on the off chance that their current business model fails.
Try to Stick to a “.com” Website Address.
Nowadays, you will see website addresses that end in “.net”, “.co”, “.biz”, and other extensions. However, if at all possible, make sure to select a domain name that ends in “.com”. This is because “.com” websites are the most familiar to most people. We followed this rule when we selected livelingua.com as the website for our online language learning platform. I also adhered to this rule when I chose podcasthawk.com as the website for my latest business venture (a SaaS product that helps people get booked on podcasts). On that same note, avoid any of the new trendy domain extensions like “.travel”, “.company”, etc.
When was the last time you signed up with a website that had those extensions? There is a reason for that. Therefore, choosing a “.com” website will help you in your journey of maximizing business success.
Shorter Domain Names Are Better.
When you’re thinking of the perfect domain name, remember that shorter domain names are better than longer ones.
This is because not only are they easier to remember, but also there is less chance that a person will accidentally make a typo when writing your website name in the address bar. Think about it… some of the most renowned and memorable websites all have short domain names, such as Google.com, Yahoo.com, and Facebook.com. Make sure to also use this strategy for your website!
Don’t Include a Hyphen.
Hyphens are great for combining two words when describing something, writing out numbers (like thirty-five), and bringing two last names together when a couple gets married. However, try not to include a hyphen in the domain name of your business website. This is because it can be difficult for people to remember to type in “-“ when writing your website in the address bar on their computer. If they accidentally forget to include the hyphen, they can be directed to the website of an entirely different company—even worse if it happens to be the website of a possible competitor!
Do Your Due Diligence if You Plan to Purchase an Existing Domain.
We check the user history for cars, houses, and other items that we purchase. If you are interested in buying an aged domain that already exists in the market, you must do your due diligence for this purchase as well! It is paramount that you check the domain name on Archive.org to make sure the previous user did not use it for something like a porn website or online gambling platform. If that was the case, it could kill your website (and its ability to bring massive success to your business) right away. This would also be a waste of money and effort on your part.
Don’t Get Too Caught Up in the Domain Name.
After keeping the above pointers in mind, remember to not let yourself get too worked up over picking the perfect domain name. Luckily, the keywords in the name of your domain will not have any major effect on your ranking in Google anymore. It used to be that if you wanted to rank for “Spanish schools”, you needed to have the words “Spanish” and “school” in the domain name. Google has gotten much more sophisticated since then, and that is no longer a factor.
To Wrap It All Up.
In order to maximize your company’s potential in today’s market, it is vital for your business’s website to have a memorable domain name. To select the best domain possible, keep it generic to benefit from backlinks in the event of a major business change (like a pivot), stick to a “.com” website address, and remember that shorter domain names are better than longer ones. Also, stay away from hyphens, make sure to check the domain name on Archive.org, and don’t get too caught up in selecting the perfect domain. Keeping all of these fundamentals in mind will help you choose a domain name that will ensure long-term prosperity for your business.
Ray Blakney is the CEO and co-founder of Live Lingua, a renowned online language learning platform. An award-winning, Filipino-American entrepreneur, speaker, and podcaster, Ray builds and helps others build 6- and 7-figure businesses on a bootstrap budget using SEO.