How do you choose the best domain name for your business?
Website domain names and other URLs are some of the most important assets a business can acquire and own. In some cases, they alone can be more valuable than anything else. They can definitely make or break your business. A terrible or flawed domain name can become a huge roadblock for an otherwise great business and idea. The opposite can also be true. A great domain name can have a lot of power to make a business.
So, what makes a great domain name?
When you start searching for and browsing domain names for your business, the first thing you’ll probably notice is the availability issue.
There’s a good chance that your initial shortlist of chosen domain names are all already taken. It can quickly become very frustrating to find anything relevant and good that is available. This is maybe why some of the top companies out there have been built on some quirky-sounding names. What’s a Google anyway?
So, one of the big factors here is just what is still available.
Hopefully, you are reading this and conducting this search early enough that you can adjust everything else to fit your domain.
The reason you need to choose a domain name for your business so early is that it really should match your company name, brand identity, social media profiles, business phone numbers, and more. If you invest in all of these other things and then find you can’t get the matching website domain name, you may have to start over from scratch.
This is even worse if you’ve already spent money on marketing, have been passing around your pitch deck to investors, or have been making some sales, or getting press. It’s hard enough to start from scratch and get traffic and brand recognition once. Having to do it twice, with even less of a budget, because you slacked on the domain name, is really going to be frustrating.
It’s best to research, and then incorporate, get your website name, and social URLs all at the same time.
What You Do
Spelling out what you do with your domain name can be a great idea too. It just makes sense. PizzaDelivery.com would make a lot of sense in the pizza business, right? How about CheapComputers.com or Taxi.com (which ironically doesn’t go to a taxi company at all). It’s intuitive.
There may be some cross-over from the above, but this technique calls for utilizing the keywords you are using throughout your SEO. This can play an important role in your overall SEO rankings, as well as your ad effectiveness, PPC costs, and ROI. If you have a complicated business name, then just using your top keywords in your domain name may be smarter. For example, if you are XYZ Financial Incorporated, then BestMortgageLenderNY.com might be a better fit. Or at least as a domain you’ll use for most of your marketing and sales efforts.
Type Of Business
When it comes to your domain extension, the question is what type of organization are you running?
Credibility, SEO, and intuitiveness may also be factors. This is why most choose dot com domain names. Dot org and dot edu can also be high profile.
If you are really stuck on finding something available you can also be more specific with new domains. Like .space, .online, .global, .actor, etc.
The risk with these is that whoever holds the .com version of your domain may end up getting a lot of the traffic intended for your site.
You may need to raise some capital to purchase the domain and for this, you will need to master storytelling. Use a good pitch deck template to help you with the capital raising efforts so that you can capture the essence of your story powerfully.
Being memorable may be more important than many of these other items in some cases. Today’s attention spans are very short. Like roadside billboards, if you have a second or two to ingrain your website name in prospects’ minds, make it easily memorable. Something that sticks with them when they don’t have time to screenshot it or write it down. This will also make it much easier for them to share your website and business with others, and ensure those referrals get to the right site too.
Easy To Spell
Make sure your domain name is easy to spell. Long names, and those which include special characters, or zeros or ones or I’s and l’s can be very problematic. Keep it super simple.
Hire A Pro
Choosing a domain name for your business can quickly become a frustrating time and energy drain. You have lots of other valuable things to get on with. You might want to hire some help. This could be a domain name professional or a creative expert who can generate a variety of potential domains to choose from.
Quiz Your Connections
You can also pitch ideas and ask for domain name ideas from followers you have on social media, classmates, those on the dame forums you engage on, and past email databases. Get them involved in the process.
Buy An Existing Domain Name
If you can’t find an available domain name that you love, consider buying one that already has the traffic and brand position you want. You may need to bid and negotiate. Or someone else may have forgotten to renew their domain, leaving a very valuable and attractive name up for grabs, at a great price. Even after spending millions promoting and marketing it. This can be a great hack for gaining visibility and customer flow fast.
Alejandro Cremades is a serial entrepreneur and the author of The Art of Startup Fundraising. With a foreword by ‘Shark Tank‘ star Barbara Corcoran, and published by John Wiley & Sons, the book was named one of the best books for entrepreneurs. The book offers a step-by-step guide to today‘s way of raising money for entrepreneurs.
Most recently, Alejandro built and exited CoFoundersLab which is one of the largest communities of founders online.
Prior to CoFoundersLab, Alejandro worked as a lawyer at King & Spalding where he was involved in one of the biggest investment arbitration cases in history ($113 billion at stake).
Alejandro is an active speaker and has given guest lectures at the Wharton School of Business, Columbia Business School, and NYU Stern School of Business.
Alejandro has been involved with the JOBS Act since its inception and was invited to the White House and the US House of Representatives to provide his stands on the new regulatory changes concerning fundraising online.