Choosing a great domain name may be among the most important business decisions you will need to make because it is the path that will lead prospects to your company’s website where they can be introduced to and learn more about you or perhaps even make purchases. It serves as your online address and will be around for (presumably) the life of your business. For these reasons alone, you want to make it easy to remember.
Most often, your domain name should be selected at the same time you name your business. If that name can match your business name, great. But in some cases, that may not be an option because of the length of your business name or for some other consideration. That said, you may find that you are better served by a domain name that describes your business’ purpose, such as: www.LearnToFly.com.
Likewise, if you have a domain name that is less than ideal but seems engraved in stone because it has been advertised, is already known and appears on all your marketing materials, it is still possible to register a better crafted domain name and simply have that set to redirect to the original domain name. Page ranking is believed to be better for pages that aren’t redirected, but if this helps flow traffic to your site, the decision is an easy one.
If you need a domain with a name different from your business’ name, try to come up with one that is unique and stands out. You will want it to be short and logically ordered. For example, “LearnToFly.com” is ordered, “FlyToLearn” clearly isn’t (unless you are teaching people to learn through aviation!).
Two or three word domain names are the best, but you should seek to avoid using dashes, as people will likely forget to use them and as a result, not make it to your site. As a rule of thumb, it may also be wise to avoid using numbers, so people don’t need to remember whether they have to use the actual number or spell it. Likewise, try to avoid ambiguity if the name describes what you do – try to be short but specific, and be careful of using creative spelling for words if they are not actually part of your name.
Lastly, be careful of using acronyms. There are situations where it may be beneficial, such as the American Institute of Public Accountants using AICPA.org instead of trying to require visitors to type out the whole name. Importantly, its overall branding is congruent with the use of the acronym and appears on most if not all of its materials.
It could be argued that today’s domain name is one of the most significant aspects of a brand’s identity. Following these few simple suggestions should help with the selection of an effective domain name.