30Jun 2017

How To Choose A Domain Name For Your Website That Converts

Choose a domain name for your website – What exactly does that entail? What differentiates a ‘good’ domain name from a ‘bad’ one? How do I go about choosing ‘the perfect domain’?

How To Choose A Domain Name For Your Website That Converts - Female Business Hub

How To Choose A Domain Name For Your Website That Converts

Imagine the scenario below:

Expert: The domain name you choose for your website will be its main identifier. It will be part of your small business’ brand, so you should put in some thought and choose it wisely.

You: Gosh, that’s awesome advice! I’m ready to choose the perfect domain name for my business!

(pause)

You: But, um, that’s also quite vague and not actionable at all… What exactly does that entail? What differentiates a ‘good’ domain name from a ‘bad’ one? How do I go about choosing ‘the perfect domain’?

Sound familiar? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I am quite sure that the above scenario has happened to you before. And it’s not pleasant at all. Fret not, my friends. I’m here to help. When choosing a domain name for your website, there are five critical things you should take into consideration:

  1. Length: keep it simple, stupid (KISS). Wait, wait. Before you disregard what I just said, just know that I’m not cursing at you. You’re my friend, remember? The acronym above is a reminder to stick to the essentials and remove any unnecessary complexities. Think about the core of your business, and try to simplify it to one to three words. That’s what your domain name should be. It doesn’t have to be the same as your business name if that’s long and complicated, though it should be somewhat similar and simple to remember. With the exception of ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’, which everyone knows back to front, as a rule of thumb, the shorter the domain name, the easier it is. But even ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ is not a perfect domain name. Want to know why? Check out the second point.
  1. Spelling: be honest: how many of you know how to spell ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’? I for one, do not. I had to Google the spelling and copy and paste it into this article. You do not want your clients doing the same. Your domain name should include words that even a fifth grader can spell, as well as ones that are not subject to doubt with regard to spelling. What do I mean by that? Just think about it. Words like weird, handkerchief, conscience, playwright and millennium sound one way, but are spelt another, have sneaky silent letters, or even include multiple double letters. That just confuses people (unless you are a spelling bee champion. In that case, I salute you). Remember KISS. See? Even that is easy to spell.
  1. Choice of words: pay attention to letters that repeat when you put two words together. ‘Domain name’ sounds like a perfect choice to add to as a domain name for someone teaching all about domain names, but think again. The word domain ends with an ‘n’ and the word name starts with an ‘n’. When someone is typing in the domain, they will have to think twice as to whether it is domainname.com or domainame.com. Remove that confusion. Either invert the word order if it makes sense to do so, or, if possible, choose a completely different word altogether. Remember that the name of your business does not have to be the same as your domain.
  1. The name itself: imagine you are in the travel business, and you decide to create a website retelling your journeys in South Africa. As such, you decide to purchase the domain insouthafrica.com. Now fast forward a few months. You are tired of travelling in South Africa, and decide to tell your story about travelling in Morocco. What do you do? Purchase a different domain? I have to say, it’s easier (and cheaper) not to. Therefore, when choosing a domain name, select one that relates to your business and brand, but that is also broad enough to allow some leeway if you change your mind down the road. If possible, include keywords as well, which is great for search engine optimization – that thing that helps you rank highly on Google when searching for a specific term.
  1. Availability: this is when you have to put your thinking caps on. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but chances are that the domain name you want will not be available. This is especially true if it includes popular word combinations. To beat the system, make a list of at least 10 options, and search for their availability on a third party provider like GoDaddy or Namecheap, or even by searching for them on Google. If the domain name is available, awesome. You did it. Just remember to check social media, especially Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, since someone can be using your potential domain name as their handle. If the domain is not available, search again, or get ready to open up your wallet to purchase it from the person who owns it.

Now that you know the five critical things you should take into consideration when choosing a domain name for your website, you will surely choose one that converts into clients and sales. As soon as you have made your choice, come back here and leave a comment. I’d love to hear the domain name you chose for your website.

Marina LotaifBio: Marina Lotaif is an entrepreneur and the founder of Yes To Tech . She created her company’s website from scratch without tech knowledge or hiring a pro. To help you do the same, Marina launched a free five-day e-mail course that teaches the first steps you need to take to get your website online – in a way that makes sense for a total beginner.

Thanks Marina for sharing!

Jess & Janine Sig

 

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