Whether you are selling Delorean parts to guys that still think that 88mph can change their sad lives or these all-so-manly My Little Pony T-shirts, there is one thing for sure - you need some online presence. Your internet existence is not required because it's trendy, although, let's face it, you are nothing if you aren't on the internet in 2022.
You need to be digitalized because you target niche audiences who won't go from store to store to find the specific item you are selling. They won't go to a neighboring street, let alone to another town, to buy your product. So, to broaden your visibility, you need to create your own online shop where you can sell your fascinating stuff to all 13 people that would be interested. The first step, of course, is choosing your domain name.
What Is A Domain Name?
It would be weird if you didn't know what a domain name is since we already explained far more complicated concepts and topics in our blog. But just in case you are new here and you're only interested in this specific topic, let's shine a light on what precisely the term means. The domain name (or simply the domain) is a convenient and easy-to-remember name that one types in their browser search bar to come to your website. Essentially this is the letteral equivalent of the IP address, which is the actual physical address of the server which contains your website.
How exactly a browser finds your website based on your domain is a very intriguing topic, which we urge you to check up in more detail here.
It must come without saying that your website's domain name is probably the single most important aspect you need to focus on before you move forward with your online domination plans.
Why Does Your Website Name Matter
Your domain name is just as relevant to your brand as is the actual brand name and logo. Many start-ups invent their brand name based on what domain name is free to use in today's world. And while it might be OK for a 6-year-old to call his website superjimmy4ever2022.com (the name, by the way, is free, if you are interested), for anyone you will be doing business with, this name doesn't sound trustworthy, serious and presentable.
Actually, your domain name may be directly responsible for the amount of traffic you get. If the brand name sounds melodic to the ear, is fun, has a pun, is easy to remember and is generally attractive, you will get far more customers than with a boring, complex and inarticulate domain that sounds as if spoken by a cow gasping for air, rather than a human being.
Choosing a domain name is a true art on its own, and it's far more complex than that white square in the modern art gallery that everyone pretends they understand.
The TLD Tells A Lot About You
TLD (or Top Level Domain) is an essential part of your domain name, which, unfortunately, has a huge role in your sales and traffic. Around 54% of all internet websites have the .com TLD, making it not only the most popular among website owners but most recognizable among users. The .com TLD is perceived as somewhat more trustworthy, even though no statistical data proves that fewer scammers and low-quality websites are using it.
Nonetheless, when in Rome, don't order a shepherd's pie with a side of sheep leaver with blood sauce. Instead, do like the Romans and have yourself a nice pizza with a side of sheep leaver and blood sauce.
Of course, if the .com for your domain name is not free, which, let's be honest, it most probably isn't since all cool .com names were taken years ago, you shouldn't despair and cry yourself to sleep every night. Instead, you can go after other respectable TLDs. You can choose national TLDs (like .de for Germany, .it for Italy, or .ca for Canada), which guarantees some kind of security. You need to have at least a registered company to buy a national TLD in many countries.
You can also try with some of the less known but also respected TLDs like .net or.info.
However, keep in mind that these TLDs have been around for a long time, and some of them have an additional meaning. For example, .org is typically used for non-profit organizations, while .gov is strictly for governmental websites. Likewise, the .edu TLD is most often used on the educational website, while .shop... well, this one, I'll let you guess.
Incorporate TLDs In Your Name, But Be Careful
There has been a trend for some time where TLDs are incorporated in the brand's name. For example, hypothetically, a website can incorporate the Italian TLD in its brand name and have a website like "like.it" or "learn.it", despite both obviously not trying to target an Italian audience.
Although there is still no research on whether that spikes the website's visibility or not, it indeed is a catchy trend, but one that should be used cautiously. After all, if you decide to use the .ru TLD, it might get you a lot of traffic from the NSA, CIA ,and FBI and a bit less from regular visitors. And since our last sentence probably put us under NSA surveillance, let's deviate the topic to some little less technical stuff, in the hopes that black-suited man won't show at our doorstep without them fully understanding (or caring) what we are explaining.
Make It Brandable
A domain should be many things, but one of the most important - it must be recognizable, brandable, something catchy that has a flow. In short, your domain name should stick up like a giraffe at a zebra convention - it must be easily recognizable and, more importantly, distinguishable from anything your competition may come up with. So it's a good idea to avoid generic names, and considering how he called his latest child, I'd avoid letting Elon Musk choose my domain name.
For example, a domain name like autorepair.com says a lot about what you are doing but can't be distinguished from the pack, as there might be autorepairnow.com, autorepairking.com autorepairs.com, and so on domains that will haze your presence.
On the other hand, if you name your brand something along the lines of "carsurgeons.com," this gives just as much information about what you are doing, but it stands out, has a rhythm, and is not that easy to be plagiarized.
Make It Easy To Type And Pronounce
Your domain name should be just like a Tailor Swift song - easy to remember, melodic, and an instant hit. You probably won't win 4542333 Grammys like Tay Tay, but if you reach even 10% of her sales, you'd be the envy of everyone.
Using clever wordplay and rhymes for your domain might prove a great idea since people tend to remember such combinations easier. However, you should strive to keep your name not just easy and melodic in pronunciation but just as effortless when it comes to typing. Typically it's a good idea to avoid the name generators used by Black Metal bands. Also, avoid thinking that you'd be considered very smart if you decide to use old Aramaic for your domain name provided;, of course, you are not planning to summon Satan with it.
To make sure you are on the right path, just ask 10 of your friends to spell the name you came up with. If they manage to do it effortlessly, you're ready to go.
Keep It Short And Smooth.
You'd be forgiven if you think that every single word in the English language is already taken. They probably all are. However, it's time to take out the dusty Webster dictionary and search for some wild archaic words that might refer somehow to your business.
There are some genuinely great old words in the English language that sound simply fantastic. "Grufeling", "Clinomania", "Fudgel", "Snecklifter", "Famelicose", "Groke". There are dozens of those that can be used as unique domain names. Just like Google used the name of the number equal to 10 to the 100th power to name their search engine, implying they offer just as many results, you can do the same with a particular word.
Although there isn't any proof that shorter domains get more visits, a less lengthy name is easier to remember, share, and, more importantly, type. It's no wonder that the vast majority of domain names are under 12 characters.
Avoid Numbers and Hyphens
If it's possible, and I can't think of a reason why it wouldn't be, avoid numbers and hyphens. In fact, treat hyphens in domain names just like a sneezing cockroach in your salad - immediately dispose of it and burn your plate and kitchen.
Jokes aside, Hyphens are probably the worst thing you can place in a domain. It's like adding pineapple on a pizza (yes, some people think that's perfectly fine, but that doesn't make it good, presentable, or edible).
The lighter sin would be to put a number in your domain, especially if it's not in the beginning. Yes, there are some exceptions like sk8.com, but in general, using a number is confusing and will tarnish your chances of spreading your domain name from mouth to mouth.
When choosing a domain name, be sure it won't lose its value over time. Changing a domain name several years down the road will cost you traffic, money, branding, SEO rankings, and a lot of work. In short, it will cost you just as much work as finding a good Disney movie from the past five years without Lin-Manuel Miranda involved.
In this sense, be sure to have the future in mind. For example, if you are selling scented candles, it might be a good idea to think about your business's general direction. Are you going to double down on just the scented candles? Are you going to start selling designer candles as well, or perfumes, or even scented soaps, lotions, and so on.
Creating your domain based on the tight niche you strt in is not always the best long- term solution, so keep that in mind when choosing a domain name.
Consider Using Keywords
Adding keywords into your domain name is indeedtruly a surgical procedure. It's not a coincidence I left this one for last. Adding a keyword should not contradict any of the previous advice since they are much more critical for your online branding. You will have plenty of opportunities to infuse all sorts of long, short, and single- word keywords into your website. However, the domain name should be, above all, original and remembered. In this sense, if you are selling branded soccer balls naming your domain "brandedsoccerballs.com" is simply idiotic. Yes, people who are looking for branded soccer balls will probably reach your website first if the rest of your SEO is done correctly, but you will lose everyone else.
However, on the other hand, if you can infuse a keyword in your domain and keep it interesting, easily remembered, and melodic, like, for example, cakeybakey.com, you can genuinely have the cake and eat it too.
So, How To Choose Your New Domain Name?
It's as easy as juggling 35 active chainsaws while balancing on a unicycle in the middle of the highway during rush hour. Piece of cake, right? Who would have thought that even this simple first step in creating your business would be so complex? But when you come to think of it, there is really nothing to it. All you need to do is find an easy-to-remember and spell a short word or phrase that represents your business entirely, but without sounding too generic.
Furthermore, it needs to be free ideally for .com, or at least some of the other main TLDs. The domain name should be brandable and have your long-term plans in mind. Finally, your domain name should contain a keyword, but only if that doesn't contradict all of the above.
Sounds like fun, right? Well, if you are not as excited to start the long and frustrating task of coming up with brilliant domain names, only to find out that they are already taken, consider delegating this task to Locus Digital. As one of the top Dallas- based search engine optimization agencies, we have the know-how, experience, and expertise to find the perfect domain name for your business.
Just give us a call, and we will help you launch your business ahead of your competitors in no time!