startup ideas, marketing ideas, conversations, etc.
Choosing Domain NamesIf you already have a business, you may think that your domain name should be identical to your business name.
An effective business name isn't always an effective domain, though.
That's especially true if your current market is local, but you want to make it national, or even international.
One option is to create a single webpage with a domain that matches your business name to attract your current customers. Then, you can link to your main website under the domain that's designed for the expanded market you want to reach. Domains are so cheap that even a few extra clicks per month make the added expense well-worth it.
Make it easy for people to find you, even if they've never heard of your business.
Look at it from the customer's or client's perspective:
If someone is looking for what you or your business offers, what are some likely guesses they might use as a search phrase?
If your domain name matches those keywords, there's a good chance that your website will be listed at, or at least near, the top of the page. Each of those clicks to your site is traffic that doesn't cost you a single penny.
Choose a domain name that's not too long, one that's descriptive. Make it a marketable name that's easy to remember.
Think about how your domain name will look on an imprinted pen or a t-shirt.
If it's in a newspaper ad or on the radio, will people remember the name?
Make your domain name a magnet for anyone, anywhere who's in the market for what your business offers.
You might be surprised at how many people locate websites by guessing what a domain name might be.
This is sometimes called "type-in traffic" and, like search engine traffic, it's free.
So, if your domain name would be a logical choice for someone who's looking for your products or services, you could get traffic from guesses alone!
Being specific is good. It helps people who want what you have to find you.
Maybe you sell office supplies. Or maybe you just sell paper clips.
Specifically, you sell green paper clips. Let's say you sell green paper clips that glow in the dark.
Okay, so there's not exactly a hot market for green paper clips that glow in the dark, but you get the idea.
Depending on your field, your first choice for a domain might be your name. If that's the case, register it now. You don't have as much leeway for alternatives if you wait and someone else gets there first.
With a coupon code, you can get a domain for about ten dollars per year. Even if you don't plan on using it for awhile, that's a small price to pay to make sure it's there when you are ready.
If your name has more than one common spelling, i.e. Molly and Mollie, or Cathy and Kathy, consider registering both. You can set up the domain with the other spelling to redirect to your website. Maybe you end up with only 10 extra visitors a month. That's 120 visitors per year and, at ten dollars for a domain, that's pretty cost-effective marketing, don't you think?
You don't have to wait until you're in the process of creating your website to secure your domain name. The company with whom you register can "park" your name until you're ready to publish your website.
Think long-term when choosing your domain. Imagine yourself in two years, three years. Your website has grown to over one hundred pages and you're generating a nice bit of traffic. The last thing you need is the realization that your website's name doesn't really fit anymore.
When choosing your domain, look to the future and where you and/or your business might be at that point.
And think long-term in how you will promote your website before you settle on a name. Maybe you plan on linking to your website from your Facebook page for now. But what about later? A long domain, especially one with a tricky spelling, will probably cost you a lot of website visitors - and potential customers.
Brainstorming Domain Names
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