What’s in a name?
When you’re born, you inherit a name and a surname in which you (usually) have no say. It’s the byproduct of being born in a certain family. Now you may like this name or you may spend years thinking of names that could have better fit the personality you’ve worked so hard to build.
The process of coming up with a domain name too falls somewhere on the same wavelength. But here the situation is a bit different. This name isn’t inherited. It has to be created, which requires thinking. And thinking is often hard, but you can do that.
Domain name selection can be a tortuous, caffeine-infused process where multiple lattes are consumed while brainstorming on a whiteboard in a brightly lit conference room. You then think of a name and pop over to a domain registrar’s website only to find that it is already taken.
So we’re back to square one, or are we?
This ‘domain name block’ does not have to stop you from choosing a name that you love for your exciting startup, and this article will show you how. However, before we dive into that, let’s understand the two key aspects of a successful domain name:
- Searchable: a successful domain name must be searchable. This means you need to take SEO principles into account and choose a domain name that has the right keywords which allow you to maximize search engine performance. And as we move into an era of voice search, your domain name needs to be such that Alexa and Siri can understand it at one go.
- Marketable: your domain name must connect with your target audience and properly reflect what your brand stands for.
How do you select a domain name that fits the bill?
- Brevity is key
Brevity requires creativity. Short, simple and clear names stand out and are memorable. Visitors will most likely forget a long, vague or misspelled domain name. This is where domain extensions come into play. Chances are a short domain name on a usual extension might be expensive or, worse, unavailable.
To avoid this, pick a domain extension that highlights your industry and establishes your niche. The benefits of doing this are truly exciting.
- They are easily available at standard prices
- They enhance your business persona
- They help in brand awareness and overall brand recall
To get you started, check out some of these new extensions that you can choose for your domain name.
- Memorability is imperative
An emotional response to anything makes it memorable. A good domain name should therefore evoke some sort of an emotional response too. It doesn’t have to make the reader break down in tears or burst out laughing. It just has to instigate a thought process. It has to make people want to dig deeper or find out more.
New domain extensions such as .TECH, .STORE, .PRESS, .ONLINE, .SITE, .WEBSITE, etc help induce that emotional response because they stand out — something that you are working so hard to do.
For example, if you sell funky or a sitcom inspired apparel you can go with:
For almost $6 dollars that’s a pretty sweet deal.
- Keywords help with SEO
Remember searchability? This is where it comes in. Keyword rich domain names help in getting on-topic backlinks which adds a lot of SEO juice to your website. It’s great to include relevant keywords if they naturally fit into your domain name. The new domain extensions help with that in a big way. This benefits both the key components of a domain name – searchability and marketability.
Additionally, for Google to give precedence to your website over your competitors, your website needs to be really good in terms of content quality. So, your website should be like a quality store which is:
- appealing to the eyes,
- well-laid out,
- filled with easy to understand words and descriptions.
- New approach impresses
The new domain extensions help with establishing a clear branded online presence that can include your full business name. These new domain extensions lend a chance for you to stand out in a way that strengthens your brand positioning. Businesses that adopt these new domains can easily incorporate them into their branding efforts. Here are some top players that are doing it:
These extensions act as a hook to draw both potential and loyal customers into a conversation that can lead to conversion. Additionally, it offers an opportunity to engage with them which is what you want.
- Relatable and intuitive
“If you believe that a member of your target audience could immediately associate the domain name with a good guess of what they think you do, that is a big positive,” explains Rand Fishkin, co-founder of Moz. “Meaning they could look at your domain name and say, ‘Oh, I’m guessing they probably do this. This is probably what that company is up to.’”
The chances of you attracting organic search engine traffic from people who are unfamiliar with your brand increases when your domain name is creative and intuitive.
Your ideal domain name should be short, simple, descriptive and memorable from a branding perspective. It should also act as an SEO boost to help your business get discovered in the search. To come up with a name that checks out on all these parameters, start by giving a serious thought to your brand value proposition. Once you have that in place, get your team in a room to choose your new domain name.
Alisha Shibli is a Content Marketing Specialist at Radix, the registry behind some of the most successful new domain extensions, such as .TECH, .STORE, .ONLINE, .SITE, .WEBSITE, .PRESS, .HOST and .SPACE. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.