How to name a business with domain names
By Lynox Byaus
Nowadays, when starting a business it is almost imperative to have an online presence. The need for an online presence is largely due to the emergence of technology and the widespread use of the internet. Companies large and small such as Amazon, Google, and Netflix all the way down to the plethora of small eCommerce sites almost exclusively operate online. Your domain name is the foundation on which you will build your online presence and it is also how people locate you on the web, memorize and /or identify your business and potentially become lifelong customers of your company. Here are some pointers when picking a Domain name for your business.
Select a global/generic extension
If you ask, most people will tell you to pick a .com. However, the chance of you being able to secure the domain name you want in the .com extension (especially if it is a common name/word/phrase) is very slim. Most of these .com domains are either in use, owned by someone/some business entity as an investment/asset (and in some cases not available for purchase) or the .com you want is available but has a very high price tag and rightfully so. But don't fret, the need to have the .com is becoming less and less of an issue, especially with all the different options available when it comes to domain extensions. Moreover, most people find businesses and information on the web via search engines, e.g. Google, Bing and Yahoo and not by typing a domain name or query in the URL, thus reducing the chance that someone types .com at the end. That said, if you are able to get your company name in the .com extension, then do so. If not, consider .com runner ups such as .net, .org, .biz or (depending on where you reside) a cctld (country code top level domain) such as .us .ca .co.uk etc.
Another option to consider is a gccTLD (generic country code Top Level Domain). If the name you want is not available in the .com, .net, .org or your country code.There is the possibility that the name you want is available in a gccTLD such as .io, .co, .ly and so on. You can see the entire list of the gccTLD’s by clicking this link. Generic country code domains are ccTLD’s but treated more like traditional TLD’s (like .com, .net and .org) by Google and other search engines for SEO purposes. Meaning, someone who resides in the united states or any country can use a gccTLD and target a specific country as their audience, just like they would if they had a .com or any other gTLD.
Also available are new gTLDs (new generic Top Level Domains). The list of new gTLD’s are made up of extensions such as .club, .group, .link, .xyz, .tech and a plethora others, far too many for me to list. According to ICANN, there are 1230 new domain extensions that have been introduced to the internet. To see what domain extensions of the 1230 are available for use, just go to any domain name registrar like GoDaddy, namecheap or Uniregistry to see the number of different extensions available for use. Whether you go with a gccTLD or a new gTLD you will be able to rank and do well on search engines, provided that you have good content, back links, and a well-built site along with a few other SEO measures which includes a good domain name.
Whatever the name of your company is going to be it should reflect what your company does and the message you are trying to deliver. For example, if you’re a medical company that offers a wide range of medical products and/or services, you don’t want to have a name like medicine tech but rather medical tech . Furthermore, it is not wise to have a name like global.club if the name of your company is not global club. If the name of your company is just Global, then it is best to go with a more generic extension such as .com, .io, .co, or even .xyz and not something that is considered to be more specific like .design, .game, .build, .photos and so on. It only adds confusion to use one of these extensions and could potentially hurt your brand and credibility. In other words, try not to use one of the more specific extensions if it is not apart of the name of your business (name of your company) and/or your company is not a club (.club), salon (.salon) or you're not a photographer or are involved in photography (.photo, .photography, .photos, .pics, .pictures). Even though extensions like .com, .co or .xyz do actually have meanings (.com for commerce, .co is the country code for Columbia and re-branded as company or .xyz for generations x, y and z) they are largely considered universal/generic and do not have a more specific meaning like all of the new gTLDS. Typically, when it comes to more generic TLD's the rule of thumb is, you can register whatever keyword you want (name or word left of the dot) and not have to worry about it making sense or corresponding with what is right of the dot (the extension).
Having a memorable name is important. After all, what is the point of having a business if you make it hard for people to remember the name of your business. Name length and spelling (is your name short and/or easy to spell) also play a major role in memorability. Research indicates memorability is a clear sign of whether you have a good name or not. Will your target audience remember the name after hearing about it and/or seeing it once.
When it comes to domain names and naming your business you will often hear people say, the shorter the better. Usually, the aim is to have a name that is 1 or 2 words. You can sometimes go up to 3 or 4 word depending on how long and easy the name is to spell but 3 or 4 is generally the exception not the rule. Whether the name of your company is one or two words research shows that the ideal number of characters is around 9 to 10.
Ideally you want a name that is easy to spell especially if your name has 11 or more characters. Nothing worse than having a name that is long and also not easy to spell.
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