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Small Business Tips \ MAY 3rd 2017

How to Choose the Best Domain Name for Your Site

A few weeks ago we helped you decide which website is right for you. We want to continue that trend by helping with another important step in building a stunning website… picking a domain name. Your domain name is basically your address on the Web – you know, Yoursite.com.

There are countless domain names available and a growing selection of extensions to choose from (.com, .org, .edu etc.). However, just because it’s easy to buy one of these, doesn’t mean there isn’t a big decision to make. Be prepared; don’t get ahead of yourself and purchase the first domain you think of. Instead, consider the following tips to make sure you pick the best possible name.

First things first

Before we dive in, let’s review some important notions. Often, the terms “URL” and “domain name” are used interchangeably, but there is a difference.
https://www.wix.com is a URL that contains the domain name wix.com. 

Now that this is clear, let’s get to the good stuff.

Starting from scratch?

Are you starting from square one? Don’t worry! This gives you so much more freedom to decide upon the right name. Thinking from a branding perspective allows you to look at your domain from more of a marketing point of view, and will help you keep sight of the bigger picture.

From an SEO point of view (Search Engine Optimization), your domain is one of the first elements search engines will look at while discovering your website. That’s the reason why you should make sure to pick it carefully. Below are 5 branding styles and domain options you might want to consider:

  • Personal Branding (JohnSmith.com)
    Creates a sense of Trust, authority, and credibility
  • Generic/Descriptive Branding (Photography.com, OnlineBusiness.com)
    Generates instant understanding of company purpose
  • Suggestive Branding (NotchandFletch.com, TheKnot.com)
    Relates to purpose of the company in a more abstract way
  • Arbitrary/Fanciful Branding (Starbucks.com, Wix.com)
    Has no direct tie to company purpose
  • Hybrid Branding (BlackFawnJewelry.com)
    Includes the company name and purpose

Domain Name

Already got a name?

Your domain should at least include your company name. This will further establish your brand and ease the user’s task of having to search for you online. For established companies, users will often assume your URL will be the same as your company name and put it straight into their address bar.

SEO Tip! As we said, Google, Bing and friends will take your domain into consideration so it’s a good call to include a keyword in your domain name. If you are a photographer named Jane Smith, you would benefit from choosing JaneSmithPhotography.com over JaneSmith.com.

Pick the right extension

When we refer to an extension, we are referring to the “.com,” “.org,” and “.net” part of a site’s URL. We all know .com is the most popular, but there are many reasons to choose another domain extension. Do you have a name in mind, but .com has already been taken? No worries! You could use .me for your resume, and .photography for all you shutterbugs among us. If you want to go hyper-local, domain extensions such as .london or .tokyo can help you show your city some love.

Domain Name Extensions

Keep it simple

We recommend you try and keep your domain name to around 3 words or less, and make your URL as short as possible – keep thing concise and catchy. Longer domains might be difficult for your users to remember. Not to mention, your users will be more likely to make typos with longer domain names; you don’t want to lose out on that traffic.

Caution! Don’t try to show style in your domain. If you’re a real estate agent, for instance, you shouldn’t use a domain UrHome4Ever.com but rather, YourHomeForever.com. Hyphens can be used in domain names but the best practice it to write the name like it sounds – using actual words.

Measure twice, cut once

It is essential that you choose the correct name the first time. You don’t want your customers to have to try and figure out where you’ve moved to if you suddenly decide to change course and pick a different name. It is well worth your time to really think about what sets you apart from the pack and highlight this in your domain name choice.

Avoid legal trouble

Research your name thoroughly before making a purchase to avoid customer confusion or, worst case scenario, legal issues. Before you finalize your decision, make sure you are not choosing a domain name that infringes on the competition by searching the trademark databases.

Make your move

You’ve narrowed down your list of potential domain names, now you just need to check if they’re available. When buying a domain from Wix, you can also enjoy our advanced website builder to build your site and our free hosting service. As a bonus, Wix provides a free domain for one year if you purchase a yearly Combo, Unlimited, or eCommerce premium plan. How cool is that? 

Now that you have to tools to choose the perfect domain, build your stunning site with Wix today!

By Chase Lepard
Community and Social Media Manager, Wix About the Wix Blog

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