As an entrepreneur or small business owner, one of the best ways to guarantee the future success of your business is picking the right domain name. In the digital era, having the right domain name gives you a unique opportunity to brand your company and also makes it easier for customers to find you. Here are three questions to ask yourself: if you can answer all three with a “yes,” then you’ve picked the right domain name.
#1: Does it reflect your brand identity?
In a perfect world, of course, your domain name would simply be the name of your business. But as anyone who has ever searched for a new domain name knows, it’s often the case that the best names are already taken. That means you might have to move to Plan B.
The key is to think like a marketer. If you can’t use the domain name you want, or if the name of your business is simply too long to be useful as a domain name, then you need to make your domain name memorable in other ways. You don’t want a similar name as that of a competitor, either. Not only would that be confusing for customers, it might also create trademark or licensing problems for your business.
One option is simply to use keywords that you think your customers will be using to find your business and combine them in a fun, creative way. Also remember – you may be using your domain name with a new logo or other elements of your branding identity. It’s almost impossible to include a large, unwieldy domain name with a simple, elegant logo.
#2: Is it easy for customers to remember?
As a rule of thumb, your domain name should be between 4 and 8 letters. Moreover, it shouldn’t include any odd punctuation, including hyphens. And it shouldn’t include numbers, because customers will never know whether to spell out the number or just use the number itself.
In general, you want the domain name to be easy to type. Shorter is almost always better. The fewer the letters, the fewer the chances that customers can make mistakes. Also, given the prevalence of social media in today’s digital world, you want your domain name to be short enough that people will want to include it in their updates, tweets and mentions.
#3: Is it scalable?
This last factor requires a bit of thinking about what you want your business to become. For example, many entrepreneurs make the mistake of including a specific geographic name in the domain name, even though they have future plans to expand regionally, nationally or globally. Another example includes the use of a specific technology in your domain name – the pace of change is so frantic today that a technology that seems cutting edge today might seem passé or outdated just 18 months from now.
By keeping these three questions in mind, you will be able to pick the right domain name for your business. You will have a domain name that’s memorable and easy to remember. And it will grow along with your business, making it a valuable asset as you scale to become a larger and more successful business.