Your Domain Name is the first point of contact between new customers and you.
In most cases it will be in a list – the Search Engine Results Page or SERPs. So standing out is important.
If your Domain Name also says what you do, even better.
Especially for Local Businesses, if you can, brand your business the exact way that clients would Google it… like “Bramley Tyres” or “Detroit Toys”.
Here are a few things you can do to help it stand out
- Stick with .com
- Use keywords in your domain name search
- Keep your domain name short
- Make it easy to pronounce and spell
- Check it for unintended words within the name!
- Keep it unique and brandable
- Avoid hyphens in the domain name
- Avoid doubled letters
- Leave room to expand – not too narrow niche
- Brainstorming your domain name with Namelix
- Grab your Domain Name using our Name app
- Act quickly before someone else claims it
TLD or Top Level Domains
Originally if you wanted a web-name for your business only the following TLDs were available:
.com and .net are still the most suitable for a commercial enterprise, so are the most sought after when choosing a new web-name. Around the web you’ll see these referred to as CTLD’s or Classic Top Level Domain names
The ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ) maintain databases containing the owners of each web-name ( namespace)
They have expanded the available TLDs many times to include thousands of terms , some reserved for corporations, organisations and others , unreserved and available to anyone.
Dot com for business
The Most Popular TLD for businesses is .com
For most businesses and commerce sites, the .com is the best TLD and essential web-name ending, if your ideal name is taken for example:
rather than go to frozenpies.net, a better option would be to add a word in front like ….. myFrozenPies.com
The .com type TLD implies a solid, OFFICIAL BUSINESS, and to complete the professional look – you can use an email on the domain such as :
which sounds professional, unlike: [email protected]
Can you imagine Sony or Hoover using a free gmail address?
When it comes down to the wire, if your website is on a par with your competitor, it’s the .com name that will carry you over the line. Google stats show that it’s the automatic choice of the vast majority of people searching the web.
Plus, if they can only remember your name eg: myfrozenpies
They will nearly always try “.com” on the end of it FIRST. So if you have the “.net” or any other type of domain, you would lose out to the .com domain.
Branding For Your Niche
If your site is for a specific NICHE, you have some choices:
- Include your main keywords in the Domain Name like BestHalogenCooker.com
- Be your own Brand – like JohnSmith.com
- Choose an anonymous Brand like “Sunshine.com”
Keyword based domain names have their own obvious advantage, especially when visitors are searching for services.
Personally Branding your site means YOU ( or you could have a stand-in, if you don’t like publicity ) are the Brand. The great advantage is this doesn’t limit you to a specific niche, as YOU are the niche. You can introduce new topics and take others out if they are unsuccessful
Anonymous Brands are more difficult to start up. Imagine the world without BMW cars. This is why Ads appear just promoting the brand like ” the Ultimate Driving Machine” . Without substantial financial backing this can be very difficult for unknowns to make it.
Still Can't Find a Great Name?
Namelix.com is an AI ( Artificial Intelligence) tool, available FREE on the net. Simply enter a Seed Word or phrase and it will find all sorts of great connected names and even made-up names with the seed embedded.
This is one of the best-kept secrets in marketing, a Free tool with really powerful algorithms.
After Choosing and Registering Your Domain
Domain Registration is a simple process, with only a handful of important procedures. Once you’ve done one, its very much the same on all the available reg sites.
It is of course important that you make sure about Nameservers and whether you want complete anonymity as regards whois information. All these settings are done here, on your registrars websites.
DNS entries are usually done on the registrar site, for example proving ownership of a site for Google Analytics can be done with a text record. So its nice if this process is made easy and provided with plenty of help, to avoid you making a mistake.
BTW although I have listed Page Builders as a plus, these are only really suitable for very simple one page ( maybe 1 to 4 ) sites, you certainly wouldn’t be building a big site on these.
OR if you want to go-it-alone...
Ok, well here are a few Domain Name Sellers and Hosting that I have some experience with
US based – does as it says on the tin – provides cheap domain names , (though to be fair DynaDot was found to be an average of 30% cheaper over the .com .net .org top line domains) no hassle, their site well laid out and logical. I have a lot of site names registered here, I always find NC very easy to access and use.
Recommended, especially if your customer base is mainly US , there is only one choice…. NameCheap
24/7 customer service, though sometimes it’s a bit slow. They do have a chat line, but compared to other sites with service like Hostgator ( hosting ) chat, you can be waiting a good while.
If you need a no frills domain with just the basics, you can get 12 months FREE with .tk .ml .ga .cf .gq
Obviously for newbies this is not an ideal situation, not all the usual names .com .net .org etc are NOT available here, help is by email , so quite slow, there is not much in the way of help pages, so this is for the more experienced marketers, who already know exactly what they want.
This is a UK .co.uk site . I have about 50% of my site names from 123Reg, great site , easy to navigate, never had any reason to complain, good help pages steer you to the right information and if you can’t find the pages, the staff are very quick and very helpful
DynaDot is a new name to me at least, it was recommended by a friend and when I looked it up, I can see why. Unlike GoDaddy, all the options are provided free, website builder, whois guard, for just $9 a year. Comparing that with GoDaddy again , it’s quite a saving.
They do have all the usual upsells but you can browse and select at your own choosing, these are not thrust at you with the pushy type “add it in the cart already to go” attitude.
Domains renewal is OFF by default so don’t forget to do it !
DD is a small company so don’t expect 24/7 customer service, having said that , users do report a good speedy reply for queries. All very important especially for newbies
Unusually DD gives you a free email account! So for a simple One Page site, for example to use for selling services to local businesses, this is a very nice plus point
Get your web name AND hosting in one place, ok but it has to be said the Domain sales business side is a lot simpler than the hosting side.
Having helped a friend who decided to go with GD for his web name, I found their interface more difficult than any other to navigate. Having said that, with a little practice, it is actually well organised and comprehensive in its available options.
On the plus side they do have good security on site to protect you.
They are a little more expensive than most, but on the plus side GoDaddy has an extensive Domain selling section on board, if flipping sites is your game.
Their upsells are automatically added when registering a Domain, if you don’t opt out – a bit naughty? You really don’t need a site builder software, when you have the almost universal WP WordPress site.
Speed of response , when there is a problem: OK.
I managed to sort everything out myself, chat is available but there was quite a wait ( busy time of day ) to get an agent.
Good Purchase Options