A domain name, a.k.a. URL, is an important asset for every entrepreneur. It is your cyberspace address, your own little piece of the internet to set up shop and communicate with your customers. It may seem simple to choose a domain, but some considerations and thought do need to be put into it.
Here are some of my tips to help you with the decision process of what URLs to secure for your business.
– Know your audience, and the search terms they use. I strongly suggest taking the free online course through The Lean Launchpad that emphasizes testing business assumptions. Don’t guess things about your target market, ask, learn and confidently know!
– Use Google Trends and Adwords to gauge popularity and gain insights as to why certain words may be popular. You will probably be surprised by some of the overlap into other industries and reasons behind why some words rise to the top.
– Keep it as simple as possible. Short, no hyphens if possible, but generally no acronyms either. Easy to spell, remember you will very likely have email through this address and a typo could mean misdirected or lost email.
– Easy to say and easy to understand when heard; it is frustrating to everyone involved if you have to constantly repeat and confirm a URL multiple times only to still have miscommunication.
– “.com” is the only way to go (secure the matching .net if you can), if no .com is available LOOK FOR ALTERNATIVES, so much traffic will be lost to the .com otherwise! Yes, there are many “dot” alternatives available, but everyone expects .com, so keep it simple for your customer.
– Be flexible and don’t stress out, remember the market is fairly saturated and you may not get your top choice and that is OK. Your URL is only one piece of your marketing puzzle, how you leverage all your other brand and communication elements is equally important to driving traffic. Having the “perfect” URL isn’t going to automatically make your company a success.
Good luck researching and brainstorming!