A domain name is not only important in maintaining the internets name and numbers based system (known as DNS), but it also adds credibility to your online and digital presence more generally.
What was once considered only necessary if your business was successful in the digital world, it’s now a common rule of thumb for businesses which haven’t even started out, or who have no credibility, to set-up a domain name, and then hope to do well soon after. So the behavioral economics in regards to domain names has changed completely, therefore underlining the vital necessity for any business to establish their domain name as early on as possible.
As well as registering a domain name, it’s vital to follow these simple yet effective rules for digital and online success.
Do your research – it’s important to research what the key trends are within any area in which you’re operating, so do your research early on. Also find what sets you apart from the competition and hone in on those areas as a point of difference.
Don’t think that .COM is the most important TLD to have – whilst it may be true that most if not all domain names of fortune 500 companies start with the .COM TLD, it’s important to realise that diversity among TLD’s is also important in terms of the clients you want to market to, or pitch to.
So for example a Doctor would be well advised to register their FirstLastname.DR as a means to illustrate to search engine crawlers, and internet users their digital identity. A woman’s clothing boutique store would be advised to register REDDRESS.COUTURE as a means to market to women interested in a red dress etc…
Consider getting more than one extension – this is important to ensure that you’re not just getting different TLD’s as extensions of your business, but also that you’re getting different domain names along your product and service line, ensuring that you’re able to market better than you would if you only had one domain name.
Try not to use abbreviations or numerical characters in your domain – from a search engine point of view the bots that ‘crawl’ the internet generally have a reticence to numerical characters. Also remember that some users may forget to include a hyphen in your company name (if that’s what you have) so choose your domain name wisely in order to ensure that you don’t confuse, or lead to users going nowehere, or worse still – going to your competitors site.
Do deep analysis – this is vital to see what competitors may have snapped up in their registering frenzy. Generally speaking most good domain names to do with relevant products and services have already been snapped up, but you’d be surprised just how many domains nobody has bothered to register, or how many domains have lapsed due to inactivity.
Add your full name to your domain name – this important as it gives you the legal right of ownership, and allows you to use how you would if held another piece of property. Whilst domain names are digital and as such are not tangible products, they are still consider as your property.
Don’t forget to set-up auto-renewal – this is important to ensure that you don’t get ‘caught in the lurch’ to speak if your domain name is due to be renewed, and you’re hiking Mt Fuji (for example).
Avoid trademark domains – this is an interesting one as many trademark disputes transcend international borders, and when there’s major corporations involved it can get pretty messy. The general rule of thumb is to have your legals sorted out (i.e. trademarks, patents etc in your headquartered country) in order to enforce trademark ownership on a particular domain if 1. you’ve in good faith registered the domain for your business use, or 2. end up in a trademark dispute.
Finally, there are some key things to remember when it comes to thinking about what truly makes a great domain name.
Be brandable – don’t think of a domain name as just ‘another address’ – use your domain name power to your advantage, and remember to factor this in when deciding on what domain name to register.
Make it easy to say – make it a good, catchy and easy to remember domain name, and your entrance right will hold steady.
Keep it simple stupid! – the ‘KISS’ principle (not the band) should be factored in when deciding on a domain name.
Choose a domain registrar you can trust – some domain registrars have done dodgy things over the years, so be sure to do your due diligence before you register a domain name with a particular registrar.
Domain names are vital to your businesses success, that’s why it’s important to remember, and put into place the above considerations when registering your domain name.