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How to choose a domain name for your business in 6 steps

The best domain names are short, memorable, branded, and can even increase your rankings in online searches. To choose a domain name, first try using

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The best domain names are short, memorable, branded, and can even increase your rankings in online searches. To choose a domain name, first try using your business name. If this is not possible, create a list of alternatives, include keywords, select the correct domain extension, research the domain’s history, and finally register your domain.

A step-by-step guide on how to choose a domain name.

1. Start with your brand name

Your domain name should reflect your brand, and vice versa. For maximum brand recognition and URL retention, see if your brand name is available for purchase. Your brand sets you apart from competitors, and the inclusion of your unique brand in your domain can help you stand out.

Pro tip:

If your ideal domain name has already been taken, go to the domain itself and see if there are any links to buy it or contact forms to reach out to the owner. If not, perform a WHOIS search to find contact information that you can use to reach out with an offer.

2. Create a list of alternative domain names

Unless you have an extremely unique business name, the chances of the domain name being available are slim. Before you begin your search, come up with a list of at least five to 10 other ideal domain names that you can use. Adding words like “The” or “My” or “Your” can make the difference – as evidenced by domains like TheKnot.com.

3. Add keywords that describe your brand

Using relevant keywords in your domain name not only increases brand retention but can also improve its reputation on search engines. Keywords tell both human visitors and search engines what your site is about, so choose keywords that describe your brand, such as FlyAsiana.com.

If you get stuck, try using keyword research tools to help you choose a domain name for a business. Choosing a search engine optimization (SEO) -friendly domain name can improve your site’s ranking on search engines, which in turn increases traffic. For more tips on choosing a domain name, read our guide to informative domain names for business websites.

4. Choose the right extension

Your domain name does not stop at the root domain. Part of learning how to choose a domain name is choosing the right domain extension. It makes your whole domain name look more credible, and it can also give a small hint of the industry your business is in. For example, .com stands for “commercial” and applies to almost every type of business — making it the most popular (and competitive) domain extension.

A list of domain extensions and for whom it is best.

Here is more information on different types of domain extensions and for whom it is best:

  • Commercial entities: Commercial entities in any industry often use the .com extension. It’s the most credible, memorable, and commonly used, so try it first before looking at other extensions (unless your business falls into a specific category, like the one below). Others commonly used for general business purposes are .website and .biz.
  • Business Websites: US-based businesses using .inc domains indicate to the site visitor that the organization is an incorporated entity.
  • Web and technology: .net stands for Networking, and was originally used for businesses in the technology industry. Now it is becoming more popular among businesses from other industries that cannot buy a .com extension. See if you should use .com or .net for your business. Today, many technology companies opt for the .io extension, even though it was originally intended as a country-specific name.
  • Organizations and non-profit organizations: Charities and organizations often use a .org extension, so it’s easy to decide between .com vs .org, since using .org implies that your business is a non-profit organization.
  • Government entities: Local, state, and federal government websites typically adopt the .gov extension.
  • Law firms and legal services: Law firms and legal firms, such as lawyers, can choose to .legal domain extension.
  • Shopping platforms: The .store domain is suitable for e-commerce, retail brands and online stores.
  • Agencies and consultants: An agency extension is ideal for business services such as staffing, marketing or accounting, as well as business consultants.
  • Nation-based services: You can also use a location-based extension, such as .us or .ca, for the US and Canada respectively. Choose a local domain extension if you want to focus on strengthening your local presence in a specific country.
  • Other popular extensions: Apart from the popular extensions above, there are choices like .edu for educational institutions. A .me domain can be used as a personal web address for portfolio or resume sites. Meanwhile, a .club domain is suitable for subscription sites, social clubs, membership sites and online communities. Your choice will ultimately depend on the industry in which your business is located.

5. Do research on its history

Before registering a domain name, check that it was previously used by another entity. Make sure you research the history of your preferred domain name before purchasing it. A quick search on backlink controllers like Semrush or SimilarWeb will give you information about the domain’s history.

If it’s been used before, check to see if there are any pre-existing backlinks to the domain. Getting quality backlinks through link building increases the authority of your site. Backlinks from spam-filled or low-trust sites can drag your site down.

If your chosen name is associated with spam sites, you can contact the site’s admin to remove the link. If that fails, you can reject the link and tell Google you do not want your site to be associated with these sites.

6. Register your domain

After choosing the best domain name for your business, make sure your preferred domain is available. Checking domain availability will only take a few moments using domain name search tools like Bluehost, Domain.com, Google Domains and GoDaddy. To learn how to secure a domain name, follow these steps to register your domain name.

Do’s and don’ts of how to choose a domain name

  • Consider pronunciation: Before deciding on a domain name, consider what it sounds like when spoken out loud. Having a name that is difficult to pronounce can hinder brand retention and word-of-mouth marketing.
  • Consider spelling: Apart from pronunciation, also consider spelling. An easily spelled domain name is easier to find. If you have the budget for it, you can even buy your domain’s variations so they can all be redirected to your main URL.
  • Keep it as short as possible: The longer the name, the greater the chance that your visitors will forget your domain or make a mistake. Try to keep your domain name within 15 characters or less for maximum retention.
  • Do not use words that might confuse people: Funny spellings or words that can be spelled in different ways (such as “too” or “way”) can make it difficult for customers to find your site.
  • Do not be too restrictive: Choosing keywords that describe your brand is a good idea, but do not be too specific. For example, if you are starting a real estate agency in New Jersey, the name ApartmentsNJ may currently apply to you, but would not be ideal if you were expanding into homes.
  • Do not use hyphens: Hyphens make your domain name harder to remember, and the harder it is to remember, the more likely it is that people will make mistakes while trying to find it.
  • Do not use acronyms: Unless people know your business by an acronym (eg AT&T for American Telephone and Telegraph Company), it’s best to stay away from contractions. Potential visitors are likely to find your domain name if you use an abbreviated version of your business name.
  • Do not use any existing brands or trademarks: Perform a trademark search before making your choice to prevent any other patents or trademarks being infringed upon. Unauthorized use of a trademark may result in legal action and suspension of your site.

Why it is important to choose a good domain name

When you start a business, you will want to choose a memorable domain name for your website. The right domain name can help your business rank higher in search engine results and will be easier for people to remember. It’s also easier for customers to refer others to your site, and this is the first impression site visitors get when they find your site online.

The web domain name you choose can also be used for your business email addresses, providing essentially free marketing for your business. Adding your domain name to email signatures, business cards, advertisements, newsletters, brochures and other collateral can also be a great way to promote your brand offline.

Pro tip:

Consider buying several closely related domain extensions, as well as misspelled versions. This prevents competitors from registering similar variations and ensures that your customers are redirected to your site, even if they accidentally type in the wrong domain name.

Frequently Asked Questions (Frequently Asked Questions)

How do I search for domain names?

The best domain name registrars all have domain name generators that you can use to see if your desired domain name is available. If not, these generators will give you related ideas that might work. Learn more about what a domain name is and how to choose a domain name for a website.

What type of domain is best?

For many businesses, .com is the best choice as it is the most common. However, competition is tough for .com domains, and other extensions also offer memorable alternatives. Be careful when choosing domains for a specific region (such as .au). Select those extensions if you want to target a specific country to Google for ranking purposes. For more ideas, check out our list of 10 domain name ideas for business websites.

How do I secure a domain name?

Once you have decided on your domain name, go to a domain registrar like Domain.com and buy it, usually for about $ 12 to $ 15. Or, if you have a limited budget, there are ways to get a domain name for free. The best ways to do this include signing up for a host plan or an all-in-one site builder that gives you a free domain name, such as Bluehost or Squarespace.

Bottom Line

Increasing traffic to your website starts with the right domain name. Do not just register the first thing that comes to mind. Keep your domain name branded and memorable by ensuring that it is easy to spell, easy to pronounce and has the right domain extension for your industry. Finally, take a quick look at its history before going to a registrar to buy the domain. Do not miss your ideal domain name and register it now through Domains.com.

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