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How to Pick a Small Business Website Domain Name

Choosing the right domain name for your small business website is an extremely important first step to consider before launching a company website. Your domain name is the web address that people will use to find your website and engage with your brand. So it's more than important to choose the right domain name that accurately reflects your business to ensure customers know it's your site and they don't confuse your company with others. We'll discuss the most important things to take into account  while choosing a domain name for your small business in this blog. We hope the tips help!

Keep it simple and easy to remember
Short, memorable domain names are more likely to linger in visitors' minds and be simple for them to remember when they wish to visit your website again. Your domain name is often the first thing people will see and remember so choosing something simple/catchy/memorable will be sure to create a positive first impression and help improve brand recognition.

Below are our 5 best tips to help keep domain names simple/easy for customers to remember:

1. Choose a name that is easy to pronounce and spell
A simple-to-pronounce and spell domain name will make it easier for users to remember and share your website with others. Avoid using odd spellings or difficult-to-pronounce words.

2. Use simple, common words
Using simple, common words in your domain name can make it easier to remember and type in. Avoid using complex or technical jargon that may be unfamiliar to your target audience.

3. Keep it short
A shorter domain name is often easier to remember and type in. Try to keep it less than two or three words long.

4. Make it catchy
A catchy domain name can help your brand stand out and be more memorable. Use alliteration, puns, or other creative techniques to make your domain name more memorable.

5. Avoid numbers and hyphens
Using numbers or hyphens in your domain name can make it more difficult to remember and type in. Stick to simple, straightforward words and avoid any special characters.

Make it relevant to your business
Your domain name should be relevant to your business and reflect what your business does. This will help customers find your website when they search for related keywords. For example, if you own a smoothie business, your domain name could be "SmoothieQueen.com" or "bestsmoothiestand.com."

Below are 3 benefits for choosing a domain name that is relevant to your business:

1. Improved search engine optimization (SEO)
Choosing a domain name that is relevant to your business can help improve your website's search engine ranking. By including relevant keywords in your domain name, search engines will be more likely to recognize your website as a relevant result when users search for related terms.

2. Increased brand recognition
A domain name that accurately reflects your business can help increase brand recognition and awareness. When users see your domain name, they should be able to easily identify what your business does, helping to build a strong brand identity.

3. Better user experience
Choosing a relevant domain name can help improve the user experience of your website. When users arrive at your site, they should immediately understand what your business does and what they can expect to find on your website.

When choosing a domain name, consider including relevant keywords that accurately describe your business. This will help potential customers find your website when they search for related terms, increasing the chances of them visiting your site.

For example, if you run a pet store, consider using keywords like "petstore" or "petsupplies" in your domain name. It's also important to avoid using generic or unrelated words in your domain name. For example, if you run a bakery, using a domain name like "sweettooth.com" may not accurately reflect your business and could confuse potential customers.

Another approach is to include your business name in your domain name. This can help improve brand recognition and make it easier for users to remember your website. For example, if your business is called "Smith's Bakery," your domain name could be "smithsbakery.com".

Consider SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results. Your domain name can play a crucial role in SEO. Including relevant keywords in your domain name can help improve your website's visibility in search results. But it can be a fine line and shouldn't stuff keywords everywhere you can. Those days are long gone. Using too many keywords can look spammy or cause a website to be flagged/ranked lower.

Below are are 5 things to keep in mind for better domain SEO:

1. Include relevant keywords
Including relevant keywords in your domain name can help improve your website's visibility in search engine results. When people search for related keywords, your website may appear higher in the results if your domain name contains those keywords.

For example, if your small business offers landscaping services you may want to include the keyword "landscaping" in the company domain name.

That said, don't go overboard. Too many keywords will make your domain name look spammy and hurt your SEO efforts.

2. Keep it Short and Memorable
While important keywords can be included in your domain name, it should also be brief and distinctive. Long, intricate domain names might be difficult to remember and may turn off potential clients. Aim for a domain name that is simple to spell, memorable, and matches your brand.

3. No Hyphens (-) and Numbers (1234567890)
Using hyphens or numbers in your domain name can make it more difficult for users to remember and type in correctly. It can also look spammy and unprofessional. Try to stick with a simple and straightforward domain name that is easy to remember and type.

4. Consider your brand identity
Your domain name should reflect your brand identity and the products or services you offer. It should be memorable and easy to associate with your business. Avoid generic names that don't say anything about your business or that could be confused with other businesses.

5. Do your research
Before choosing your domain name, research and check to see if the domain name is available or if it's too close to other website names. You can also use keyword research tools to see which terms rank the highest in search engine results. (Checkout these helpful keyword research tools: WordStream, Google Keyword Planner, Spyfu.)

Avoid Trademark Infringement
It is essential to avoid trademark infringement when choosing a domain name. Make sure your domain name does not violate any existing trademarks. Failing to do so could lead to long or costly legal issues and potentially be bad for business.

Below are our 4 best pointers to avoid trademark infringement when picking a domain name:

1. Research Research Research
Before choosing a domain name for your small business website, you better check and see if there are any other similar sites/names that have already been trademarked. You can actually search trademarks already registered that may be similar to your favorite domain name.

Fortunately, it's actually easy to check on, just go to the United States Patent and Trademark Office website. It's always better to avoid using a similar name if it's already trademarked.

2. Check for Domain Availability
Even if a domain name is not trademarked, make sure it's available. You should also check Google Domains, GoDaddy, Namecheap to see if your name is still available (there are many more out there, these are just some of the better known options).

If your domain name of choice is taken then you'll need to come up with a different one or explore purchasing the domain name from the current owner which can be costly. Some domains are for sale for $250,000.000 or more!

3. Consult with a Lawyer
After researching if you are still unsure about a domain name, you can recruit a trademark attorney who can better answer your questions, for a fee of course. They can help you determine if your chosen name is likely to cause trademark infringement issues and advise you on how to proceed.

4. Avoid Using a Famous Name
Seriously, avoid this at all costs.Using a famous name or brand in your domain name can also result in trademark infringement issues.  Using anyone else's name, especially a famous name, could result in legal action. It's best to avoid using famous names in your domain name altogether. Don’t even do anything similar to a famous name.

Choose a domain extension that works for you
With all the available extensions, .com, .net, .org, .biz, .io (just to name a handful) for a website it can feel overwhelming at times. At the end of the day .com is the most popular and widely used domain extension. It is also the most trusted and recognized by users. However, depending on your business and industry, other domain extensions might work better.

For example, .org is a great choice for non-profit organizations and .edu is better for educational institutions.Choosing the right domain extension is an important decision when creating a website for your small business.

Here are 5 suggestions to help you choose the right domain extension:

1. Consider Your Industry
Different industries have different norms when it comes to domain extensions. For example, .edu is typically used by educational institutions, while .gov is used by government organizations. Consider the industry your business operates in and research which domain extensions are commonly used. This will help you choose a domain extension that is relevant to your industry and easier for your customers to remember.

2. Consider Your Target Audience
Think about your target audience and where they are located. If your business is local, using a country-specific domain extension such as .us or .co.uk can help you reach customers in your area. If your business is global, a more widely recognized domain extension such as .com or .net may be more appropriate.

3. Consider Availability
The availability of domain extensions varies. .com is the most popular and widely used domain extension, but it can also be the most competitive. If the .com domain name you want is already taken, consider using a different domain extension. However, keep in mind that some domain extensions may not be as recognizable or trusted as .com.

4. Consider Branding
Your domain extension can also play a role in your branding. If your brand name is not available as a .com domain, consider using a different domain extension that fits with your brand identity. For example, if you run a tech startup, a .io domain extension may be a good fit, as it is commonly used by technology companies.

5. Consider SEO
The domain extension you choose can also impact your search engine optimization (SEO). While Google doesn't give priority to any specific domain extension, having a relevant and recognizable domain extension can help improve your website's visibility in search results.

Avoid Using Hyphens and Numbers
Hyphens and numbers can make your domain name look unprofessional and difficult to remember. Avoid using them if possible. If you must include a hyphen or a number, only do so if it's relevant to your business and make sure it's memorable.

Here are 3 tips on why/how to avoid using hyphens and numbers in your domain if possible.

1. Make Domain Name Harder to Remember
People might forget or confuse a hyphen or number in your domain name. You don't want customers to end up on competitors' sites by accident, so making it easy to find your company online is best.

2. Can Look Unprofessional
Using hyphens and numbers in your domain name can make it look unprofessional and amateurish. Customers may not trust your business as easily and it may make it harder for you to attract new customers.

3. Can Affect SEO
Simply put hyphens and numbers in your domain name can also mean less views and have a negative affect on your search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines may see hyphens and numbers as spammy, and may not give your website as much visibility in search results.

However, at times a business may find a hyphen or a number in your domain name is required. If the domain name you like is taken you could include a hyphen or a number to create a unique domain name. In that case, be sure to choose a hyphen or a number customers will remember or that makes sense because it's related to your business.

A few quick tips on how to use hyphens/numbers if absolutely necessary:

Keep it simple
Try not to use more than one hyphen or number in your domain name if at all possible and keep it as super simple. Let's say that your business is called Green Nature Landscaping, you could use "GreenNature-Landscaping.com."

Make it relevant
Let's say you own a store with the name "Dollar 99 Store," then using "Dollar99Store.com" would make sense.

Use it sparingly
A domain name that is easy to remember and type correctly is more likely to be shared and revisited by customers in the future.

Check if Domain is Available
Make sure your domain is available for purchase. You can quickly look up if a domain is still available on websites like GoDaddy or Google Domains. If your domain name is taken you still have options to get a similar name for your site. There may be additional extensions available (.co, .net, .io, .ai) or you might choose to pick a different name all together.

Here are 3 common sense reasons you may want to make sure a domain name is available:

1. Avoiding Legal Issues
If another company has already registered or trademarked your domain name and you try to use it, you might end up in legal trouble.

2. Establishing a Unique Online Identity
Choosing an available domain name allows you to develop your online brand in a way that makes your company standout.

3. Improving Your Search Engine Ranking
If your website domain name ends up being registered, it's possible that there's also a history of spam or low-quality content connected to the site that could actually hurt your ranking on search engines.

How to Check if a Domain Name is Available

4 Easy Steps to Check Domain Name Availability

1. Use a Domain Name Registrar
Do a quick search on a domain site. A couple trusted ones are GoDaddy and Google Domains.

2. Enter Your Preferred Domain Name
Enter your preferred domain name into the search bar on the domain name registrar's website.

3. Check the Availability
The domain name registrar will display the availability of your preferred domain name. If the domain name is available, you can proceed with registering it. If it's not available, the registrar will suggest alternative domain names or extensions that are available.

4. Backup Domain Name Ideas
You should always have a couple back up ideas because it is often the case that your first choice may be taken or be expensive to buy. You can also consider using a different domain extension or adding a relevant word or phrase to your domain name to make it unique.

Consider Purchasing Multiple Domain Names
Consider purchasing multiple domain names to protect your brand and improve your SEO. Domain names with different extensions, such as.com,.net, and.org, can be purchased and even redirected to your primary domain. This can help stop others from using similar domain names while increasing the visibility of your website in search engine results.

Purchasing more than one domain name is a common technique to explore when selecting the best domain(s) for your small business. This can help protect your brand and improve your search engine optimization (SEO).

Here are our 3 reasons why purchasing multiple domain names may prove to be beneficial:

1. Brand Protection
By purchasing multiple domain names with different extensions or variations of your primary domain name, you can prevent others from using similar names and potentially infringing on your brand. This can help protect your brand reputation and prevent confusion among customers.

2. SEO Benefits
Purchasing multiple domain names and redirecting them to your primary domain can also improve your SEO. Search engines, such as Google, take into account the number of backlinks pointing to your website when determining search ranking. By redirecting multiple domain names to your primary domain, you can increase the number of backlinks to your website, which can improve your search ranking.

3. Marketing Opportunities
Purchasing multiple domain names can also provide marketing opportunities for your business. You can use different domain names for different marketing campaigns or to target specific audiences. Maybe even create a separate domain name for a single product or use a specific domain name for a sale promotion landing page.

When purchasing multiple domain names, keep a few things in mind:

Cost
Purchasing multiple domain names can be costly, especially if you're purchasing domain names with popular extensions. Make sure to budget accordingly and consider the potential return on investment.

Avoid Duplicate Content
When redirecting multiple domain names to your primary domain, make sure to avoid duplicate content. This entails making certain that what is posted on each domain name is unique and not a duplicate to the stuff on your main domain.

Keep it Simple
While purchasing multiple domain names can be beneficial, it's important to keep it simple. Avoid purchasing too many domain names or domain names that are too similar to each other. This can create confusion for customers and dilute your brand identity.

Conclusion
For anyone who read this far (or just skipped to the conclusion) to sum it up: Keep it short, to the point and memorable. Whatever you do, avoid being forgettable!!!

Choosing the right domain name for your small business is crucial for establishing your online presence and attracting customers. Consider SEO, avoid trademark infringement, choose a domain extension that works for you, and avoid using hyphens and numbers. Check if your preferred domain name is available and consider purchasing multiple domain names to protect your brand and improve your SEO.

It's better to be online than not, so don't be afraid to make the decision to begin sharing your brand with the world sooner than later; we know you can do it! Keep these suggestions in mind while you search for the best domain name for your small business website.


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