Domain name registration is first in a long list of tasks required to build your brand online. And while it may not be as glamorous as web design, it is nonetheless satisfying to type your very own domain name into the address bar. After all, “domain” means an owned or controlled area of territory. Once you’ve purchased your domain name, you own (albeit temporarily) the small section of a server where your website resides. (Click here to learn more about domain registration.)
Accordingly, you might consider domain names a form of exterior decoration. Like the sign outside of a traditional storefront or business, your domain welcomes potential customers or clients into your website. For this reason, domain name registration requires careful consideration of the details that attract customers—and those that drive them away. Here are some of the best practices for selecting a domain name.
Brand Awareness through Domain Name Registration
First and foremost, your domain name should reflect your brand. Ideally, you’ll be able to purchase an exact match domain from a web hosting provider. (Click here to learn more about web hosting.) This means your domain will be identical to your company’s name, so when visitors arrive at your site there will be synergy between your domain and other branded elements. If your company name is long, however, you may consider an abbreviated version for the domain. Take our website for example. While our company name is Niki Jones Agency, our domain name is simply www.nikijones.com. We chose this domain because it is simpler and more memorable than the alternative – www.nikijonesagency.com. Simple domain names make it easier for customers to search for and return to your website.
This leads me to yet another important decision. If you opt for an abbreviated domain, it may still be advantageous to purchase the exact match domain. For instance, if you visit www.nikijonesagency.com, it will reroute you to our website. Purchasing an additional domain can assist visitors in finding you, even if they’re unsure of your domain name. It also prevents visitors from receiving a Domain Name System (DNS) error when attempting to visit your site. DNS errors for logical domain options may reduce your company’s hard-earned credibility.
Domain Name Pitfalls
If the exact match domain isn’t available, however, you may need to get creative. Domains can be registered with alternative extensions, such as .law or .dev, which indicate to visitors what services you provide. (Click here to browse domain name extensions.) Although creativity is definitely an asset when confronting this challenge, there are still some basic rules you should follow to ensure your site performs well with visitors.
First, as mentioned above, keep it sweet and simple. Finding your website shouldn’t be a challenge, so limit your domain to fifteen characters or less when possible. Common words that are easy to spell and correspond with your brand and services are a good starting point for domain name research. Along these lines, avoid unnecessary numbers and symbols, such as hyphens. Superfluous characters make it harder for visitors to remember your site, as well as type it. Remember that people are used to working quickly on the internet. When web performance comes down to the seconds (and it does!), the process of typing and accessing your domain must be quick and painless.
If you’re looking to update your domain name or need DNS services, call Niki Jones Agency today at 845-845-1266. We can help with a wide array of domain-related services, as well as other web hosting options. Our knowledgeable I.T. staff will be happy to help!