Deciding on a domain name is an important component of your journey taking your organization online with a website.
Consider these dos and don’ts from a small-business perspective.
Do: Include a location or keywords in your domain name, if you can.
If your business focuses on a geographic region, try to put the location into the name of your domain, for instance if your target audience is the Carman area and you are a painter, you would want www.carmanpainter.com; “Put the most important keyword for your industry in the domain name.”
Do: Remember to renew your domain name registration.
If you purchase your own domain, make sure you don’t miss the renewal date. It can be a crippling business blow if you let it expire and someone else buys your name. When you buy your name through Accentweb, we are the administrative contact and we have it set to automatically renew until you tell us otherwise.
Do: If you can’t get your business name, you can look for a descriptive word. For example: www.smithcleaners.com is not available but if you can secure shineycleanspaces.com that might be an option.
Don’t: Use dashes, abbreviations or numbers in your domain name.
People may forget to use the hyphens, or put them in the wrong place, when they are typing your address into their browser. Instead of landing on your site, they land on the non-hyphenated version of your web address. What’s worse is that they may not even be aware that they have done this and mistakenly take the non-hyphenated address to be your website.
Having a hyphen in your web address makes you dependant on how well your audience can remember your web address. Leave nothing to chance. It’s hard enough (and expensive) to win traffic online without having these issues to worry about.
Don’t: Waste money on extensions other than .com .ca .org
When you register your domain name, you’ll be bombarded with offers to purchase other versions like .co or .net. For most small businesses, that’s not needed. Investing in other extensions becomes important when patenting something or protecting a trademark. If you think a competitor might want the .net version of your domain name, for example, consider taking it first. An exception to this rule is non profit organizations may consider .org as their extension as .com is not often available.
Don’t: Pick a name that is longer than 15 characters
Your name should be easy to type/spell, easy to pronounce and remember.
When you find your best choice for a domain, register it immediately because someone else may register it if you delay. Simply fill in the form below.