THE RIGHT URL
The other day I was having a conversation with a business owner about his brand. This conversation ranged from logo changes, old services he is discontinuing soon, to new initiatives he is looking to offer. During the conversation, the topic of his website came up. We talked about his website needs and how he needs to work on getting it set up soon. He talked about how he was looking into different hosting options and services to set his site up as well as site building services.
Typical conversations like these happen daily around the world for entrepreneurs. Where many new brands fail is in doing proper research when it comes to choosing their URL. Here are the top things to consider when you are looking at purchasing your domain:
Pretty easy, and to many pretty self-apparent. However, there are many new brands who have a hard time with this. When you’re looking into your brand’s domain, keep it relevant to what your brand is. If your brand name is, say, Measure, choosing a domain such as niteflight.com makes no sense. There is no connection that can occur.
Easy to Remember and Type
Remaining in the mind of your customers is important. Having a URL that is easy to remember is crucial in helping your customer find your site. Test the name—ask and find out how memorable it is to the world in general. This can be a trap that many entrepreneurs fall for. As they set out to find the “perfect” name, many will find a quirky way to spell or represent their brand and they form a quick connection that they think will come naturally to everyone. Again, let’s say your brand name is Measure and you discover that Measure.com is taken. However, Meazure.com is available. PERFECT! Everyone will get it; they’ll remember that need to switch the “s” with a “z”, right? Wrong! This trap will potentially lead your brand into being forgotten.
Research and Research
As with everything related to branding, research is imperative. Does the name you’re looking at contain a trademarked or copyrighted name or a name that another company is using already? If it does, you’re potentially setting your brand up for future legal problems.
The Shorter the Better
Domain names should be as short as possible. Part of this is tied to your URL being memorable. Long URLs cause people to become confused and can lead to mistyping or flat-out misspelling the URL.
Stay Away from Hyphens or Numbers
With hyphenated words people often forget there is a hyphen or that they need to type it in. Say your brand Measure decides to use Measure-inc.com. Customers will routinely try to type measureinc.com, which could be another brand altogether. If it is, you will drive your customers away from your site.
Numbers create a memory-related problem again. A site name of 1measure.com could be remembered and typed a onemeasure.com, again sending the customer to another site or getting a message that the site is not found.
Proper Domain Suffix
Domain suffixes or Top Level Domains (TLDs) have meaning and can cause the user to expect a certain type of site. If you choose the wrong domain suffix it can lead to mistrust with your brand. The standard and most common TLD you can use is .com. However, because it is the default choice, and considering the length of time it has been around, availability of short names in the .com TLD is limited. This means your brand may have a harder time finding a domain you desire. Today there are a whole slew (over 1000) of TLD options available for you to use to help your brand. A common example is the .io domain, popular with in the tech market. Could an alternative TLD work for your brand? Depending on your brand’s needs, a .co, .info, .net, .org, or any of the 1000 other TLDs might actually better suit your needs. Keep in mind that you will need to educate your market to not use .com when thinking of your brand.
If you determine that you need a domain with the potential for misspelling, it may be beneficial to purchase the top possible ways of misspelling your domain and redirect traffic to your site.
Determining the name for your domain is a time-sensitive matter Did you find a domain that meets all of your requirements? According to verisign.com,at the end of the second quarter of 2018 there were approximately 21.8 million new domains registered. You need to quickly go through the entire process, as domains are purchased quickly and a domain you find today might not be available tomorrow.
Getting the right domain name for your brand is essential in today’s online world. While you might have the best name for your product in the real world, in the virtual world that name might already be taken.
Ideas To Make Your Brand Better Now:
- Make a list of desired domain names that align will with your brand
- Research your list for any problems, consider optional TLDs for your domain
- Purchase the domain name(s) that will help your brand the best