First of All, What Is A Domain Name?
A domain, or domain name refers to the web address used to go to a website. For example, the domain for this site is ImagePerceptions.com.
So What’s In a Name?
A lot. You really should put a lot of thought into choosing the domain name for your website, especially if it’s for your business. It’s how people are going to be able to (hopefully easily) find you online.
Put a lot of thought into it because once you choose it you need to stick with it. It’s not that you can never change it and you’re married to it for life, but if you pick a name, then change it, then change it again it might get confusing for people who are trying to find you online. Try to choose a name you can live with for a while.
Here are some tips that might help you pick your best domain name:
Use Your Name or Your Business’ Name
An obvious choice my seem to look for your business’ name and see if that domain is available. It can help you build your brand and develop that sense of identity for the business.
Now there may be some instances when you might not want to use the business’ name. Maybe it would be too long. Or maybe the spelling might confuse people.
If you’re looking to develop your name as the brand then see if it’s available.
Use Helpful Keywords
These kinds of names can be very helpful for showing up in keyword searches on Google, and they can also help make your domain name more memorable.
For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, you might look to see if WeddingPhotographer.com is available. It’s not available, but you get the point.
Get Creative, Make It Something “Catchy”
Maybe your name, or your business’ name is already taken. That can happen a lot! Maybe you can’t find a good combination of keywords to create the right name. Make something up!
The first time I heard of photographer, Sue Bryce, I saw that her website’s domain name was InBedWithSue.com. Sue Bryce shoots glamour and boudoir photography. InBedWithSue.com is great! It’s easy to remember; it’s easy to spell, it’s funny, a little provocative. It’s great!
You can get clever, but don’t be too clever – that can be confusing.
Whatever You Choose, Make It Easy for People
Bottom line, choose a name that will help your business. Pick a name that makes sense, that’s easy to remember, easy to use.
I can tell you from experience that ImagePerceptions.com is in some ways a good name, but does have it’s issues. I bought the name back in 2000 or 2001 when I was starting the business. I love the name Image Perceptions but for a domain it can be a bit long.
Also some people might not know exactly how to spell a word like perceptions.
Also when I tell someone the domain name it’s very common that they won’t hear the “S” at the end and I’ll have to really enunciate and say something like, “per-cep-tions, with an s – plural.” Then they get it, but that’s too much to have to go through.
Just a couple things to avoid:
- Less is more – keep it short. The longer the name, the more opportunity for people to make mistakes when trying to type it into the browser.
- Avoid using words or names that are hard to spell. If it’s your name and you’re trying to develop it as a brand, then it is what it is and go for it. But don’t try to be too clever. It will just add another obstacle for people to get past when trying to find you.
These are all just a few tips/guide lines you can use in your thought process. As with anything else, just use your best judgement.