When you are serious about your business, you want to register your very own domain name, but what will be the best one? In this part of the beginners guide I will show you how to choose the right domain name for your business.
In this guide I am going to explain you what you need to know about your business before you can choose the right domain name for your business.
When you already have started a business, whether that is online or a typical brick and mortal type of business, it is usually easier to find a domain name for your business. You would most likely base it upon the business name you already have or in some cases you would make a website for a brand or a product line.
For the creation of an online business you have all cards on the table. Let’s take a close look at what these options are.
How To Choose?
When you start an online business you will need to choose a name for your business. The same goes for an online business. As we start building a website, we create a name for this website. The name for the website could easily be the base for your domain name.
There are however several options you can base your domain name on:
- existing business name
- your name
- niche + market
- brandable name
Existing Business Name
If you already have a business name registered some place sometime ago, you could use that name for your domain name. My existing business name is “Esser Design”. It is registered here in Norway and I use it for a lot of tax stuff around the earnings from my websites.
I could have used that same name for my website to build my business upon. I choose however something else (but I do also have my Esser Design domain registered in Norway however).
Your Own Name
You can also use your own name as a domain name. My name, Steven Esser, could also be the name of my domain name or be part of my business name. I own also the domain stevenesser.net for that matter, but am not actively using that as a business.
You can also make businesses that are a combination of your own name and some describing functional text. As such, I have seen people register sites such as “Build Your Business With Bert” from a guy named Bert.
Your Niche As Domain Name
The niche of your business could also be part of your business and domain name. For example, if your niche is about essential oils, you would ideally maybe want to name your domain name essentialoils.com or something similar to that.
Your Niche & Market
When a fantastic domain like earnwhileretired.com isn’t available, you could also try to include your target market audience within the name. Perhaps you’re making money online website for retired people be targeted at people from ages 60 and up. Now a domain name might be available somewhere in the direction of earnwhileretired50plus.com.
Brandable Domain Name
You do however not have the requirement to make your business and domain name the same as your target audience or niche or market you are in. You could simply have a custom name for it that has no direct relation to anything out there.
Think about Google. What makes Google that people think of a search engine? Nothing at all. They just came up with that name and it became a brand over time. What has McDonalds to do with burgers and other fast food?
Your website will become a brand and a business. Your business will become a brand. People will associate a brand name with your product line or your website with information.
Things To Avoid
There are a couple of things I would avoid at all cost when you are registering your own new domain name.
- Trademarks and Copyrights
- Misspelled names
Trademarks and Copyrights
Never, under any circumstance, use trademarked or copyrighted names or brands in your domain name. Not as a domain name itself nor as a part of your domain name.
Examples are: Google or Coca Cola. You should not register cocacola.com or any other variant because it will get you into (BIG) trouble. Similarly, will RankingWithGoogle or MicrosoftWindowsTroubleshooter.com be a problem.
Are you not sure if it is registered? Check it up. There are registers where you can check for trademarks and copyrights as well as there is Google to check for the existence of the big brands.
Although it is perfectly fine to register a domain with hyphens, it is definitely not ideal. Hyphens make your domain long and difficult to remember for your customers. They are also making your domain ugly. Just try to prevent them at all cost. Rather, have a long domain name then a hyphened one.
Although the idea sounds great to catch the people that type goggle instead of google or hoogle instead of google, it is usually not a good brandable domain to go on the spelling mistakes of domain names. It looks way more professional to have a branded domain name with a correct spelling.
Most of your visitors will actually come from links shared in social media or email and found through search engines, so they never actually have to (miss)type anything.
There is one exception: If it is easy to misspell your own brand or domain name, you could register the domain of that misspelled version and let it redirect to your correct branded domain name. That way you catch the misspells too!
Within affiliate marketing we keep saying that it is easier to rank for a .com domain. Why that is, is unclear to me, but it generally is easier to rank for a .com then a .net or .org. They even say that it is in the following order of priority when you are looking into registering a new domain name:
I would however want to add that if you are going to target and write for a different country than the USA/whole world or write in a country specific language, you should choose the country specific extension.
As such, if you for example live in Germany, you would probably want to register a .de domain. I live in Norway and could start a website in the Norwegian language with a .no domain. My home country is The Netherlands and there they use the .nl extension. Each country comes with its own extension, so if you plan to write for your own language and country, choose their domain extension.
For ranking purposes, the country domain extensions rank just as well as the .com domains’.
Not Ready For A Domain Name Yet?
When you are just starting out on your business and are not sure yet about the name of your business, you perhaps just want to start with a website and build out some initial content. This is perfectly possible and definitely advised. All you need for a free domain name and website is a name for your site and a theme of choice. You can start right away by filling out the form below.
When you have created and established your website, it is very easy to register a domain for your site at a later moment and move your content over to the new domain. Come back anytime to this guide to learn more on how to choose the right domain name for your business.
Where To Register Your Domain
You can go for ultra cheap and for a more expensive place. Naturally you would want to go for the cheapest solution available, right? Or should you?
Do remember that it doesn’t just come down to registering a new domain name, you also need a place to host your website. Make sure you register your domain in a place where you can also host your domain, that makes it only easier for yourself as everything will be sorted for you and everything is maintained in one place.
Through my years as website builder and hoster, I have seen many different offers and prices. The different prices also come with different levels of service, availability and features, so choose your location well.
I wrote a whole a post about hosting, where I go more into detail on what you should look for in hosting and what to be careful with.
Here I will share two of my favourite places to register domains’:
A great place to go for cheap hosting and also quite famous on the internet is NameCheap. Namecheap started as a domain registration partner and has crazy cheap domains’ registration prices.
NameCheap nowadays also offers different hosting packages, both shared and private and recently added a WordPress hosting package to their product line – which in my opinion is really an interesting addition. With their WordPress product, you can just press a couple of buttons and have your website installed and ready to go.
==> Go to NameCheap
HostGator is a real big name in the hosting branch. They are absolutely pro at hosting websites and have really amazing prices and offers on web hosting. They also offer domain registrations at a great price.
==> Go to HostGator
How To Get Started Online is part of my beginner series: