How to Pick a Domain Name for Your Local Business
We’re in the business of helping our clients set up shop online. A new product we’re releasing in the coming week is one we hope will allow small local businesses to create sites optimized for local search, complete with analytics and monthly reporting. It’s our vision of the total package a local business needs to create a competitive, search and social-friendly online presence with the expertise and infrastructure we’re in a unique position to offer.
But there’s one critical element of a website we can’t provide: your domain name. We can, however, offer guidelines and recommendations for how to pick a domain name that supports your brand and goals as a community business.
- Brand or keywords?
- Keep it simple
- Alternative extensions?
- FAQ: How can I select the best domain name for my local business to enhance brand recognition and online visibility?
How do your customers remember you? Are you well recognized in your community by name? Is there a person in the community everyone knows as the heart and soul of the company? Think of what you’re recognized for. Next-day service? Low price leader? Old man Higgins’ dressing up as Santa for the annual community Christmas party? Brainstorm a bit about your reputation in the community and what makes you stand out. Then riff off those ideas for names. You don’t want to be so specific that you paint yourself into a corner that prohibits growth and expansion of the business, but you do want to leverage what draws customers to you.
Think all the good names are gone? If you invent something new, it can be hard to find a catchy name that speaks to the product or service. Inventors and entrepreneurs today are challenged by creating new words and phrases that are unique but not too outlandish. It’s a delicate balance. Watch any infomercials and you’re sure to have come across a few head scratchers. Ask me, ShamWow got lucky.
Think about this for a moment. Glasses ─ what an elegant name for those critical spectacles so common today. Unfortunately it can be a lot harder to coin a word or phrase today. But can you repurpose a word to your business? Microsoft did it with Windows and then became the most ubiquitous operating system in the world.
While they sound cool, they are totally impractical for most businesses and could even be harmful for a local business. They cost too much and it’s potentially confusing. Stick with a trusty .com.
At this point, every domain was available. Every single one. They could have had any name they wanted.
In retrospect, this is kind of like being the first one out to the California Gold Rush and coming back with a bag full of silver. Or having the number one pick in the NFL Draft and taking JaMarcus Russell.
Here are some domain names I would have suggested registering instead: Anything. Anything other than Symbolics.com would have been a good choice. Any two letter combination. Any three letter combination.
Even any real word used in the English language would have made more sense than “symbolics.” […]
So March 15th might actually also double as the 25th anniversary of the first Internet FAIL.
You can certainly be clever, but not so clever you lose the value of keywords, branding and recognition. Choose a descriptive or brand-focused domain name that’s easy to remember, unlikely to be misspelled, and is short and simple. It’s the first step in your development of a domain name that supports your local business goals and community standing.
Empower your local business with our upcoming solution for optimized websites and expert guidance on selecting a memorable, growth-driven domain name. Reach out.
FAQ: How can I select the best domain name for my local business to enhance brand recognition and online visibility?
Selecting the ideal domain name for your local business is a pivotal step in establishing your brand’s presence online. Your domain name serves as a digital storefront, making it crucial for building brand recognition and ensuring online visibility. As an expert in the field, I’m here to guide you through this process and offer insights that will help you make an informed decision.
- Know Your Brand
Begin by understanding your brand thoroughly. What are your values, products, and services? How does your business differentiate itself from competitors? Knowing this information will enable you to choose a domain that accurately represents its identity.
- Keep It Short and Memorable
Domain names that are shorter and simpler are easier to recall and type. Pick something easy for customers to pronounce and spell; this will reduce their chance of mistyping it and saving valuable time spent correcting their typos.
- Local Relevance
Incorporate your location into the domain name if possible. This not only enhances your local identity but also aids in search engine optimization (SEO). For example, if you run a bakery in Chicago, consider a domain like “ChicagoBakeDelights.com.”
- Keyword Integration
Including relevant keywords in your domain name can significantly boost your online visibility. Identify keywords that relate to your business and weave them naturally into your domain.
- Avoid Hyphens and Numbers
Hyphens and numbers can confuse users and make your domain more challenging to remember. Stick to letters to maintain simplicity and memorability.
Step 1: Conduct thorough brand research.
Step 2: Identify your core business values and unique selling points.
Step 3: Keep the domain name short and memorable.
Step 4: Incorporate your location or region if relevant.
Step 5: Research and select relevant keywords for your domain.
Step 6: Avoid hyphens and numbers in your domain.
Step 7: Check domain name availability using domain registration websites.
Step 8: Prioritize purchasing a .com domain name extension.
Step 9: Ensure the domain name is not trademarked or copyrighted.
Step 10: Test the domain name’s pronunciation and spelling with others.
Step 11: Consider future growth and expansion in your domain choice.
Step 12: Verify social media handle availability for your chosen domain name.
Step 13: Make use of domain name generators for creative ideas.
Step 14: Seek feedback from friends, family, or colleagues.
Step 15: Register your chosen domain name with a reputable domain registrar.
Step 16: Purchase any relevant variations of your domain name to protect your brand.
Step 17: Implement SEO best practices for your website using the chosen domain.
Step 18: Create and launch your website, optimizing it for your goals (whether it’s organic search, local search, or other digital marketing).
Step 19: Regularly monitor your online presence and make necessary adjustments.
Step 20: Foster a strong online brand presence by consistently delivering quality products and services.
An effective domain name is crucial to increasing local businesses’ brand recognition and online visibility. Follow these expert tips, and use a step-by-step process to build a powerful presence online for your local company. By carefully choosing your domain name, you will watch it thrive within the digital space.
This article was updated on November 20, 2023.