In an earlier post, we explained what domain names are and why they matter for small businesses. But what if you’re aware of the importance of domain names, and ready to move forward with bringing your business online? In this post we’ll provide advice, tips and tricks for choosing the right domain name for your small business. While it’s a relatively inexpensive investment, it’s one that will pay great dividends over time. A great domain name not only helps you protect your brand online, but it gives your business credibility and makes you look professional from the start. Furthermore, it will help you stand out from the crowd and can attract new visitors and customers to your website.
When choosing your domain name, here are some tips to keep in mind:
Include your brand and related keywords
Do you already have a name for your business? If so, check to see if the matching domain name name is available. If not, consider the availability of a domain name when naming your business. If your brand or product name is already taken as a domain name, you should consider adding keywords to your domain name, like your services, industry or location. Just make sure your domain name isn't too long and complicated.
Keep it simple and memorable
Since your domain name is often your call to action (i.e. “go visit my website at example.ca!”), you want it to be as simple and memorable as possible. Also make sure that it is easy to pronounce and spell. Try to avoid dashes or numbers as these can often confuse people as well. If you must have numbers in your domain name, register both the “2” and “two” versions. Also, try to keep your domain name short — this will make it easier for people to remember and type into a browser.
Consider alternate spelling and common typos
Is your business’ name often misspelled, or does it contain words that have alternate spellings (e.g. center and centre)? To avoid losing any traffic and to protect your brand, consider registering both or all versions of the domain name. This is known as building a “domain portfolio”. The additional cost of registering multiple domains names is inexpensive (can be as low as $1 per year per domain name), but it is an important step in managing and controlling your brand online. When you register more than one domain name, you can point all of your additional domains to your main domain for your website.
Choose the right top-level domain
A domain name is comprised of two pieces: the top-level domain (everything to the right of the dot, like .CA, .com and .org) and the second-level domain (everything to the left of the dot, like your business name).
If you're a Canadian business selling to Canadian customers, the .CA domain name extension is the right choice. The .CA instantly brands your website and business as Canadian and can help you attract more visitors in a Canadian search. In fact, research shows that Canadians prefer using and shopping on Canadian websites. If you're considering a different extension, like .com, registering the .CA version as well will help protect your brand.
Registering a domain name is an important step in building and growing your business' brand online. Get started today by searching to see if your .CA domain name is available.