The 7 habits of highly effective domain names

What is the strategic importance of domain names for your business?

If your business website is attracting and engaging incremental traffic constantly, you’re on your way to success. Conversely, if you fail to build a high-performing website, no amount of Google and Facebook ads will give you the success you desire.

i) Brand Positioning

A good domain name fast-tracks your branding efforts. It does the job of establishing your brand and what you have to offer. For example, lifeandstyle.store.

ii) Marketing Touchpoints

Good domain names add the extra value to your marketing efforts. They can be used as touchpoints that entice and engage your target audience. Consider theapartment.store. The name gives you a fair idea about what the website might have to offer.

iii) First Impression

You introduce your business with its name. It is your first impression and it should impress. Look at flutelessons.fun and you’ll know you’ll be having fun with flutes on this website.

What are the common mistakes entrepreneurs make when choosing a domain name?

The conception of your brand happens with its name. For something that is at the core of your brand’s identity, often entrepreneurs underestimate the importance of a good name. Considering all the strategic benefits that come along with a fitting domain name, it would be silly to settle for anything that doesn’t “feel right”.

1. Compromising on the desired name

Many businesses tend to compromise on their name because it isn’t available.

2. Lack of innovation in choosing the domain name

As a future-focused business, you strive to bring in innovation in everything that you do. And branding is the single most important ingredient that will help you achieve that goal. Having a domain name that reflects this attitude of innovation can go a long way in getting your branding right.

What makes a domain name effective as a branding strategy?

The two elements of a domain name (the domain and the domain extension) — both play a significant role in a company’s branding strategy. The following strategies have proven useful in getting the name right.

1. Get a relevant domain extension

Your name is the identity of your business and hence, should be on a relevant domain extension. The most common domain extension that has been there since the origin of the Internet is .COM. It originally stood for ‘commercial’ sites. Other extensions that were used include .NET (for network), .ORG (for organization), .EDU (for education), .INFO (for information), and more.

  • Emirates.store
  • Freedom.press

2. Make it keyword rich or industry relevant

Having a keyword rich or industry relevant domain extension is like adding an intuitive suffix to your domain name. Don’t you just search for ‘shoe store’ or ‘Chinese restaurants’? This makes these new domain extensions effective for branding your business online.

  • Emirates.store
  • Viacom.tech

3. Make it radio-test friendly

As we move into the era of voice search, it is imperative that domain names are easily understood and searchable by artificial assistants like Siri and Alexa. Web addresses on new domain extensions give you the added benefit of finding a name that fares well on the Radio Test.

4. Keep it free of hyphens, numbers, acronyms

Some of the basic qualities of a good domain name should have:

  • Simplicity
  • Brevity
  • Meaning
  • Memorability

5. Keep your domain name short and memorable

Word of mouth is one of the best marketing tactics out there that brings relevant consumers to your website, so the simpler the domain name, the better it is for your branding. An effective domain name rolls off the tongue easily, because it is short and easy. This is irrespective of whether you run an online furniture store or are into foreign exchange trading online; a simple domain name that’s easy to pronounce, spell and write is a winner.

6. Trademark your domain names

One of the ‘must dos’ for every entrepreneur is to trademark their domain names — every single one of them. Merely registering them isn’t going to be enough. With the rising cyber threats such as brandjacking and typosquatting, it is becoming more and more important to take the right precautions for the safety of your organization and your consumers.

7. Familiarise yourself with domain security

Cybercriminals are constantly on the lookout to bait businesses into internet scams, and if you’re not careful, you can be the one they target. Domain hijacking is when a fraudster changes the registration as an attempt to transfer ownership without the knowledge of the legitimate domain owner. It can lead to loss of control over identity, emails, social presence and more. Some of the ways to combat this include:

  • Keeping domain management under your control
  • Restricting access to website management to selected team members
  • Giving priority to emails related to your domain
  • Being careful of phishing attempts

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