When your clients ask for your web address, a domain name is what you tell them.
For example, my domain name at Scott Latham Digital is scottlathamdigital.com.
Did you see what I did there?
I modeled my domain name after my company, and it directly explains what we do. When you plan your website, you should follow such an approach too. Why?
You don’t want to confuse your customers with complex names.
What you need is a web address that stands out and communicates your business within seconds.
Besides the visitors of your web address, your domain name is crucial to ranking on Google.
And like humans, Google bots would understand your business better when your domain name is straightforward. And when that happens, the bots will crawl, index, and rank your pages fast.
Sounds good, eh?
So to answer the headline question, yes, domain names are crucial to businesses, and it is best that you get them right from the start.
How can you create a unique, customer-friendly, and SEO-friendly web address?
Factors To Note When Choosing Your Domain Name
Choosing a domain name is difficult.
Especially in today’s modern internet driven world.
Many of the domain name you fancy, may have already been taken, including your brand or company name.
So what do you need to think of when choosing your domain name? We’ll take a look at some key points below.
Keep it Simple
The first thing you should appropriate for your domain name is clarity. And yes, we understand that you want a unique tag, but a complex one isn’t in any way creative. Besides, even concise and clear names can be creative, plus they are easy to remember.
Think back to your favorite websites. Are they long and confusing? We bet the answer is no! And we even have an example for you:
If you’re a football fan, you’d know goal.com; it is just four letters, no symbols, and straight to the point.
You wouldn’t even need a bookmark to remember the site; such simplicity is what will make your website an instant hit.
Summarily, do away from long and odd domain names and stick with the shorter and easy-pronounced alternatives. Else, you risk your clients mistyping your web address and going to your competitor.
Pro tip: like your domain name, the extension (TLD, Top Level Domain) behind it should also be concise and clear. About that, “.com” is often the best option.
While simplifying your domain name, don’t forget to optimize it for desirable keywords in your niche.
Think about it; a concise and keyword-optimised web address will be endearing to both your customers and Google. It is like killing two birds with a stone!
However, be careful not to stuff your domain name with keywords – one or two should suffice.
Moreover, you only need a broad term that describes your business offerings. Your blog and web content can always help you rank for other keywords.
Look at our website as an example; you will see that we combined our name, “scottlatham,” and a keyword, “digital.” That way, you can tell at a glance that we offer digital services.
And all that detail is just “a keyword.”
So, be like us!
Pro tip: you can get inspiration for your domain names from widely-used keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner and KWFinder. And once you have the keyword, proceed to Domain Wheel; type in the word(s), and the wheel will suggest addresses you can use.
Know The Right Place To Buy Your Domain Name
Once you have settled on a desirable domain name, the next step is its registration.
This stage can be somewhat hectic. But don’t fret; we will simplify it.
To register your domain name, you must first buy it. You can do that either when signing up for a hosting plan or directly from a hosting or registrar company.
Regardless of the route you’d eventually take, we will advise you to buy from GoDaddy.
We use GoDaddy and can attest firsthand to how straightforward the processes are, especially for small businesses and beginners. Nevertheless, you can try your luck with any domain registrars.
But if you prefer to save time, be assured of safety, and get a super-easy process, choose GoDaddy. Afterward, follow these steps to register your domain name:
- Open your browser and visit https://godaddy.com.
- When the page loads, you will find a search bar. Input your desired domain name and click “search domain.”
- The search results will tell you if the typed address is already used, for sale, or free to use.
- If your desired domain name is free to use, you will see the price. And then, you can add it to the cart and purchase it. Even better, you will have alternative names you could try from the search results.
- When your desired address is already in use and for sale, you will find the options to buy it on GoDaddy. There is even a section for auctions. But if the price is too much for your budget, you can try tweaking the TLD.
That’s all: in just five steps, you now own a domain name.
However, note that you don’t yet have a website.
About that, we will advise you to go for a WordPress site – they are the best fit for small businesses – and even large corporations.
But we’ll come to that in a later chapter.
Even at that, you still need a host’s server to run your website.
That brings us to the second phase of this guide: