A website URL or domain name is one of the very first really important decisions businesses must make when beginning an Internet marketing campaign. Regrettably, too few businesses consider how their domain name will influence consumers, when they are exposed to it in traditional and digital media.
That said, when selecting a domain name, branding and location are perhaps two of the most important considerations. A close third is length.
Goal: Recognize and Recall.
Given that your domain will be used to direct consumers to your website from other internet properties, as well traditional media like television, radio and print, it is important to make it immediately recognizable as being closely related to you, your business, products, and/or services.
Aside from your business or brand name in the domain, you may consider including a descriptive word if their may be some ambiguity. For example, if your company name was Clarke’s you should choose a more descriptive domain that distinguishes you from the competition.
Choosing, and of course promoting, a branded domain name will make it much more likely that your url will be properly recalled in the future; specifically when someone needs to contact you or would like to share your information with others.
Goal: Confidence and Appeal.
Albeit the .com domain is the most widely recognized domain extension, and should be purchased if available regardless, it may be more relevant to display a geographically appropriate domain extension if your business serves only local clientele and/or a geographically-specific audience.
When displayed in search results, consumers will (most often) recognize their country specific extension and will perceive you/your business as being “local” to them. In some instances, this proximity offers more confidence and appeal to people who are apprehensive about making a purchase from companies located “overseas.”
Goal: Short and Easy.
Guess what. Size matters. When it comes to choosing a domain name, the shorter the better. The general “rule of thumb” when selecting a domain is 15 characters, including the extension. That is not to say that you cannot exceed this threshold, or that you will be penalized by search engines if you choose a domain with 16, 17 or 20 characters.
The limit mentioned above is simply a guideline that encourages the choice of a domain name that contains only one or two words. Doing so will ensure that your final domain name choice is easy to remember, easy to share, and much less likely to be misspelled.
Choosing Your Domain
You should regard your domain name as the foundation of your digital marketing presence. Do not underestimate how it will work in partnership and support initiatives both on and off-line. This really speaks to the importance of taking the time to carefully consider your brand’s direction and long-term goals when making your final decision.