Article by Crystal Peterson from .CO Internet
Choosing a domain name is perhaps one of the more exciting aspects of starting a new project or company. However, it can also be one of the most frustrating experiences, especially if you run into a roadblock, and the domain name you want is unavailable. Before you start tinkering with the spelling of your domain name or adding that extra dash, there are five things you should know before deciding on a name for your business.
1. Keep it short & sweet
Look for a name you can feel proud of and stand behind. Be sure it will properly represent the brand you envisioned.
When it comes to the length of your domain name, the shorter the better. The longer the web address, the more difficult it will be for your customers to remember. It is no mystery why domains with low character counts can be considered gold for any company.
Tip: Over 85% of four- and five-character domains are still available in the .CO name space, making it a great extension to find your short and sweet web address.
2. Ditch the Dash
Your domain name is often the first thing people see and hear when they learn about your brand, product or new business. So it should be easy to say, spell, share and remember. That means extra letters, tricky spellings and dashes between words are all aspects you may want to avoid.
Think about your favorite websites. Now consider how many of them have dashes or numbers in their name. The reality is, additions such as hyphens and dashes in the main URL (i.e. homepage) of your new company or project can potentially harm the perception of your brand or have a negative association. If nothing else, it can make it difficult for potential partners and customers to find you online.
At the end of the day, you need a name that will stand the test of time. After all, you’re building an empire that will be around for years to come!
3. Beware of the Trademark
The Internet can be a litigious place, and we like to do our part along with our good friends at Yola to ensure that all movers, shakers and new small business makers like you are aware of the legal implications when registering domain names.
On the most basic level, if your domain name is registered for the purpose of confusing, misleading or tricking the public; trading on the goodwill of someone else’s brand; and/or for any other bad faith reason – legal trouble is likely to follow.
If you’re not sure whether a proposed name would infringe on or violate someone else’s rights, we suggest consulting a qualified attorney. If you find that someone has traded on your brand value and registered a web address that infringes on a trademark you own, refer to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) to get a few of your questions answered.
4. Be Unique
Think about it, there are hundreds of thousands of new websites, businesses, brands and blogs launching every day. How are you going to get noticed?
If you want to have an impact on your target audience, don’t settle on a subpar web address or one that you are not happy with. You should expect your customers and prospects to see, type or click on your domain name thousands of times a day, so keep brainstorming until you find “the one.”
Remember, your name should be short, memorable and easily identifiable. Ideally, your name will reflect something about the core of your business – even if you have to add a splash of creativity to make it work. For example, Zappos did this by branding itself with variation of “zapatos,” the Spanish word for “shoes.”
5. Consider what’s to the right of the dot
One of the most crucial components of your web address is what comes after the dot (i.e. your domain extension). Not all domains were created equal – from their Google ranking, localization or regional targeting to any perks or benefits they offer. In this respect, .CO domains are a great choice, because they rank just as well in terms of SEO as other great choices like .COM, .NET and .ORG. Additionally, you get a great, globally recognized domain name, and the opportunity to join companies such as Brit, Vine and AngelList in choosing one of the fastest growing domain name extensions today.
From the availability of short, brandable, keyword-rich domain names, to the exclusive perks of the .CO Membership Program, .CO domain names have given an edge to a great number of innovators, entrepreneurs, businesses and brands around the globe. Get started today and search for your website address here.
Crystal Peterson, Director of Global Sales & Channel Marketing for .CO Internet, is a key player behind the domain’s unprecedented growth. In three short years .CO has more than 1.5 million registered domains and has become the domain of choice for innovators in 200+ countries. Traveling more than 100,000 miles each year, Crystal forges some of .CO’s most strategic partnerships while cultivating relationships with registrars and resellers in all corners of the globe.