For small businesses seeking to establish a presence online, there is probably no more important decision than choosing a domain name.
No pressure, right?
But seriously, it’s very possible your success in building an audience — or being found at all, for that matter — may depend upon this crucial selection.
Beyond the question of any existing business name you may already be using, there are at least four major considerations when making your pick.
These, according to Stacey Roberts, managing editor of Problogger.net are basically:
1.) The human perspective, how easy the name is for perspective visitors to read, say and remember;
2.) The brand perspective, how well the name explains the product or service you provide in the simplest way possible;
3.) The SEO perspective, how prominently the name comes up on search engines like Google when people are searching for what you do online;
4.) The legal perspective, how safe you are from getting sued by someone who got to your perfect name first.
But with an estimated 284 million domain names already out there vying for attention, one factor may trump them all. Roberts explains:
There’s no way around the need to be unique when it comes to business names. Not only do you want to be memorable and hopefully the only one — but you also don’t want to get yourself into legal trouble either. Do some Googling to see what business names and URLs already registered are similar (or the same) to yours. You can search through business directories, phone books, and blog curation sites like Bloglovin‘ to find out who is blogging under what name and make your decision from what you find.”
Other resources Roberts recommends consulting in a search for your small business domain name include Moz’s SEO Best Practices for URLs, the Google Keyword Tool, Buzzsumo and Keyword Tool.
To check legal problems with the name you hope to use here in the U.S., Roberts recommends Copyright.gov and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office just to be sure.
Hopefully, while taking all these factors into consideration, you’ll find a domain name that both meets all the criteria and is totally your own.
It could be the key to both getting your business found online and making sure your customers remember.
Domain name photo via Shutterstock