Imagine this: you’ve just started a home business, and you need some flyers. So you get on your computer, spend all afternoon designing a flyer, and then you realize something. The website that the company gave you won’t fit on the paper unless you shrink it to where your prospects can barely read it! That’s just one of the reasons why you need a domain name.
A domain name is the word or words between the www. and .com/.net/etc. in a website. Most marketing companies provide distributors with websites that have long domain names, including that person’s ID number or chosen keyword. Some people have no problem with using those websites, and I say to each their own. However, in my opinion, you shoot yourself in the foot every single time you give someone a “www.yourcompanyandservices.com/yourname” (or worse: a “www.yourcompanyandservices.com/12345678”) website.
For one, most people don’t want to type a long string of words. Why do you think text speak (lol, brb, txt me b4 u leave) is still popular, even though most phones have long abolished the “press this number button x times to get this letter” style of typing that gave everyone the idea in the first place? Also, it can be easy for your prospect to make spelling mistakes or forget the website altogether.
Another thing about domain names is that they add a personal touch. You can use your name in your custom domain. You can name it after you and your spouse. You can make it catchy. You can make a whatever you want .com, unless of course that domain has already been done.
Domain names are highly affordable. I’ve only used one provider — 1&1, appropriately enough — so I don’t have the experience to personally decide for you which is the best. So here’s a website that compares the top five providers.
Now that we’ve been over the “whys” and the “what(are)s” of domain names, let go over some “hows” to make yours a great one.
Use .com and Only .com
I’m just curious, if I told you a domain name without an extension, what would you end it with? Would you end it with .info? Would you type .org? Or would you type .com?
The good news is, you’re not alone if you chose .com. The bad news for those of you who use any of the other 280 extensions is that the vast, vast majority of people are so used to the .com extension that it’s weird to see anything else. If your website was http://www.suchnsuch.net and your prospect went to www.suchnsuch.com, they wouldn’t be able to see your website because they are two different things. Most likely, they’ll give up, and that’s money lost. So go for the .com.
Seal it with a K.I.S.S.
When naming your domain, you want to follow the KISS principle: Keep It Simple, Stupid. What good is eliminating your prospect’s hassle of typing a long website, if you’re just going to create another one for them? I don’t know of the ideal number of letters to use, but if you think about it, most websites use only one or two words. Some have three, and a handful go over that. That’s a clue if I’ve ever heard one.
You may want to avoid numbers and symbols. One amusing reason is that your website could be http://www.rags2riches.com, yet your prospect could end up on www.ragstoriches.com, which is a website that has nothing to do with yours. Even if you do tell them the correct spelling, people make mistakes, especially when they tell other people. Don’t let your prospect talk to a referral and confuse your website with a porn site!
Tell What You Sell
If you’re stumped about which words to use in your domain name, you can start with words that describe your product or your field of expertise. A website with just your full name won’t tell us anything about what you’re offering. However, if you had something like http://www.fitnesswithsasha.com, we’d be able to make a fair deduction of what you’re doing. So grab a thesaurus or use one online, and look up as many words as possible relating to your products and services.
Put a Ring on It
Have you ever noticed that it’s always the catchy songs that get stuck in our heads? Most people won’t even bother to finish a song if it doesn’t become catchy within a few seconds. Why not keep this in mind when choosing your domain name? A website that has a ring to it will stay in people’s minds for a longer period of time. And they’d be able to recite it to their referrals more easily. Stay away from words that the average person would have trouble spelling.
One way to pick a catchy domain name is to use that string of words in a sentence. “End the healthcare crisis” makes perfect sense when used in a sentence. “Dental medical benefits” does not.
Make a nice day!