domain names

Editor's Note: This post is brought to you by Megean from The Individuality - our professional branding, web development and graphic design consultant. 

A custom domain name is an essential branding tool. It allows your company to be found easier and shared quicker. A customer can often remember a domain name ( much quicker than they can remember or 

Not only does it make finding your online presence quicker, it is a really affordable investment for your company. Most domain names can be purchased for under $10 a year and hosting can be as little as $5/month. I understand that not all businesses have a huge investment pool to draw from, so if you don't have $5/month to spare, there is still an option for you. You can also forward your domain name to your free .com for FREE. When you purchase your domain name, your registrar of choice will be able to give your more information on this option.   

How should you choose your new domain name?

1.      Make it relevant. Ideally, you will be able to purchase the domain name associated with your company name. However, if your exact name isn’t available, try to get something as close as possible. Brainstorm a few keywords that describe your company and try out a few combinations. Be sure to say it out loud. This will allow you to test out sharing it word of mouth.
2.      Keep it simple. Test out your new domain name by actually typing it out a few times. Try typing it on computers as well a mobile devices. Keeping it short will increase your traffic flow and help avoid losing potential customers who are short on time. Long domains are often hard to remember, can be difficult to incorporate into branding and leave the opportunity for typos.
3.      Don’t add the dash! If your wanted domain is already taken, do not be tempted to toss a dash, plural version or simply misspell the wanted word. These practices can quickly cause you to miss out on potential customers.

When you include a dash in your domain name, it makes sharing it that much more difficult. You will find yourself stressing that DASH repeatedly and often wondering if your new customer will remember. Skip the worry by choosing an equally great, descriptive domain by focusing on the keywords you chose in step one.

Not only could adding an unnecessary dash deal a blow to your domain name choice, simply tagging on the “s” to make it plural is also a huge NO. Customers have busy lives and remembering that you tagged an “s” on the end of a domain name to make it unique, probably doesn't rank high on their priority list.

*While I know that everyone will not agree with me on this point, it needs to be made. While seems cute to purposefully misspell a word in your business name, it is not a great branding option. When you share your name out loud with someone, you should not have to tell them that it is KUTE with a K. As a potential shopper who needs that awesome product you definitely make, I will not remember this 3 months from now when I desperately want to buy something from you. I will most likely remember you create adorable purses but I will find myself at the end of the internet as I type every possible combo of your name. Only to realize that by spelling the word correctly, I was actually spelling it wrong.

I picked my domain name, now what?

Shout it out. Share it everywhere. And don’t forget to renew it. Your domain name is available 24/7 to share a wealth of information.  It should be included on ALL marketing materials. Examples include: social media sites, business cards, t-shirts, banners, address labels, fabric tags, receipts, freebies tossed in orders, magnets & more.  These extra materials are the quickest way for a customer to learn more about your company, purchase a product, or simply bookmark your great products for future reference.

Another tip: Purchase your domain name for multiple years to save the hassle of renewal each year. If you do purchase for only one year, make sure to register with an email you check frequently!  This will ensure that when the year is up, you are able to secure your domain name for another year.

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