Listen up, Canada. If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur starting an online venture, then domains are important. First and foremost, let’s clarify what a domain is. Not to insult your intelligence, but I just want to make sure we’re all on the same (web) page.
Once you tie your domain to a website, that’s your business’s web address and customers can find you online. If you’re not ready to build a site yet, no problem. You can always add one later, but it’s still a good idea to snag a domain ahead of time. Got it? Good. Let’s move on to the fun stuff.
How to pick a domain name
Choosing a domain name can seem like a simple task at first. After all, it’s just a word or two, right? Well, yes, but selecting the right name can actually be challenging. The obvious choice is the name of your business — but what if you don’t have a business name yet? Or, if you do, what if your business’s name is already taken as a domain? Don’t worry. We have solutions.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting a domain name for your business:
“Keep it simple, stupid.” That’s a phrase often used in advertising, and when choosing your domain, you should maintain the same mindset. You want to tell customers immediately what type of business you’re in.
2. Shorter is better.
The shorter your domain, the easier it is to remember. It’s also less likely to get confused with other websites. If your domain name starts to sound like a slogan or an entire sentence, go back to tip number one.
“Localization is perfection, Sally.” OK, that’s not a saying. Although that was my attempt to be humorous, the message stays the same. More people are jumping on the bandwagon to support small businesses. You’ve probably already seen it in your community, but the movement for supporting local businesses is happening all over the country. If you want to take advantage of this, consider grabbing a .ca domain to let your audience know you’re Canadian through and through.
Pro tip: As entrepreneurs in Canada continue to claim domains for their businesses, you might not be able to find your preferred domain with a .com or .ca extension. However, you might consider other unique domain extensions specific to your industry. For example, you could use .photography if you’re a budding photographer, .shop for your online business or even .services for your SaaS business. Those are just a few ideas, so be sure to check out what else is available.
Three is key
As a writer, I love giving advice to others on writing. Choosing a domain is like writing, because you’ll want something clever, memorable and easy. This keeps customers coming back to your site.
Here are three more tips to consider when choosing your domain (or business name):
It might sound silly to rhyme, but it can definitely make your domain name memorable. This can work even for a serious business. Take “Gentle Dental,” for example. It’s fun. It’s memorable. And, as a bonus, it immediately tackles everyone’s fear about going to the dentist. Make sense? Awesome possum.
Just by having two words that start with the same letter, you’ll end up with a domain that naturally flows better and makes it more memorable. Say it. “Makes it more memorable.” Isn’t that fun? Maybe just for my fellow word-nerds. Regardless, your customers will appreciate (and remember) this.
This is another playful way to give your domain name some character. “Shear Talent” is an excellent name (or domain) for a hair salon because it makes you think twice. If you can immediately make a potential customer think for a second time about your business, you’re that much closer to gaining a new customer.
If you’re in the beginning stages of starting a small business, or merely have a concept that’s not fully fleshed out, that’s OK, too. Even if it’s just an idea that you’re not fully committed to (yet), I’d still recommend claiming your domain ahead of time so if you decide to pursue your small business later, you’ll already be a step ahead of the game. And, no one will be able to buy your domain name in the meantime.
What to do now
Sound too complex? It’s not. Come up with a few domain names and see if they’re available at GoDaddy. Remember, keep it simple and unique to your business and industry. The shorter and more specific, the better.
Once you pick out a domain name that’s right for you, start building your website. GoDaddy offers a free 30-day trial with no credit card required. That way, you can easily set up shop right away with no commitment. With GoDaddy’s Website Builder, you can be in constant control, using a swipe-to-style interface to update your website in no time.
So, start brainstorming and take action. We look forward to seeing what you come up with.