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A Domain by any Other Name

A domain name—the little bit of text you type into the address bar of your web browser (ex: google.com, back40design.com)—has become an integral part of the branding of a company, much like a logo or wordmark is important on your business card. It’s your signpost to the world that your company does indeed exist, and in our modern connected time, your connection to your customers and clients through the internet is essential. Picking a domain name that is memorable, yet descriptive can be difficult, especially as the choice acronyms become scarcer and the optimal verbs and nouns are quickly grabbed up by enterprising domain squatters.

Clients often come to us with a new concept for a website, however they do not always have a name already purchased. One of the things you should consider when choosing a domain name is coherence. Ask yourself if you could reasonably decipher the domain name after reading it once. While acronyms are great, usually they are difficult to remember if they are longer than about 4-5 characters. lmgtfy.com is a witty acronym, but unless you know that it stands for Let Me Google That For You, you may be hard pressed to remember that domain much past 5 minutes. We try and guide our clients  to picking a domain name that is both easy to remember, and clearly demonstrates who they are, and what they do. And excellent example is byerslawokc.com, Sharon Byers is a lawyer who is based in OKC.

Domain Squatter Cartoon

Including a business identity or a service you offer in your domain name is helpful, especially in terms of Search Engine Optimization. Even though most major search engines deny that keyword terms in your domain name have any effect at all on your search engine ranking, there is some circumstantial evidence there is a small amount of benefit by having certain keywords included in your domain name.

Keep in mind that you want to create a web identity that is synonymous with your corporate identity. An example of where the solution wasn’t quite as evident was garretttrucking.com They have owned this domain name for many years, however they had constant problems within and without the company of people having trouble spelling the domain name correctly with the triple ttt in the middle of the name. They were expanding to a new service offering, however Garretttransportation.com had the same issue, the triple ttt in the name. For them we suggested the shortened and easier to spell garrettok.com.

There are also plenty of tools for researching to see the availability of a domain name.  GoDaddy.com and NetworkSolutions.com both have integrated domain name search tools to help you find an available domain name and even provide the opportunity for you to purchase and manage it yourself. Back40 Design can help you in the process of getting your website design created. We have experience picking good domain names for you to choose from and we can manage them for you once your site is live, automatically renewing them for you and setting up email service as well. Just give us a call and we’ll be glad to talk to you about a new website design and help you find the ideal domain name so that you can show it off to the world.

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