It is rather clear that whilst building a digital brand, it is important to focus on purchasing a perfect domain name. But, most of us fail to get the perfect start. And, we, at NexGen, have been in this field for a while. Based on our experience, we’ve curated a few important factors for a perfect domain name.
For an interactive experience, we’ve divided the factors into 4 segments.
A. How to decide the perfect domain name?
Your domain name is your brand’s identity over the Internet. And, it isn’t “what’s in a name” by shakespeare. For any brand, using a perfect domain can increase the brand recall value.
And, here’s how you can decide the perfect domain name for your brand.
1. A domain name must follow branding principles
Before you start searching for a domain name, you’ll need to understand that branding is essential. And, you’ll have to follow branding principles into your domain name.
For example, if your brand is well old over two or three generations, you might prefer using the name which your grandparents used to set-up the store. But, it isn’t often quite useful. Your offline brand doesn’t really impact your online brand.
Thus, we’d suggest you to use a minimal and easy to remember domain name. It will be easier for your audience to remember and this, increases the brand recall value.
If not, you’d end up with a long name which people would only want to copy and paste rather than remember it as a brand.
e.g hyderabadi-biryani-wale.com 👎 isn’t good compared to biryanibykilo.com 👍 . You can clearly see the difference.
Which one can you easily remember, spell and sounds catchy? and
This is why branding principles are an important factor for a perfect domain name.
2. Use commonly preferred domain extensions e.g .com, .org, .net
We’ve noticed that using the widely preferred domain extensions (e.g .com, .org) allow the brands to retain a better brand recall value. These widely used domain extensions such as .com, .net, .org and .in (India/Country name) have been generalized and are easy to remember.
3. Shorter name often give the largest re-call value
The best example for this would be our website, we had previously opted nexgeninnovators.com as our domain name . But, from the branding prospects, it was difficult for us to talk about our website to our clients.
We’d be out of breath before we could spell the entire website 😂.
Now, to make it easier for our clients, we decided to shorten it to nexgi.com. This allowed us to talk more about work in a meeting rather than properly spelling our website.
4. It must be easy to type 📝
Using an easy to type domain allows the users to remember it. For example, we’ve been working with a client for a while now. And, it really becomes difficult for us to remember their domain name every time as it’s quite a complex name to type.
Thus, we’d suggest for you to think of a name that’s easy to type ⌨️ and pronounce.
5. Avoid using double letters. e.g kcsshop.in
Using double letters could create a scenario where the consumer might not be able to find the website because of a typo.
For instance, a website like presssetup.com will be difficult for the consumer to find it in the first go. It is prone to typos and will lose out on the traffic. Avoiding double letters is also a better practice in improving the word of mouth based branding.
6. Avoid Hyphens (-) and Numbers.
For instance, if you are a startup, you might find it difficult to find a domain with your company’s name.com. So, you might prefer to split the name with a hyphen and add a number to easily find the domain name.
For example, Nexgi.com would become Nex-G1.com which is difficult to remember.
From the SEO aspect, it is a dis-advantage because if your domain has a hyphen (-),then Google will take it as two keywords and it will increase competition to be ranked.
For example, one of our old client has a domain name called bright-star.co.in. And the specific brand will only show up in search when a user types bright-star.co.in.
If the user searches for Bright Star, they are led to a different brand altogether. And, if they search for BrightStar, the movie BrightStar shows up.
This happens because the brand puts near to no effort into research. But, we’ve mentioned a few points down below that can help you to stay away avoid competiton faced by bright-star.co.in.
So, hyphens and numbers negatively impact the word to mouth branding. And, also decrease the brand recall value as the name is difficult to spell, the consumer rather not visit the website.
Focus on using a name that’s easy to spell, remember and understand.
7. Keyword oriented domain name.
Keywords are an integral part of branding over the Internet. Using certain keywords associated with your brand help the consumer to find your brand on top of the search list.
In a few cases, if you are building a digital marketing institute, you could use a domain name that says digital-marketing-institute-in-India.com. This would bring your brand to the top of the list. But, would provide the wrong branding impact. They are only used to obtain leads and are called long-tail domain names.
If you are a media company, though, you could use it to your advantage. For instance, PhoneRadar is a website that talks about phones and the keyword phones in their domain name increases their brand impact.
Hopefully using the above factors, you must have decided the perfect domain name for your brand. Now, the next step is to search for its availability and its price.
B. How to check its availability and pricing?
No matter, how perfect your domain name is. if it isn’t available, it really isn’t of any use.
8. Research it to judge the competition
We’d recommend for you to check for the availability of the brand name, domain name and the social media handle usernames.
For example, we have mentioned earlier about happened with the name Bright-star (a company) and their brand name matched a movie title. It became quite difficult for us to SEO it.
And, similarly, it would have been quite difficult for the brand to find proper social media handle usernames and domain extensions.
Make sure that:
- Your brand name isn’t related to pop-culture: The best tip would be to go around the digital media and use google to check if any brand already exists with similar name.
- It must not be any historical place/artifact’s name – Because such places/artifacts are listed on wikipedia and it’s difficult to place your result above them.
For example, if you type in Taj Mahal, you’ll find the historical monument to be shown first and not the tea brand.
Overall, the best way to do it is to type your brand’s name on google and look for the results or you can consult with your IT team . If not, we ‘ve always got your back. Feel free to consult us at NexGen Support.
If you find brands existing with the names and handles that you were looking for, you could brainstorm to come up with a better name.
9.Trademark™️ and Copyright issues©️
In all the aspects, Trademark and copyright issues play the most important role whilst building an Internet Brand.
For example, if you purchase a domain buyfromamazon.com. Then, the amazon legal team might just be waiting outside your door.
Similarly, if you purchase a domain name and if its title is trademarked or has copyrights, you might be in a huge problem in future.
Note that, it must not match with any govt. organisation’s name too.
You could check if any title has copyright(s) claimed/Trademark(s) filed for it by visiting the Indian Government TradeMark Registry
10. Think long-term over anything
No matter online or offline, the first rule of building a brand is always to focus on long-term rather than short term.
Think of it this way, you are an eCommerce brand selling sherwani. If you purchase a domain that says sherwani.com, you’ll end up with no future scope of expansion.
Meaning, if you decide to expand your business in future, you’ll have to purchase a different name as domain name represents your store to be a sherwani only store.
Thinking long-term provides you with better perspectives and allows you to derive to a clear ideation process.
Pro-Tip: Use a domain name generator, if you get stuck.
11. Play safe to reduce future threats
Think of it this way, You purchase a domain and work really hard to rank it on the search engines. And, it so happens that a brand purchases a domain name similar to yours. On the SEO aspect, it would be easier for the brand.
But, wouldn’t it be annoying to let your hard work go in vain?
In this aspect, we’d recommend you to purchase multiple domains related to your brand and redirect all of them to your main website.
For instance, we ,at NexGen Innovators, use multiple domains such as nexgeninnovators.com, nexgeninnovators.in, nexgi.com and nexgi.in to reduce competition and use redirects to increase brand recall value.
Another example would be the famous brand Google, no matter how many O’s you add to the domain name, you’ll be redirected to Google.
12. Is the domain name worth it?
You need to make sure that you are purchasing a perfect domain name and a major factor for domain’s perfection is its price.
C. Essentials to consider just before you purchase a domain name.
13. Why should you only purchase from credible domain registrar companies?
Think of it this way, you are out there to purchase a land. Would you purchase it without verifying the details and the credibility of the owner?
Similarly, when you are out there to purchase a domain, we’d recommend you to check the credibility of the registrar and to only purchase from credible registrar companies.
If in case, you contact a local domain registrar who’d give you the domain at a cheaper price. But, if he decides to close shop, you’d be out of business too.
14. Should I purchase a domain for 10 years?
When you are on the registar’s website and are about to purchase the domain, the registar will push you an offer to purchase the same domain for a time of 10 years at a discounted price.
And, in most cases, the price for 10 years might be comparitively lower to the price for an individual year.
But, you’ll need to understand that if you purchase a domain for 10 years, you’ll be bound to use it for 10 years. If you wish to change the domain name after a few years, you’ll have to wait until the term ends.
Or you’ll have to shell out money to purchase a new domain and the old one becomes a liability to the brand. Instead, you could easily renew the domain every year at your comfort.
15. Should I purchase a Domain Protection Policy?
Just before your pay for the purchase, the registrar will offer you a Domain Protection Policy for a discounted price. And, we’d recommend you to opt out of it.
The Domain Protection Policy will hide your contact information from WhoIS services and will display the registrar’s information on the WhoIS sites. This will save you from the spam and unneccessary calls/emails. But, the service isn’t simply worth a penny.
D. Myths around Domain Names
We’ve never failed to include the quotes of Uncle Ben of the Internet. And, here’s one for this article: “With great technology, comes great myths!”
Here are a few myths around the domain names that we’ve debunked.
16. A .In extension works only in India 🇮🇳
It isn’t really true. Brands use .in extension to talk about their origin country. Any website with any country’s extension can accessed from anywhere in the world.
You could based out of UK. But, still shop from Amazon.in.
17. A .com domain is better than other TLD (Top Level Domains)
No, every top-level domain is equally valued. It is just that Consumers tend to auto fill .com by using (ctrl + enter) or (cmd + enter) and with time, it becomes a habit to the consumer.
18. TLDs other than .Com are not considerable!
No, you can use any other domain. A factor that you’ll have to consider is that the .com alternative of the name shouldn’t be in the same level of business.
19. All you need is a domain to run a website!
This is another common myth that is widely spread. But, honestly running a website is a much larger process than just buying a domain. It involes website development, hosting and many other factors.
20. ⚡ Act fast before someone else ruins your research!
If you are building a digital brand, you must know that acting rapidly or rapid implementation is necessary for you to grow your brand at 360. And, you could apply the same principle to this process and rapidly act to purchase the domain. Be the Flash ⚡ and save your domain name.