How To Pick A Domain Name For Your Business Website

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Intro

In this article you’ll learn about what to consider when selecting a domain name for your business website.

What is a Domain?

A domain is the address of your website (aka URL). So, in ‘apple.com’ it’s apple. Pretty straight forward right?

 

Professional Presence

Setting up a good domain name is important for your business website because you are establishing your professional online presence. Having a good domain that is on-brand helps your presentation and authority. Also, having your own domain instead of being on someone else’s domain, like some web-hosts provide, builds that authority. For example, Business.com is much more impactful than  business.wordpress.com. Not that there is anything wrong with WordPress.com!

 

Parked Domains

When you have some ideas about what you want to use as your domain you should do a quick Google search to see if that domain has been purchased or parked. If the domain has been parked, that means that someone has purchased it but isn’t using it for a website, you should see a message from a domain reseller. Purchasing a parked domain can be expensive and complicated, so you may want to look elsewhere.

Domains with History

Another consideration is whether or not the domain has been used in the past. If your domain name idea is fairly non-business specific, it could have been used in the past in a way you wouldn’t want associated with your business. A good way to look into this is to go to the internet WayBack Machine (https://archive.org/web/). Type in your domain idea and see what comes up!

 

 

Domains & Search Engines

Moz (https://moz.com/) is a great resource for information on SEO (search engine optimization – making things easy to find on your website by search engines like google so they can show it to people) and a great place to keep track of the blog if you feel so inclined.

Rand’s Advice

There are a number of factors to think about here and this is a great article (https://moz.com/blog/how-to-choose-a-domain-name-whiteboard-friday) by Moz founder Rand Fishkin on what to think about. I’ve taken a few key points and put them below.

Rand’s key take-aways are to try to make it:

  1. Make it memorable – easy to remember and tell people about.
  2. Make it pronounceable – easy to read when written down (and short like #1).
  3. Make sure it isn’t close to other brands or IP (intellectual property), like a play on words that involves another brand.

If you want to use your name like, scotttowne.com, that is great and keeps it simple. You may want to grab your own personal name for a domain while you are at it.

Buying A Domain 

Now that you’ve done a search for the name and put it through the criteria for best practices, you’ll want to go to a domain registrar to make a purchase.

First you have to determine if the domain you want to use is available. A great place to check is NameCheap (https://www.namecheap.com/) since it is fairly straight-forward and when you buy, you’ll face none of the un-needed up-sells. There are tonnes of places to buy domains online, but NameCheap keeps it simple.

Domain Security

Once you purchase your domain, being able to log into your domain registrar is very important! You won’t be able to build your business website or connect your email without it! Be sure to keep your password secure. If you already have a domain, make sure the info is in a safe place. LastPass  (https://www.lastpass.com/) is a great password manager that I’ve talked about before on my website. You can read about it here: https://fairfieldmedia.ca/make-life-easier-secure-three-steps-lastpass/

Key Take-Away

Having your own custom domain starts your professional appearance online. Picking a domain name for your business website is straight-forward when following a few steps.

 

Next Steps

Now you know how to pick a domain for your business website. Grab the checklist below to make sure you cover all the steps!

All One Fund

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The All One Fund wanted a simple yet informational website for providing a description of work and project areas that the foundation supports. The design focused on combining the shapes and colours from the logo into the general layout while clearly displaying the key information in an easy to read style. The website was built with tools that allow the foundation to make updates easily to the graphical pages whenever they require. In addition, we worked together to finalize the foundation’s logo with the help of our print design partners over at Vibrant Content.

AllOneFund.ca

ORBIT Research Program

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The ORBIT Research Program wanted to capture the experiences of Sara Lapsley who has been facilitating online interactions with participants of the international program focusing on living with bipolar disorder. The video shares the feedback Sara has received from people participating in the program and was initially shared on World Bipolar Day 2018.

From Our Project Partner

“Our international research project, ORBIT, needed a high-quality video completed quickly, and we had a tight budget. Scott responded quickly with a reasonable estimate and a work plan. He organized planning meetings across international time zones, and we got the project done in a very timely fashion according to the pre-arranged timelines. Scott was excellent to work with, and made the filming process easy and comfortable in his beautiful studio. The final product was polished, and exactly what we had hoped for.”

 

Sara Lapsley Counsellor and CREST.BD Member

www.orbitonline.org

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIX1KzH2cFA

 

Balsillie School of International Affairs

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The Balsillie School of International Affairs wanted to redesign their website, lower their bounce rate (a ‘bounce’ is when a website visitor only visits one page of a website and doesn’t view additional pages) and make a better organized experience for their visitors. In collaboration with Vibrant Content, Scott Towne worked as the User Experience (UX) Design consultant on the project. Scott started by working with the key stakeholders to identify the goals of the website and the goals of the website visitors. Next, he reviewed over six years of website usage data with consideration with how they aligned with the aforementioned goals. Scott used this data as evidence for the restructuring of the websites information architecture, navigation menu construction and homepage layout with the goal of creating usability improvements for the website visitors. The user experience improvements were implemented in the excellent design and development work completed by Vibrant Content. The site launched in October of 2017 and in February 2018 the bounce rate has been lowered and the information architecture changes have provided an increase in traffic to the areas where visitors can take action steps towards becoming students at the school.

From Our

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“The Balsillie School website receives around 40,000 visits per month from prospective students around the world. Getting the UX right was critical for this project. Scott brought a keen eye to the the User Experience Review of balsillieschool.ca, making scores of simple but achievable recommendations. Many of his suggestions were “hidden in plain sight” – but it took an expert eye to see them. The final result was an intelligent and easy-to-navigate website that achieved a lower bounce rate than the previous version.

Jacob Burma, Owner at Vibrant Content

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