Consider global enterprise brands such as Google, General Electric, Duracell, Ford, Coca-Cola, and Netflix.
One thing these brands have in common is you can type their brand name (as one word) into a web browser, add “.com”, and you end up on their website.
Their branding is consistent, and the domain name of their website is easy to remember. The domain name of global brands almost always matches the name of their company.
When your domain name and company name are the same, it lowers cognitive load, and makes it easier for people to remember your brand, and how to navigate to your website.
There are several reasons you’ll want to make sure your domain name matches your company name.
Make it Easy to Remember
Imagine for a moment that you’re attending a business networking event. Let’s say that your business name is ABCD, Inc., but your domain name is WXYZ.com. In this example, there’s a disconnect between your brand name and domain name. When people try to remember your company, and go to your website, they may have trouble remembering your domain name.
Simplicity is best when choosing a domain name. Whenever possible, make your domain name the .com version of your company name.
You can also pick up variations of your domain name, and 301 redirect those to your website, if you believe people might still get confused about your brand name and website.
Potential Challenges Obtaining an Ideal Domain Name
With almost every business establishing a website nowadays, getting your desired domain name can sometimes be difficult. If you’re starting a new business, try to adjust the business name to match the available domains. Sometimes it’s trickier for established businesses to get their exact match domain name if other businesses are similarly named, and already have that domain name in their possession.
Let’s say your desired domain name, YourBusinessName.com is already taken, but the owner is not using it. You can carry out a WHOIS search to find the contact information of the owner. Some domain registrars will also help you contact the domain owner for a fee, to see if they will sell it to you. Express an interest in buying the domain and you may be in luck.
Unfortunately, your target domain name may be taken and actively in use. Unless you’ve trademarked the business name and been operational for a while, and there’s a high chance of people confusing the business name, and your legal options are limited. Additionally, it’s time-consuming and expensive to navigate murky legal matters. Choose your battles wisely.
Alternatives When You Can’t Obtain Your Desired Domain Name
Using a business name with a different top-level domain (TLD) extension solves the challenge of getting your desired domain. For instance, instead of using .com, you can use .net. The problem is most people type .com when doing online searches and might end up on someone else’s website. Avoid using hyphens, numerals, and ampersands in your domain name whenever possible as prospective users may forget or try to spell them.
Most importantly, make sure your domain name is short and memorable. Shortening the domain improves its memorability, which enhances your branding and user experience.
A exact match domain name boosts a brand’s recognition, and is highly recommended. Take time before making a final decision on the domain name. Changing it is both cumbersome and expensive. Protect the domain from unauthorized transfers and hijacking by using domain locking, which is available on most domain registrars.
Undoubtedly, your domain name is important though it’s not the only determining factor on organic website traffic. A careful and strategic application of the search engine optimization (SEO) process is more effective in driving website traffic than the domain name. Focus on user intent for each page and leverage solving user questions.
How often do people type a domain name rather than say “insert service here“? Chances are, the company which consistently pops up highest on Google searches will become the first company people think of in that category.
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