A domain name is more than just the internet address where people can find your website—it’s the online identity of your business. And choosing the best one for your brand requires some research and consideration.
Domains are affordable and easy to register, and when you buy one through Mailchimp you can use it to unite your website and landing pages under a single, recognizable name. You’ll look more professional and gain instant credibility with your audience.
Finding your domain name
Your domain is made up of 3 main parts—a domain name, an extension (also known as a top-level domain or TLD), and an optional subdomain—that are all important to consider when choosing one that will make it easier for people to find (and recognize) your brand online.
As you’re choosing your domain, keep these guidelines in mind:
1. Keep your domain name short, pronounceable, and ownable
If you already have a business name, try to claim it as your domain. This will make it easier for people to make the connection between your business and your site. No matter what name you choose, it should be easy to type and spell.
Be sure to:
- Keep it 15 characters or less
- Avoid slang (don’t use u in place of you)
- Never include hyphens or numbers
Above all, your domain name should sound like a company name.
2. Try to get .com (but don’t stress if you don’t)
When it comes to choosing a domain extension (the suffix at the end of a web address), there’s some debate about which one will get your website more traffic.
The .com extension is the most popular and easiest to remember, but it might not be the best fit for your brand.
Here are some other top-level domains to consider:
- .org: If you run a non-profit, this will help distinguish you from a for-profit company
- .info: Try this extension if you’re only using your site to share information
- .biz: Got an e-commerce site? This is a good alternative to .com
- .net: A good option if you’re in the tech industry
3. Include keywords if it makes sense
Consider using broad keywords that will help people find you when they search, but don’t overdo it. Getting a more branded domain name might be better for the long-term success of your site than trying to get one that’s keyword-rich.
So instead of going with something very specific, like sneakersforwomen.com, use your business name, like azalea.com, and make sure people recognize you as a women’s footwear brand.
4. See if you can use your domain name for your social handles
Check the availability of your domain name on social media. A unified brand name and identity across all of your channels can help increase your reach.
If your top choice isn’t available on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, consider choosing a different one or tweaking your social handles in a way that makes it clear they’re tied to your brand.
Once you’ve got your handles, set up your account profiles on each platform to prevent getting flagged for inactivity.
5. Research the history of your domain name
Make sure your domain doesn’t come with any baggage that you’ll have to deal with later, like trademark conflicts or awkward foreign translations. You don’t want people to confuse you with another brand or, worse, a legal battle if your domain happens to violate any trademarks.