In this digital era, every business needs a dedicated website. As more and more businesses register domain names for their websites, you may find it difficult to get a domain name that matches your business name. So this raises the question…
Should domain name match business name? No, your domain name doesn’t need to match your business name. A domain name that matches your business name can help your business, especially if your website is an online representation of the products and services you offer. However, it is not the only thing that helps visitors to find your website. People can still find your business website if it is search engine optimized or if the domain name is relevant, unique, and memorable.
Let me explain why aligning domain name with business name does not matter…
Why Aligning Domain Name With Business Name Doesn’t Really Matter?
Come to think of it, most internet users do not type in the exact domain name to visit a website. They usually use search engines like Google or Bing, to find a website.
Hence, Search Engine Optimization is more important in driving traffic to your website than choosing a perfect domain name.
In the early 2000’s the concept of “exact match domains” encouraged business owners to purchase domain names with keywords related to their business. This would help a website shoot right to the top of the search engine results page.
However, search engine algorithms no longer look for exactly matching keywords in the domain name. The URL plays a small role in the latest search engine ranking factors. Content relevance is more important nowadays. So if you have an exact match domain name but spammy or poor-quality content, you will not enjoy higher search engine rankings.
Another reason why aligning domain and business names do not matter is that your potential customers will not specifically search for your company online. They will usually search for a particular product or service online by typing related keywords into search engines like Google or Bing. And then, they will explore the top search results they receive.
So, you can improve your chances of acquiring customers by properly optimizing your website for search engines like Google or Bing than trying to match your domain name with your business name.
Interesting Further Reading: Can You Buy A Domain Name Forever? (Preventing Cybersquatting!)
Moreover, in certain situations, it may even be impossible to align your business name with the domain name. There are also situations when it is better to have a different domain name than the business name. Let’s talk about that now…
When A Mismatch Between Domain Name And Business Name Is Beneficial!
Some businesses prefer to align their domain name with their business name even when the business name is long.
However, short domain names are catchy and easy to recall. It is also easier to use short names in business cards and other printed material.
If your business name is several words long, it may help you to choose a shorter version of it for your domain name. You can abbreviate it to improve usability. Or, you can get creative and choose something that is relevant to your brand, but memorable because of its uniqueness.
Take the example of Google’s parent company, Alphabet. How interesting is it that their domain name happens to be abc.xyz?
You may also be unable to use the exact business name if it contains symbols because domain names cannot have special characters besides hyphens.
So, if your company name includes the “&” sign, you cannot exactly translate it into the domain name. You can either replace the ampersand symbol with “and,” eliminate it from the name, or create your own twist on this name. Irrespective of which route you choose, you cannot completely match your domain name with your business name. Nevertheless, this will not affect your business success.
Take a look at the iconic clothing giant H&M. When choosing their domain name, they got rid of the “&” entirely and stuck with hm.com. This hasn’t affected their online sales in any way!
I think you get the point now.
It is not necessary to match the domain name with your business name.
You can choose a domain name that is different from your business name without affecting your business.
However, there are some benefits in aligning the domain name with the business name…
Benefits Of Aligning Domain Name With Business Name
In simple terms, a domain name is the online version of your physical business address. It is what your online visitors will type in their browsers to arrive at your business website.
Your domain name is important for branding because your website is an extension of your business and what it does. By keeping the domain name and business name consistent, you strengthen your brand name and make it more memorable.
By aligning your domain name and business name, you can build credibility in the minds of your potential customers. Using the same name will also make it easy for people to find your website.
So, matching the domain name with your business name is beneficial.
In an ideal situation, your domain name would align perfectly with your business name. So, when people type in “Yourbusinessname.com” in their web browsers, they would directly reach your website. However, it is not always possible to get a domain name that matches your business name.
Because nearly 100,000 domains are registered every single day. Hence, it is highly likely that a matching domain name for your business is already taken.
So what do you do in that case?
What To Do If A Domain Name Is Not Available That Matches Your Business Name?
One option is to contact the owner of the domain and buy it from them. However, this is possible only if the current owner is willing to sell it.
If the owner is unwilling to sell it or the domain name is too expensive to buy, you must consider the next best alternatives. Here are your options:
Opt for a different extension than .com: Although “.com” is the most popular extension, you can opt for “.net” or “.co” if you simply must use your business name as the domain name.
Choose a variation of your business name: You can either shorten the business name or use an identifiable abbreviation that clearly represents your business. You can also insert words like “the,” “shop,” or “my” before or after the business name to create variations that still contain your company name.
Add location info into the name: If you are a local business owner, you can add the name of your city or town into the domain name. For example, if “filterpics.com” is unavailable, try “texasfilterpics.com”.
Get creative: To create a unique and appealing domain name, you can come up with an entirely new word. Or you can even mash-up relevant terms and key phrases of your business.
This brings me to the most important question in this entire discussion…
What Are The Best Practices In Choosing A Domain Name?
As far as possible, try to match your business name to your domain name.
In case you decide to go with a different domain name, try to keep it relatable to your business brand. You can also get creative with a play on words to come up with a unique and catchy name.
When adding keywords to the domain name, do it sensibly and make sure that the name makes sense.
Although hyphens are allowed in domain names, it is best to avoid them. Adding hyphens makes a domain name look spammy, and it lacks originality and elegance.
Also, try to keep the domain name short so that it is easy to remember. It is also better for printing on business cards and other business communication.
When choosing a different extension other than .com for your business, remember that someone else might be using the same domain name with the .com extension. This will affect the uniqueness and hence, branding quotient of your business. So it is better to find another name that is unique and creative.
With the choice for domain names becoming more limited with each passing day, it is essential to be original and flexible. We have already established that it is not crucial that the business name and the domain name must match. So, put on your creative hat and think outside the box to come up with a name that is representative of your business and is entirely original.
And once you have chosen your domain name, here’s a detailed guide to register your domain name.
If you still have any questions, just ask them in the comments below.