Choosing a suitable domain name is usually the first decision companies make when setting up their own website. Often the company name is then chosen as the domain. Names like www.mercedes-benz.com or www.tesla.com are typical results of hasty domain registration.
This article will look at why the company name is not always the right choice for your own company domain, and will include helpful tips on finding the best domain for you. Additionally, understanding what my domain name is worth can guide you in selecting a domain that not only represents your brand effectively but also holds potential value in the market.
I also go into why it’s not advisable to register your own name as a domain.
How important is the domain name?
The domain of a company website is quite important, therefore, you should already have the concept for your own company website ready before registering a new domain. A successful company concept will often result in a good domain name.
A well-chosen domain name supports the following marketing elements.
Word of mouth & advertising
A domain name should be short and memorable. If you place print ads, run radio advertising for the company or rely on word of mouth — the more straightforward and more meaningful the domain, the better.
I notice this again and again, especially when it comes to radio commercials. The weird and wonderful domain names that are so popular right now are difficult to remember and many radio listeners often misspell the domain.
Simliarliary, in videos or podcasts, it is often better to use simple and easily memorable domains instead of a hardly noticeable fantasy domain name.
Search engines are nothing more than machines, and websites are evaluated and rated by these machines automatically. Since the domain name also influences a website’s ranking, one should choose so-called generic domain names instead of proper and imaginary names.
This means selecting everyday words that are ideally familiar in your industry and that are also used by customers (very important!). For example, you could include the main service or the main product in your domain name.
Building a brand using a proper name or a fantasy name is particularly difficult for small businesses and the self-employed. This is usually because the target group hasn’t seen much of your brand, and you don’t have the necessary budget for advertising.
Branding means nothing else than “turning” a proper or fantasy name into a certain meaning and characteristics.
If you had asked someone for “Google” back in 1995, that person would probably only have received a “Huh” answer. Today it looks very different, of course.
For small businesses and the self-employed, branding a fantasy name and a personal name is a very time-consuming and expensive affair.
If you want to sell your company or website later down the line, a generic domain will usually bring in more than a proper name, for example. It is much easier for a new owner to continue the website malermeister-oldenburg.de than mahlermeister-schmidt.de.
Above all, we know that the domain name is of great importance for a company website. Registering a suitable domain not only brings more visitors to your website, but you also save money because you don’t have to advertise it as much.
Does your own company name work as a domain?
Most entrepreneurs or self-employed people take great pride in their company. That is a good thing but usually means that your own name/company name is registered as a domain without thinking twice.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What are my main marketing tools and media?
- Should my customers remember the domain?
- Do many of my customers come from search engines or direct links?
- Is my company name or my own name, already known as a brand to my target group?
The choice of a domain name mainly depends on these questions.
When should you register a generic domain name?
- The own company and the company name are not yet known;
- The company or proper name is complicated and difficult to spell;
- The company or proper name does not allow any conclusions to be drawn about the services;
- The company name is easy to confuse with other domain names.
When should you choose your own name or company name as the domain name?
- The company name is already well known to the target group;
- The company name describes the business or the services very well and is not too long;
- All generic domain names in the industry are already taken.
As a rule, it makes no sense for small businesses and the self-employed to use their own name. At least not on its own. On the other hand, many generic domain names are already taken, so that a purely generic domain is often out of the question.
There is a third option to take when registering a domain.
Mix a company name with generic terms
For many companies, a mixture of your own name/fantasy name and a generic term makes sense.
The following steps should be followed when choosing a suitable domain:
What terms characterize my business? What terms do my customers use in particular?
2. Researching generic terms
With online tools like Ahrefs, SemRush, KeywordTool.io or even Google Keyword Planner you can find other related terms and their search frequency in Google. These terms should be