If you’re thinking about building a personal or business website, one of the first things you’ll have to decide is what domain name to use. Your domain name is the address at which people will find you on the Internet—it likely won’t make or break your website, but getting the right one sure can help.
Before you make your choice, here are some considerations:
1. Keep it short and easy to remember.
Yes, you will likely find that most of the good short names have been taken. That will require you to use some extra creativity when coming up with yours. If you can, avoid putting in special characters like hyphens, which users who are trying to remember your URL can never seem to remember.
2. Keep it local.
Google and other search engines show some preference for results from sources located closer to the person doing the search. If location is important to you, then you may want to put in a location-based keyword such as your city or county in your URL.
3. Use industry keywords.
Unless you want your domain to consist entirely of your brand name, consider adding something about what you do in your domain name. This can help with your SEO rankings.
4. Don’t go crazy with domain endings.
Many businesses these days are getting creative with domain endings like .ly or .ty, but unless you have a specific idea of what you want to do, you’re probably best off sticking with the traditional .ca for your first site.
5. Research your competitors.
When selecting a domain name, it’s important to make sure that there are no other domain names that are too similar to yours, which could potentially lead to confusion and fewer visitors to your site.
6. Check for trademarks.
It’s just as important to check that the domain name you choose isn’t trademarked by another company. If you’re based in Canada, go here to do a trademark search. On the flip side of this, when you’ve found a great domain name for your site, you may want to trademark it.
7. Consider buying similar domains.
When you’ve taken the time to choose a great domain name, you’ll want to protect it from others who may try to copy it. Since domains are so affordable, some businesses choose to buy similar names to prevent others from being able to buy them. As a side benefit, owning these similar domain names means you can redirect them to your main site in case a visitor misspells your main URL to one of these alternatives.
8. Don’t limit yourself.
While using precise keywords is good for SEO, consider that businesses sometimes shift what they do over time. Ideally, you don’t want a domain name that will limit you if you decide to pivot within your industry a couple of years down the road.
9. Check availability on social media.
These days, websites and social media accounts work in a symbiotic relationship. You might be able to come up with the perfect domain name, but what is it worth if someone already has a Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook account with the same name? It will only lead to more confusion. So, try to choose a domain name that is available across the most popular social media platforms, and reserve those social accounts at the same time that you purchase your domain name.
10. Buy your domains with your host.
Moving a domain name from one provider to another isn’t too complicated, but if you can avoid this, you might as well. So, as you’re doing your planning, try to purchase your domain name at the same place you’ll be purchasing the hosting for your website.
Why are we Canada’s leading domain name registrar? It’s simple: we offer all the same features as our competitors—including domain privacy, full DNS record control, domain forwarding, our excellent support, and much much more—at only a fraction of the price of others. In fact, we offers the lowest prices on Canadian domain names – guaranteed! Our price for .ca domains is $10.99 per year, regardless of the number of years you register for. This price is the same for registrations, renewals, and transfers.