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How to Choose a Great Domain Name

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Written by: Blair Kelly

You are looking to start your financial business or maybe you want to refresh your current brand.  We all know the importance of websites for financial advisors this day and age and how it’s so pertinent to build your online presence, so where do you start? We know that building the perfect website can seem overwhelming, but we promise that with a plan and a knowledgeable team by your side it’s totally manageable!

Believe it or not, the first step in your web design project should be choosing a domain name. Your domain name can have a huge impact in terms of your website’s click-through rate, from rankings in search engines, and many other factors. Because of this, the domain name that you choose can have a huge impact on your firm’s online presence, which is why it’s so important to consider the below points before choosing your company’s domain name.

Before we dive in it’s important to note that Twenty Over Ten does not offer domain registration. Unlike other website providers, we strongly believe our user’s should retain the ownership and rights to their online identity (their domain name). If you need to register a new domain name and don’t have an existing provider, we suggest GoDaddy or Namecheap. If you’re not sure where your domain is registered you can use this handy toolto find out!

1. Make it Brandable

To start, it’s a good idea to choose a domain name that is brandable. Simply put … when you see or hear the domain name, you want for it to sound like a brand. For example, if the name has too many hyphens, symbols or numbers, then it doesn’t sound like an actual company, and that’s obviously not what you are going for! Choose something that is simple to search and easy to remember.

Twenty Over Ten client, Forward Thinking Wealth Management, secured their company name as their domain, making it easy to remember and recognize. This is a great example of choosing a domain that is brandable and easy to recognize when searching.

2. Make it Pronounceable 🗣

This tip seems quite obvious, because if you can’t even pronounce the domain name, then how is anyone supposed to remember it?! The importance of this is because of “processing fluency,” which is the ease with which information is processed. If you can pronounce something without a problem, then it is going to be something we remember much more easily than something we can’t even say. If you think about commercials that you hear, no matter how annoying a simple repetitive jingle is, you still always seem to remember the brand and the slogan without much cognitive effort.

So just remember, if your readers cannot easily say the name, then you are going to lose processing fluency, memorability, and all the benefits of the brand that you are trying to create. (Do keep in mind that depending on the region or the language that you are targeting, this can vary.)

3. Keep it Short and Sweet 🍭

You’ve heard the old saying “quantity over quality,” right? The same goes for choosing a domain name! It is better to make it a name that is easier to share, type, spell, remember, all of the above.

Also, if a domain name is too long, there is a greater chance that it will be shortened when shared on social media or other platforms, so this point definitely goes without saying, keep it simple.

4. Try to Use .com

There are currently over 1,000 top-level domains (TLDs) out there, though not all of them accessible, so why would you choose one that is as simple and common as .com? The answer is because .com is the most widely recognized and most accessible TLD out there. Just like with pronounceability, cognitive fluency shows that we should go with something that is simple and easy to remember, and with all of the thousands of TLDs, .com is still the most widely recognized and easy to remember.

When searching for available domain names, if .com is not available, then consider securing the next most recognized TLD, such as, .net, .co. Below is a list of the 10 most popular top level domains with the most page results in Google:

5. Say 🚫 to Trademark Infringement

When exploring which domain name you may want to use for your company’s website it’s important to make sure that another company isn’t already using it or that they aren’t too similar too cause confusion. If there are legitimate concerns that legal actions could be taken, be sure to speak with a lawyer before choosing the domain. Trademark owners can attempt to sue a domain name owner, who’s owning the domain legitimately and using it for business purposes.

All legal issues aside, however, a name that is too similar to another company’s could cause brand confusion, and this is not obviously going to do your company’s brandability any favors.

Related: The 15 Most Googled Financial Questions

Related: Six Client Questions Your Advisor Website Must Answer

6. Make It Intuitive 💭

A strong domain name gives people a good idea of what a website will be about. If you are able to look at a domain name and tell what the company specializes in, sells, or just overall what type of services that are offered, then this is a good thing. The customer has an idea of what they are getting before even clicking on the site, which is great for your business’ click-through rate. It also makes your company name easier to remember.

As a financial advisor, many of their prospects are shopping for someone to use, but they may not quite be ready to take the plunge. If your name was able to stick easily in someone’s head, then they will be more likely to go back to where they were without having to fumble around the internet trying to find just what it was they needed.

For Twenty Over Ten’s client, Divorce Financial Solutions, it is quite obvious what type of finances they handle based on the company name and domain alone.

7. Use Broad Keywords

Having keywords in a domain name can help with the above mentioned cognitive fluency, but also from an SEO perspective. If you can get a keyword mention in your domain name that helps make it obvious what you’re website is about, then that is a plus, however, that doesn’t carry the weight that it used to. So, as a company, you should generally not purchase a domain that is too narrowed down on a product or service.

While it’s important to have a niche in the financial industry, when it comes to a domain, it is better to use broad keywords for search-ability and SEO. Try thinking of keywords that describe your company and the services you offer to clients.

8. Modification is Okay 👌🏼

If the perfect domain name that your company wanted to use is not available, then it is perfectly fine to change it up a bit! If .com is not available, then you can use an alternate TLD extension, like we talked about previously, and this is a great time to get creative with your brand and have fun with it!

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