A website with the right top level domain is fundamental to your brand or next project being found by clients. Yet it’s often treated like a throwaway instead of the core to your success. Here’s what you should consider for a modern, effective website with the right domain.
What’s In A Domain Name?
First, we need to understand the parts of a domain name. In theory, you could go to any website by typing in its specific IP address, a numerical label assigned to each device that’s connected to the internet. However, human beings don’t generally enjoy memorizing long strings of numbers; when was the last time you dialed a number to call somebody?
So the domain name, a plain-language “nametag,” was created to make the web more navigable. Google.com is a domain name: 126.96.36.199 is the IP address. Both will work: Copy and paste the IP address into the browser bar, see for yourself. But you remember Google.com.
Domain names are also hierarchical: That is, the name tells you more as you read it. For example, if you go to Wikipedia, you’ll see the domain name en.wikipedia.org. That should be read in reverse; the .org tells you what top level domain it belongs to, then gets more specific with “Wikipedia” and finally tells you what specific section of Wikipedia, the English version, you’re on.
Pick The Right Top Level Extension
When the internet started becoming more visible, domain extensions, the dotcoms, dotgovs, and so on that are a part of everyone’s overall domain name, were what captured everyone’s attention. As squatters began rushing to grab sites, and as competing businesses with similar names fought to hold their online real estate, it became clear both that more domain extensions were needed, and that the focus needed to shift to the whole domain name.
With modern SEO, the overall domain name matters, not the extension. In fact, a distinct extension is probably better: A site with a top level domain such as a .tech will stand out and make your site stick in people’s minds, and make it easier to find exactly the domain name your project needs. If your last name is McDonald, do you really want to try and claim McDonalds.com?
Who’s Your Audience?
Before a website is built, you should know who it’s for, and the name should reflect that. The good news is you’ve probably already done the hard part, determining who’s interested in your brand or your project in the first place. For example, if you’re setting up a page for your personal brand as a contract coder, you might choose something like your last name and choose a domain extension that better reflects this.
However, there are some pitfalls to avoid:
- Keep it simple and stick to your branding. If somebody already has your name under one top level domain, switch to another. Domain extensions have no impact on your SEO, so pick the one that works best.
- Don’t solely use keywords as your domain name. Avoid targeted keywords in particular, as spammers tend to use those and you may get punished in SEO for it.
- Consider relevant information to include in your name. If you’re a local business, for example, you might include your town. Be careful about vagueness, though, “SpringfieldCarRepair.tech” might draw a lot of disappointed customers.
- Make sure the name is clear. Many a domain name has confused users because it can be read multiple ways, some of them less than flattering.
An effective website for your project starts with the right name, and if you choose carefully, you’ll see just how powerful it can be. If you’re looking to snag a popular .tech domain, click here and use code TECHNOW to get an 80% discount on a one year or five year domain subscription.