When it comes to deciding on the best domain names to use for your brand, most of us don’t give it a second thought. In fact, we almost take it for granted. It’s easy to fall into the presumption that getting a domain for your business is simply for setting up a website, and nothing more. But the truth is – that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
There’s nothing wrong with just using a domain name you own to host a website and email address. Back before the days of Web 2.0 that would have set you up nicely amongst your competitors, and let people know that your brand meant business. As the years moved on, however, the potential uses for creative domain name ideas has grown.
An explosion of choice in recent years has resulted in many opportunities for businesses and branded domains. It doesn’t make sense to just have “YourBrand.com” and “Mary@YourBrand.com” anymore. Choosing the right domains (yes, plural – we’ll get to that in a minute!) can increase brand awareness – from emails to links to social channels, in both on- and offline advertising.
We’re pretty excitable about all things domain name-related here at Rebrandly, we won’t lie. So we decided to put together some tips for choosing the best domain names for your brand – and how to get the most out of them!
Why register more than one domain name?
Now when we say “more than one”, we don’t necessarily mean you go off buying “YourBrand.org” or “YourBrand.net” as well. Those TLDs (Top Level Domains, the ‘.com’ element) are far too common and unneeded. Instead, we’re talking about the many generic TLDs available to consumers and businesses these days. These range from ‘.click’, ‘.social’, and ‘.link’ to more niche options such as ‘.accountant’, ‘.pizza’ and ‘.beer’.
When deciding on the best domain names for your brand, realistically, you need to be focusing on having more domains than one. These can all be based off your business or company name, of course. But using various different gTLDs so you have “YourBrand.Link“, “YourBrand.Sale” and “YourBrand.News” at your disposal, as well as “YourBrand.com“, gives you far more creative domain name ideas to work with. You can promote different services, drive more traffic, or reach multiple different target markets.
Choose the best domain names that protect your brand
So, you now have a collection of domains at your disposal – well done! While you might not feel the need to use these various domains straight away, there’s one very important reason to still obtain them – brand protection. The wide selection of generic TLDs available is great for variety, but it also means that your competitors can register similar domain names to yours. This means they could potentially draw customers away from you and towards them.
One notable example of this is the controversy surrounding the “.sucks” top-level domain. In recent years, the Internet Corporation of Names and Numbers (ICANN) has delegated over 500 new gTLDs. One of these was “.sucks” described by its registry as “a forum designed to help consumers find their voices and allow companies to find the value in criticism”.
In reality, this led to numerous companies, brands and high-profile individuals purchasing their own .sucks domains specifically to prevent competitors or detractors buying them in the future. In the same vein, celebrities have been known to purchase their own name with the “.adult” and “.porn” domains, as a defensive measure.
Some businesses are even going so far as to develop dot brand domains, with their company name being the actual TLD. While you might not need to go through quite those lengths just yet, the lesson is the same – every creative domain name idea you snap up is one your competitor can’t.
Get memorable domain names for custom short links
If you’re still using generic URL shorteners to share links online, then they probably look something like “butt.ly/sr3dt” or “shor.tly/ewb1n“, right? Not the most visually appealing – and certainly not memorable! These shorteners take long, complicated links and compress them into something smaller – but that’s about it!
Once you’ve settled on acquiring several domains that allow you to protect your brand, you can then focus on choosing the best domain names for your links. Why not go for domains that really stand out, and stick in your memory? With these, you can create custom short URLs featuring your brand – otherwise known as branded links.
A branded link is simply a short link built around a brand name or related term. Unlike generic short URLs, these links incorporate a brand’s name, associating themselves with the content they share, reinforcing brand awareness and increasing their brand recognition. When choosing these domains, a key aspect to focus on is memorability – memorable links can offer a whole host of benefits
Using the best domain names for your branded links also offers:
- Consistency: Let’s say you have the domain “YourBrand.News“. By using this for a branded link, every news-related link you share on social, in press releases or even internally will look like “YourBrand.News/Updates” or “YourBrand.News/SalesFigures” – much neater than a messy generic short URL!
- Deliverability: Because you’re using your own domains to create custom short URLs, your links won’t be seen as spam. Generic URL shorteners can often be used by online scammers, meaning they’re blacklisted – no use to you! Having your own branded domains on your links eliminates this risk entirely.
- Security: As well as this, branded links can come with other useful features. For example – being able to edit the destination URL at any stage means you can protect your brand against any mistakes or mishaps when sharing links. Say a press release has been sent out and is badly received – no problem! Change the destination of the sent link to direct people to an apology, correction, or solution.
Overall, I think we can agree that having a custom domain for your business is essential. Putting the extra effort into choosing the best domain names really is worth it! Having your brand on your website, emails, and links can massively increase brand awareness. It also strengthens your brand identity, ensuring consistency across your messaging.
And once you’ve locked down the best domain names? Let that be the foundation from which to build a strong, unified link management strategy for your brand. Rebrandly gives you the ability to obtain your own domain and start sharing branded links straight away – check out the video below or click the branded link to find out more: Rebrandly.Video/LinkManagement