When starting a new website, many businesses or people struggle with the decision to pick a domain name and top-level domain (TLD). Simply put, the domain name is the main part of your website. The TLD is what comes after that, usually .com, .net. org, etc. For this website BigLeapWeb would be the domain name and .com would be the TLD. Ultimately, the decision comes down to the purpose of your website. Some people don’t put a lot of thought into their domain name but if you follow some of the tips below, you will be setting yourself up better to serve your customers and make your SEO and Internet Marketing efforts a little easier.

Off-line Business & Branding

If someone had to guess the TLD of any website, they typically start with a .com. If you are a well-known business or are trying to make a brand name for yourself, your best option is to get yourcompanyname.com. This will make it much easier when customers are looking for you by name. Avoid using hyphens (your-company-name.com) if possible. Most people don’t expect hyphens when they are looking for a popular website. There are some SEO advantages to this as well. Websites with a .com TLD are a little more trusted by Google and other search engines. Next time you do a search, take notice of how many in the top 10 are .com. The biggest problem you may face is being able to get your desired .com. Internet real estate is going quickly and .com TLD’s can be hard to come by.

Internet Business

If you do most of your business online, chances are you aren’t quite a household name. While this may initially sound like a disadvantage, it opens up your domain name possibilities quite a bit. Instead of being tied down to a domain name like yourcompanyname.com where people expect to find your website, you can go after alternative domains that may be easier to find. Also, you can incorporate keywords into your domain which will help your SEO campaign in a few ways. First, if someone searches for Provo dentist and your domain name is provodentist.com, this is a good indication to the search engines as well as potential customers that your site is related to their search term. Secondly, if other people are linking to your website without anchor text, your domain name will provide keywords by default. You will still want to avoid hyphens in your domain name if possible but if you find a quality domain name, there are some cases where you might want to buy it with hyphens.

Top-level Domains (TLD)

Whether you are worried about branding or not, you always want to get the .com version of your domain name if possible. As I mentioned before, .com’s are more trusted by Google and Internet users recognize them as more important sites. If your desired .com is not available, .net is your next best option. Currently, most people should avoid .biz or .tv TLD’s. However, this may change as search engine’s evolve and domain names are harder to come by.

Summary

If you are a brand name or wish to create a brand, stick to yourcompanyname.com or yourcompanyname.net.
If your company name isn’t as important, try other approaches like keywordrichurl.com or keyword-rich-url.com.

If you are stuck between a few different domain names orTLD’s and aren’t sure which one will be the best for your business or website, contact us for recommendations. Good luck!

Bryan Phelps
CEO at Big Leap
Bryan is Big Leap's CEO and founder. When he's not working on the business you can find him spending time with his family, enjoying the sun in St. George, UT, or hitting the links. Maybe all three.