The first step to getting your business started is choosing a good name for your online dating website. Pick a name that is memorable, easy to write and is relevant to what the web site is about. So if it is about vegetarian dating then try and get either dating, singles or meet in the domain as well as the word vegetarian or some such relevant keyword. Remember don’t make it too long or use difficult spelling, consider the ‘word of mouth’ and off line advertising aspects of the name. Could it be easily read out in a radio advert?
Good domain names are hard to come by but it is worth spending some time getting it right. There are many registrars out there and some will even have suggestion tools to help you pick a name (godaddy, eurodns for example). If you are looking to buy a domain that has already been registered by somebody else, maybe an expired domain or one that was registered for the purpose of resale, Sedo.com is a good place to look for ‘aftermarket’ domains.
A good domain name can attract a lot of organic traffic (free traffic from search engines) if it is relevant, for example dating.com was sold for 1.75 million dollars recently because it will show up in most searches for the word dating on the search engines (as long as the site owner makes it SEO friendly). In other chapters I will go into how to prepare your dating site for search engines and our marketing experts have several articles on our blog containing SEO (search engine optimization) information, but the start of this is a good domain name, so choose wisely.
The prize domains are of course the ones with the .com extension, however you will probably find good ones are hard to find and may come at a premium price. Single words are also hard to find and can be equally as expensive, so consider stringing one or two or three words together and try separating them with a hyphen, for example vegetariandating.com or vegetarian-dating.com.
But keep in mind what we said earlier about offline usage. Hyphens can be difficult to use if you rely on your brand being ‘spoken about’.
Consider the market you will be addressing. If you are targeting a German audience, try and obtain a local domain such as .de for Germany. Look for a domain that includes keywords that could show up in the German search engines.
Once you have found a name you like established that it is available the first thing to do is type the name into a Google search. See if there are similar names that can be confused with yours. If possible register both the .com domain as well as the country extension (e.g .de extension for German domains, .it for Italy and so forth). Please note that registrars in some countries reserve the local extension for local businesses and if you don’t have an address in that country it can be difficult to obtain a domain name. Some of the larger domain registrars provide a proxy service, which means they will register the domain for you using one of their own local representatives. It does cost a bit more but it is not generally a huge expense, your first paying member will probably cover the cost of your domain for a year.
If the .com domain name is already taken but you really want that specific name then register it using some of the other extensions such as .net or .info. But please make sure you are not infringing on any trademarks. Particularly if the .com is a competing website. If you are planning big you can register the other extensions as well as the .com to protect your online dating brand and block out opportunists who will use the name once you have made it popular.
Using sub-domains can also be a way to save money and create identity if you are planning to run several sites. For example if you were to register and own abcdating.com, you can then create a bunch of dating sub-domains such as vegetarian.abcdating.com and senior.abcdating.com. If your dating site is with DatingFactory you can then simply enter them in the “Your own domain” option when you create a site, and as DNS is already with DatingFactory (A leading white label dating platform), it will be activated in no time.
Finally if all else fails and you cannot find your ideal domain name, make sure you register for Dating Factory’s newsletter as our partners often sell on domain names. You may get lucky!