As internet technologies continue to develop and evolve, the chatter that has received the most the airtime has been social media and search engine optimization (SEO). But, there’s one thing that sets the foundation for all brands—the domain name.
Social media, search engines, advertising, and word of mouth can get exposure for your brand, but it starts with your domain. Whether you are a church, a ministry, a nonprofit, or a business, your domain name is the entry point for people to connect with your brand—it is your front door.
A commonly-accepted study estimates that an average person is exposed to 5,000 brand messages every day. If someone happens to notice your message out of the many others, how can that person respond and engage with your brand? Your domain name. Be smart and use your domain name as the call-to-action.
How do you know what is the right domain name for your organization, and how do you choose from the 1,200 Top Level Domains now available? Which one suits your brand best? There are three important qualities to keep in mind.
3 Qualities of a Great Church Domain Name
Quality #1 – Be Relevant.
The right domain name helps people know who you are and what you do. Your relevant and meaningful domain name compels people to respond and visit your website to engage with you because you have something that relevant that people need and want. When people can instantly see that your web address has immediate relevancy, they’re much more likely to go to your website. (Check out how 6 organizations just rebranded for relevancy in this report)
Quality #2 – Be Memorable.
Only a portion of your marketing is online. When your marketing is on printed materials, like a flyer or business card, or on a billboard, or when it’s on television or radio – you want a domain name that is easy to remember. When it’s memorable, you’re more likely to get that “click” or that “visit” from someone who has seen or heard your domain name.
Quality #3 – Be Short.
Obviously, a shorter domain name is easier to type, because you wouldn’t want people mistyping and winding up at the wrong place. A shorter domain name is also easier to remember. And, a shorter name can add clarity, especially if it is one word.
New Ways to Get a Great Domain Name
With more than 75% of the 100 million active websites being on a dot-com Top-Level Domain or TLD, it can be difficult to get the name you want. The new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) make it possible to get quality domain names that are relevant, memorable, short, and, most importantly–available. (I’ve listed some of my favorites below)
Plus, these new domain extensions add another quality that legacy domain extensions like .COM and .NET do not have. These new domain extensions provide instant association for brands with a category, a place, or a mission. When a domain name ends in .COM or .NET, that only tells people that it’s a website. A new domain extension (like .BIBLE, .NEWS, or .CHURCH,) can communicate more by telling people who you are and what you do, right there in the domain extension.
Look at these high-quality domain names that powerfully say why people should visit these websites: free.bible, apple.news, life.church, LookInside.Bible, planning.center, design.google, and surface.microsoft.
The Advantage Could Be Yours
Make the most of this opportunity to get quality domain names that quickly communicates instantly about your brand—who you are and what you do. In a fast-moving world, the advantage goes to the one who can communicate quickly and effectively.
And An Update From July 2022
Since 2014, tens of thousands of churches have registered and are using .CHURCH domain names. 37% of the Outreach 100 (the largest and fastest growing churches in the U.S.) use .CHURCH domain URLs as well as many thousands of other churches, ranging in all kinds of sizes, ages, and denominations.
Something noteworthy is the extra security that .CHURCH domain names have (and the many other TLDs operated by Identity Digital, formerly Donuts). Malicious scammers and bad hackers may use confusingly similar Unicode letters and characters to spoof your domain name, and then use this lookalike for fraudulent phishing schemes to get your credit card number, capture your password, or steal your identity. When register a .CHURCH domain, all potential malicious variations are automatically blocked, preventing hackers from registering false, lookalike names and using them against you.