If you want your church to be more discoverable online, one of the best things you can do is nail your domain name.
Here are nine quick-and-dirty tips to follow on your way to a memorable, discoverable church website domain name.
1. Get as close to your church name as possible
Instinctively, people type the name of a company or organization into their address bar, followed by .com. Or, people simply google the name of your church. If that name is in your URL, Google is more likely to rank your site higher in the listings.
2. Be geographic
If your church name is common, for example, “First Baptist Church” or “Crossroads Community Church,” put the name of your town in it: firstbaptistbellingham.com or crossroadsbellingham.
Including the town also makes it simpler for people to spot your church in their Google search.
3. Use keywords
For similar reasons as above (Google), it’s important to use words people may use when searching for your church. Some combination of your church name, town, or the word “church” is a safe bet.
4. Be brief
I almost wrote, “Keep it short,” but “Be brief” is shorter. Having a short domain name is easier to say out loud, remember, and type.
Looking at the examples above, both of those are about as long as they can be. I intentionally excluded “church” from both because they felt too long otherwise. Think two, three words max—no more than 25 characters.
5. Avoid hyphens and numerals
The reason for this is simple: it is very easy to mistype when putting in hyphens and numerals. Also when you say your site out loud, you’d have to spell that out: “1st church—that’s one-s-t—of . . .” It’s easier on everyone to forego numerals and hyphens.
6. Don’t be clever
Clear and clever don’t usually mix, and since it’s more important to be clear, clever has to go. For example, if you’re at Church of God in the town Normal, IL, don’t make your domain normal4God.com. Be churchofgodnormal.com.
7. Read it out loud
This is a good way to catch any issues with your domain, like if it’s hard to remember, easy to misspell, or embarrassing if said out loud. I read of an IT company that runs a hardware scrap program and chose the URL itscrap.com. They changed their URL pretty soon after.
8. End your URL with .com
Because .com is the most common URL ending, people are likely to assume your website ends in .com. Favor this ending over .net, .org, and others.
Also, avoid non-.com endings when someone else who could be mistaken for you has it already. For example, gracechurch.net could be confused as gracechurch.com, so it’s better to be unique (gracechurchbellingham.com) in that case.
9. Make sure you’re allowed to use it
Finally, make sure to steer clear of copyright infringement. A little research on the front end could save you time and potentially money down the road.
Faithlife Sites is an integrated, automatic, easy solution to all of your church website needs.