You’re ready to launch your new coaching business website. You go to reserve your website name (i.e. your domain) so that when you’re ready to build your website, you know it’s there for you. Thing is, your name is a common one, so the domain www.yourname.com has already been registered by someone else.
You have a few options now. You can either pick another name for your coaching website, like www.yournamecoaching.com, OR you might be considering using an alternative domain name ending for your website, instead of the normal .com. For example, www.yourname.coach.
But you aren’t sure if that’s a good idea. Is using an alternative domain name ending like .coach instead of .com a bad idea? Will people trust it less? Will Google still pull it up in search results?
In this article, I’ll answer those questions by providing some pros and cons to alternative domain name endings. That way, you can be informed as you pick a domain that feels personal and still helps you reach your audience.
Pros to an alternative domain ending
It doesn’t make any direct difference to search engines.
You might be wondering if using something like .coach instead of .com effects whether or not people can find you on search engine results. According to Google, using an alternative domain ending doesn’t directly impact search rankings. So that’s good news!
Just a reminder: “Keywords in a TLD do not give any advantage or disadvantage in search.”https://t.co/zkHxDPzHrX
— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) June 6, 2016
It can help you build your brand and make you more memorable.
If it’s industry-specific, an alternative domain ending can make your site more memorable. For example, in the coding industry sector, there are a few sites that use .io as their domain ending.
Codepen.io, for instance, is a social development tool for website developers and designers like me. Its domain ending is memorable, short, and fits the industry it’s targeting.
I’ve had coaches ask me if .coach would make sense for them as a domain ending. I think .coach could make your website more memorable since it directly relates to the service you offer. There are other alternatives out there, but .coach is one example of an industry-specific domain name ending that a coach could use to make their domain name more memorable.
Cons to an alternative domain ending
You might lose trust and authority with those who are used to seeing .com domain endings.
There are a few alternative endings (like .link and .biz) that are strongly associated with spam or malware websites.
Depending on what alternative domain name you use, you do run a risk of associating yourself with these types of sites. That means lost trust and credibility with your website visitors.
And if your web address comes across as less trustworthy to visitors, then they won’t click. Less clicks also mean your site will rank lower on search engines like Google.
It doesn’t matter how beautiful your website is if you lose out on the opportunity to show people what you offer because your domain doesn’t feel trustworthy.
It’s a simple truth that .com is easier to remember.
According to statistics, nearly half of all websites use .com domain endings. That means .com is what most people default to when they’re typing in a web address.
This con might not matter so much for you if most of your website traffic is clicking through via digital advertising or social media. It’s when a visitor is actually typing in your web address (like if they are recalling it from a business card) that this matters more.
Either way, don’t make these mistakes!
No matter what name you pick, make sure that you are mindful of alternative spellings of your domain. Try to purchase them if you can, and have them redirect to your main domain.
For example, my name is one that’s often misspelled as jennielakeman.com. It would probably be a good idea for me to consider purchasing that domain!
Additionally, before you commit to a domain, check on the availability of that name across all social platforms.
If your website is www.coachwithjane.com, you want to check that @coachwithjane is available on Instagram, Facebook, and other social platforms. A handy tool like KnowEm makes it easy to do this! Just type in your desired domain and have a look.
Final thoughts on alternative domain endings
Whatever domain name ending you pick, it doesn’t have to be a life-long commitment. Don’t wait weeks spinning about the “perfect” domain name. You’re better off making a choice and getting your web presence launched.
That’s massive action, my friends! Make a choice. Commit to it. Take the next steps.
You’ve got this.
Hope that was helpful!
P.S. If you’re interested in having me help you with setting up your domain and your website presence, you can apply to be on my project waitlist by filling out the form here.