If you’re thinking about registering a new domain name, a quick scan of the web will turn up hundreds of results about this topic. You might be wondering what all the fuss is about? Does a domain name really matter that much? The short answer is “yes.”

In today’s digital age, your domain name is increasingly becoming your customers’ first point of contact with your business or service. First impressions count, so to ensure that you’re consistently making a positive impression, we have highlighted six key questions to ask yourself before registering a domain name.

Does it showcase your business correctly?If you’re already running a successful offline business, register the same name ­— or if that’s too long, at least a name that is strongly associated with it. Remember: your web address will appear in your email signature, it’ll also be printed on business cards, marketing collateral, and signage. It should be clear and make sense to current and future customers.

Is it professional looking?

Unfortunately, sometimes your perfect domain isn’t available. When this happens, don’t be tempted to use numbers and text-speak like “4U” or “Ur.” These shortcuts can look unprofessional and convey the wrong message about who’s running your company.

You should also pay attention to your spelling. There would be nothing worse than accidentally registering something awkward that had spelling errors. A company like IT Scrap doesn’t look good directly translated into a domain name (“itscrap.com”). Always make sure to write down your domain name on paper and look for alternate interpretations.

Is it trustworthy?

If you’re just starting your online business journey and your company name is still up for debate, aim for a name that sounds confident and dynamic. Do you run a mobile pet grooming company in Melbourne? Then, a domain like “petgrooming.melbourne” will not only tell customers exactly what you do, but reassure them that you’re well-established in the community. Just like a physical address or post code, a domain name tells customers about where you are located.

Is your domain memorable?

A successful domain name should be memorable. One of the advantages of a domain like .melbourne is that many short 3-4 letter words are still available, you can easily get a snappy one-word address that’s memorable and helps you own your industry online, an example of this is vet.melbourne. Always make sure that your domain name is easy to pronounce and spell, avoid hyphens and dashes. The shorter and simpler, the easier it’ll be to remember.

Is your domain limiting your options?

Think about your long-term business goals. If your business is specializing in a niche product such as acoustic guitars and that’s all you can ever imagine selling, great. Registering a keyword-based domain name like “guitars.melbourne” or even “acousticguitars.melbourne” is an excellent strategy for cornering the Melbourne market. However, in the future if you want to start selling other musical instruments, that same name will pigeonhole your business. In that case, aim for a unique branded domain name instead, along the lines of Amazon, eBay, or Google.