Domain hacking sounds like a nasty cyber attack, but the terms refers to an increasingly common domain selection process. As a business owner, you already know that it’s incredibly important to choose the right domain name. With a better domain name, your company website will be more memorable, more marketable and more highly differentiated. It can even have SEO benefits if you choose a strong keyword or a total match to your brand name.
But with more than 350 million domains already in existence, and thousands more getting claimed every day, it can be tough to get the “perfect” domain for your business.
Domain hacking could be the answer — but is it really worth it for your business?
Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is domain hacking?
Domain hacks are unconventional domain name choices that combine country code top level domains (ccTLDs) with other keywords to form a comprehensible, split word. For example, these days, there are a variety of domain extensions available for purchase like .ly or .me, rather than just conventional options like .com or .org. If you were starting an unconventional business, you could adopt a domain like unconventional.ly, rather than unconventional.com or unconventionally.com.
Sometimes, domain hacking is used to bring two different words together. For example, you might find mortgage.loan or skate.board as a domain name. Or you could use domain hacking to split a single word, such as our previous unconventional.ly example.
You likely know a variety of businesses and websites already making great use of the domain hacking strategy. But is it right for your business?
There are several benefits to pursuing this strategy, such as:
However, there are also some weaknesses, drawbacks and limitations to consider:
If you already have a solid business with a solid domain name in place, you don’t need to spend much time considering domain hacking. But if you’re about to start a new business, it should definitely be on your radar. Domain hacking with clever ccTLDs isn’t the best strategy for all businesses, but it does have the potential to boost your brandability, memorability and even your search rankings.
Originally appeared in Entrepreneur