Here’s a few ideas for including location terms in your domain name.
A good business domain name can say a lot in just a few characters.
While you generally want your domain name to be a shorter variant of your full business or brand name—the two don’t have to be the exact same—it is often beneficial to also give your customers an idea about where you’re located.
While we know that Canadians trust a domain ending with .CA is a symbol for a business that serves Canadians, sometimes it is helpful to be even more specific. If that’s the case, here are a few ideas based on trends we’ve seen in domain name registrations.
Let’s start with the obvious, you can add a full city/town name (e.g. “Burnaby” or “Charlottetown”) to very clearly indicate the market you serve.
One downside is that this can make your domain name quite long, which just doesn’t look as nice on a business card.
Moving on to some more creative options…
The switch to 10-digit dialling popularized area codes, but let’s face it, Drake made them iconic.
There are plenty of businesses and blogs that use area codes, here are some examples:
- apt613.ca: “An award-winning blog dedicated to uncovering the best of Ottawa’s arts and culture.”
- beelocal416.ca: “Sustainable urban beekeeping.”
- madeinthe604.ca: “A blog, pop-up market, and online shop dedicated to supporting and curating the best local artists, crafters, makers, and businesses.”
With just three memorable digits, you can indicate your location while keeping your domain name short and sweet.
What’s the deal with airport codes in domain names? Like area codes, they will only take up three characters in your domain name and are a memorable way to name your local business.
Digging into our domain data, I found there are about 5,000 .CA’s that contain airport codes. Admittedly, this figure contains the actual airport websites themselves as well as a few flukey false positives (something like YOWzacoffee.ca, which is at this time not registered, although in my opinion would be a great name for an Ottawa-based coffee company).
Interestingly, the top two airport codes found in .CA domains are YYC for Calgary and YEG for Edmonton. Here are a few examples:
- veginyyc.ca: “one of the top Plant Based & Gluten Free takeout café’s in Calgary.”
- goodbreadyyc.ca: “Local bakery, simple ingredients, small-batch baking.”
- yegburger.ca: “Edmonton’s best burger joint.”
I haven’t spent too much time out west; for those who have, have you noticed this business name trend?
P.S. If you are interested in learning more about the history of airport codes, feel free to check out this very entertaining blog post.
Many Canadian cities and towns have unofficial nicknames that are used locally like Cowtown (Calgary) or Hogtown (Toronto).
This is a good option if you’re looking for something a little for tongue-in-cheek or a catchy alliterative domain like bytownbites.ca.
A .CA domain
If your business falls under the hyper-local category such as a florist, a barbershop or a restaurant; or serves nationwide like viarail.ca or indigo.ca, the easiest domain name decision you can make is to the right of the dot (also known as the top-level domain).
Choosing .CA for the top-level domain says, “Hey, my business is in Canada,” with just two letters. You can see what kinds of domains are available right here: