What is in a name? Pretty much, actually. The address of your site, normally referred to as domain name, is one of the pivotal elements to determine your success in the crowded and competitive online space with over 250 million registered domains.
You need to commit a lot of thought and consideration so that you can choose a domain name that positively portrays your brand and can assist you grow your business and drive sales.
Follow these essential tips to ensure you pick a perfect, robust and domineering domain name.
1. Simplicity is the mother of all inventions
Life is very simple. So, avoid complicating matters in the Internet. Go for a simple domain name that will not bring confusion inside the heads of your visitors.
- Do not confuse spelling. For example, avoid writing “u” instead of “you”. Also, using words with multiple spellings such as express versus xpress may complicate matters further.
- Keep it as short as possible for your visitors to remember faster and spread the word about it
- If you have a long and confusing domain name, visitors may mistype or misspell it. Just make it short and sweet
- Your chosen domain name should be easy to type
2. Be catchy and memorable
Your domain name should be something you can say to a passerby while travelling in a vehicle and he or she can keep it to mind.
An easy to say and spell domain name is important to improve the pass-along rate and enhance the dominance of your site in the World Wide Web.
3. Do not fall into the temptation of numbers and hyphens
Numbers and hyphens do not add value to your branding or SEO efforts. In addition, they detract from credibility and add to the jargon of confusion.
For example, if www.yourbusinessname.com is already registered and you decide to go for www.your-business-name.com, chances are high that most people will get lost at www.yourbusinessname.com.
Using numbers and hyphens will also complicate word of mouth advertising, as they are not easy to say on the go.
4. Pick an appropriate domain name extension
Extensions refer to the suffixes at the end of domain names. There are over 300 extensions available. So, you need to choose one that will benefit your brand.
The .COM domain extension is the most popular in the Internet. In fact, 52% of all sites in the Internet are using .COM as their extension.
So, you should stick to a .COM extension as much as possible. It is very easy to remember and people are most likely to search for it.
When you tell someone the address of your site, he or she is most likely to search for “www.yourbusinessname.COM”.
However, when you’ve run out of options, you can consider the other extensions, as well.
Another alternative would be to buy an already established domain from a site such as Flippa.
Here are the common extensions and how they are being used.
- .NET: It is the second most popular extension after .COM. So, you should consider buying it when .COM is not available. It is mostly used for technical, Internet infrastructure websites.
- INFO: It is common with sites offering information
- .CO: It is the short form for company, commerce or community
- .ORG: It is most used by non-commercial organizations and companies
- .BIZ: It is used mostly for business or commercial purposes, such as ecommerce websites
- .ME: It is common for blogs, resumes or personal websites
- You can also buy an extension specific to your country. For example, .UK for the United Kingdom and .AU for Australia.
It is not recommended, however, for webmasters to build sites for every domain name extension.
After you’ve built your primary site, you can consider purchasing the related extensions and forward them to your home page.
You can take this route if you want to protect your branded site address and prevent any confusion in the future.
5. Include keywords
Try including keywords that illustrate your business and the types of products and services you provide. For instance, if you have a house repair business, try registering www.houserepair.com .
If your domain name has keywords Internet users enter when looking for information, it will assist increase your rank on search engines and click-through rate.
6. Creativity has not grown old
In this twenty-first century, the world has continued to experience major technological advancements mainly because of creativity and ability to think outside the box.
So, when choosing a domain name for your site, do not enclose yourself in a corner. Since most single-word domains are already registered, be creative and you’ll get the perfect domain name.
For example, you can compound two whole words (www.fightscity.com), adding a prefix or suffix to a word (www.problogger.com), modifying a word (www.travelocity.com), blending parts of two words together (www.microsoft.com), developing an entirely unique word (www.etsy.com) , or using a phrase (www.flickr.com).
7. Keep off trademarks
Do not infringe on copyright laws, as it can make you fight endless court cases and drain your pockets and business.
For example, in 2013, Donald Trump sued four sites for using his name and brand and demanded $400,000 in compensation. Some other famous lawsuits concerning branded domain names include www.mcdonalds.com and www.mtv.com.
Just keep off the red line!
8. Be unique
If your site is commonly confused with an established one operated by another webmaster, then you are throwing yourself in a hot soup.
So, it is not advisable to go for a name that is simply the plural, hyphenated or misspelled version of popular domains. To avoid such confusion, Yahoo! had to buy www.flicker.com and redirect it to their main site www.flickr.com.
Choose something unique and that will also increase your type-in traffic (people navigating to your site by directly typing the site’s url).
9. Consider your branding
Your chosen domain name should support your main marketing message. Before buying a domain name, do a background check to ascertain if it will make your potential customers to know, like and have confidence in your services.
When Google, Yahoo! or Facebook were launching their Internet presence, no one knew they would establish a reputable footing. But now, their brands are recognizable and are on everyone lips.
Do not register if www.thisandthatbestyourbusinessname.com while you can easily go for if www.yourbusinessname.com.
So, go for something brand-able and you will have started on the right foot.
Take your time and think about a good domain name. If you have someone you work with closely, brainstorm with him or her to come up with ideas of the right name for representing your brand or business.
You can also use a thesaurus to look for proper alternative words if what you were thinking about has already been registered.
Here are some online tools that can assist you brainstorm domain names:
- NameStation – produces a list of available domains based on the word or phrases you provide
- Domaintyper – searches if a domain name is available or not
- Lean domain search – it will assist you see several of the available versions of your preferred domain name
- Domainr – this site will instantly find for you “domain hacks”
Having a great domain name is important for sailing your Internet marketing efforts a notch higher. You should ensure that the domain you choose is easy to use and will not distract your visitors.
You can get a great domain name on a site like Godaddy.com for as low as $10.
I hope the above tips will help you capture an appropriate name for your business. If you are still having trouble, you can get in touch with me through the contact page.