You, as a business owner or a blogger, make your internet presence via your website. It helps online visitors in getting to know you and your brand.
The website that you develop can only be accessed by entering a specific URL on the browser. Within this URL comes the most important part – your domain name.
If you think your website’s domain name is just an address and it’s nothing more than that then you my friend are mistaken!
Picking the perfect domain name plays a vital role in making your website successful. You cannot expect to come up with the best and most suitable domain name within a matter of seconds. This process is time-consuming as well as tricky.
Luckily, we are here to help you out and give you 10 tips for choosing a spot-on name for your website.
Your Domain Name = Your Brand
In order to be successful in the long-run, you need to develop a brand. Whether it’s your business or your personal blog, branding is that one tool which will take you from bottom to top.
Your domain name should reflect who you are as a brand. It is basically the first impression of your brand and who doesn’t want to make a good first impression?
For instance, if your blog is about your travel adventures, then this should be highlighted in your domain name. Nomadicmatt.com, for example, is an amazing travel blog which talks about the adventures of Matt.
How can you make your domain name more brandable? It’s easy! Think out of the box. Avoid generic names that don’t stand out. Your name should sound more credible as well as professional.
Go for a Simple and Concise Name
Selecting a simple and short domain name for your website can do wonders for your business/blog. A simple name is not only easy to type but easy to remember as well.
Did you know that the top most popular websites on the internet have the shortest domain names? In today’s fast-pace world, internet users do not have time to type lengthy and confusing website names.
When the domain name gets too long, it becomes confusing and looks like spam. On the other hand, if it is too short or uses an abbreviation, there is a chance that your visitors will be unable to understand it.
The key here is to have a balance when it comes to picking the length of your domain name. As a rule of thumb, try going for less than 17 characters.
Hyphens and Numbers are a Big NO NO!
Unless your brand name has number, the addition of hyphens and numbers to your domain name are considered as a bad move.
For instance, number 9 is a vital part of the brand 9gag and therefore it needs to appear in their domain name as well. On the other hand, if Forbes added number 1 in its domain name then that would have been a major turn off.
Hyphens generally tend to confuse online users. Any name that flows naturally and isn’t too complicated is what you should be looking for.
A good example is mcdonalds.com. This domain name is way better than other substandard options like “mcdonalds-burger-chips.com” or “mcdonalds-fastfood.com”.
Go for an Easy to Pronounce Name
At times you need to spell your website to your customers and clients over the phone. The perfect domain name is easy to pronounce and memorize as well.
Don’t go for something which is too hard to figure out. Share your domain name with your close friends. Look at how they react to it and note down their responses.
A misspell domain name means that a large amount of your potential visitors is lost. It frustrates them and leads to a loss of interest as well. You definitely don’t want your customers to spend hours on Google while searching for the right spelling.
Also, don’t go for invented words like Kare Korner or Pix2Brix. If you own a daycare or a photo editing website, chances are that very few people will be able to spell your funky name.
Don’t forget to Add Keywords
It’s always a good idea to add keywords to your domain name. This helps in improving the rank of your website on search engines.
Remember, whenever someone is looking for relevant information on search engines they take help from keywords. For a better ranking on search engines, keywords have become a necessity.
However, stuffing your domain name with many keywords is not a good idea. It does not look professional and is usually ignored by online users.
For example, take a look at goodreads.com versus findbooksreadreviews.com. Which one would you click? The term “reads” in our first web address is used as a keyword.
Look for Synonyms
As the internet is hosting millions of websites, there is a chance that your perfect domain name is already taken. Don’t sweat too much about it!
You can look for synonyms that best describe your business/blog. Thesaurus.com comes in handy while searching for suitable synonyms.
For example, lookfantastic.com is a beauty website that sells makeup and skincare products. The two words “Look” and “Fantastic” point out about the niche of the website and targets online users who want to look fantastic!
Give Domain Name Generators a Try
Sometimes it gets difficult to choose the most relevant name for your business/blog. Don’t worry! This isn’t a dead-end for your website.
Domain Name Generators might sound gimmicky but they are one of the most useful tools when it comes to picking the perfect domain name.
There are hundreds of domain name generators out there. These are user-friendly websites which generate suitable names according to your added keywords.
You can either pick one of the names suggested or use all of the names as ideas in order to come up with your own name.
Popular domain name generators include leandomainsearch.com, namemesh.com and nameboy.com.
Make Sure You Don’t Violate Any Trademarks
Don’t get yourself in trouble by picking domain names that are trademarked. Ideally, your domain name should be unique. There are two issues with selecting a domain name which is not distinctive.
One, similar domain names can lead to trademark infringement. Even though you might not be planning to do such a thing there are a lot of chances that such a scenario arises. Such an infringement can result in you getting sued as well as your domain name forcefully taken from you.
Second, search engines are unable to differentiate between your website and the site which has a similar domain name. The search result, then, provides many irrelevant links.
In order to avoid violation of any trademarks, you should do your homework. Put your domain name in search engines and look for any similar domain names. Visit US Patent and Trademark Office for further information.
Dot Com is Your Best friend
There is a wide array of extensions available on the internet. Many of them have their specific uses. .biz is used by businesses; .info is mostly used for informational websites and others.
There are country specific extensions as well. So, for instance, if you own a bakery in Toronto, Canada, you might want to add .ca extension to your domain name. This will help both the search engines and online users to know that your bakery is located in Canada. Such extensions are great for businesses that want to target a certain market.
In terms of Extension, .com is your best friend. It is by far the most used as well as the most popular extension on the internet.
Being the oldest and most famous, you might have a hard time finding a website with the .com extension. You can select other recognized extensions like .net, .co and .org.
We would advise you to stay away from funky and shady extensions like .cheap, .club and .space. Also avoid using .biz as it is considered spam by many users and is known to rank very low in search engines.
You don’t want to waste your time, once you are 100% sure about a certain domain name. These things sell out real fast and so you need to act fast.
While registering your domain name it is important to look for a reliable domain registrar. Namecheap is a world famous and a trustworthy registrar.
Don’t let any registration company to handle this important step. Do all the registering process yourself. After registering, make sure that you take the necessary steps to keep your domain name safe and secure.
This concludes our guide to picking the perfect domain name for your website. We hope that our tips were helpful and informative.
The key here is to think out of the box and be creative. There is no set method for choosing the best name. It is a time-consuming process which is definitely worthwhile in the end!
Remember, you want to make an amazing and long-lasting impression on your clients with your perfect domain name!
If you're looking for step by step instructions on how to register a domain name, check out our domain name registration guide