Domain name is the most essential when it comes to creating a website or building a business. It’s kind of your recognition, so you need to make sure that you choose the right domain name.
People will know you by your domain name. Even if they forget you, they’ll remember the name of the domain from where they got the information that helped them.
Let’s say you’re thinking to start a blog or a website. What’s the second thing that’ll cross your mind? It’ll be domain name.
Yes, I said domain name to be the second because the first thing will be the niche. The first thing to cross your mind will be on what niche you’re going to blog on. Just as you get this answer, the next thing will be to choose the right domain name.
Discovering the perfect niche for you takes much time, which I’ve already discussed in this article. So now, if you’re already have the niche in mind, read on to learn how to choose the perfect domain name.
Are you following these rules when trying to choose the right domain name?
I’ll enlist 15 rules here. It’s not necessary that you’ve to follow every rule but following 10 out of 15 rules from the checklist will be fine, if not best.
1. Have you brainstormed 5 words or phrases that best go with your niche?
Once you’ve already decided the niche, brainstorm 5 words or phrases that go with your niche. For example, if you’re starting a blog or site related to mortgage, some good words might be “finance, interest rate, mortgage, house payment, equity” and so on. Now you have the words in hand, play around with them. Finding something relevant will help you choose the right domain name.
2. Is your domain unique?
Many a times, you’ll have the feeling of buying a domain with the wrong spelling or a plural form of an already established domain. However, it is advisable to avoid such domain names because the visitor searching for an established name may land on your site for once but will ultimately go to the established domain. You won’t be able to retain the visitor. Besides, uniqueness in your domain name will make retain your individuality and the professionalism of your business.
3. Do you make mistakes when typing the domain name?
If a domain name requires considerable amount of attention and time to type due to length or the complexity of spellings, remember you’ll be losing out on marketing. According to MOZ, you should avoid alphabets such as q, x, z and c will help you choose the right domain name for your business.
4. Do you find it easy to remember?
Word of mouth plays a major role in marketing your business. Say, you visit a great website with terrific design but a complex domain name. After 2 to 3 months, a friend asks you something and you want to refer him to that website but can’t remember the name. So, they miss a potential visitor because of the complexity of their domain name.
5. Is it a tongue twister or is your domain name short and sweet?
Studies show that shorter domain names are easier to remember and better for marketing purposes. For example, say Facebook, it’s just one word – short and sweet too! Researches show that one-worded domains are the best, two-worded domains are fine and three-worded domains are good. So, when you head over to find the right domain name for your business, try to keep the name to one word or maximum three. Plus, short domains also look good on business cards and other offline banners.
In addition, names sounding like tongue twisters are also hard to pronounce and difficult to marketing.
6. Is your domain name hyphenated?
Before the Google EMD update, hyphenated domain names were very common. In order to rank easily in the search engines, webmasters would buy hyphenated versions of domain names if a specific domain name wasn’t available. For example, if they wanted weightloss.com and if it wasn’t available, they would buy weight-loss.com and rank for the keyword “weight loss”.
However, this practice doesn’t exist anymore in 2014. Google no longer ranks a domain based on the keywords used in the domain name.
Humans also find it hard to type and remember hyphenated names. Say, you’ve two names – schoolbooks.com and school-books.com. Which domain are you likely to type first from a subconscious mind? If I were you, I’d have typed the first one.
7. Has your domain infringed copyright laws?
The mistake of copyright infringement doesn’t happen quite often but if it happens even unknowingly, it’s a killer for your business. So, you must keep this point in mind before buying a domain. Visit copyright.gov and check the name that you have thought of, before buying a domain.
8. Can you make your domain name brandable?
Brandable domains are hot in 2014. So, what makes a domain name brandable? A good mixture of letters or a combination of interesting word sounding good makes a brandable domain name. They may or may not be descriptive enough. The right domain name needn’t be always descriptive if your sole aim is to create a brand.
These types of domains are easy to remember and visitors associate themselves with the brand.
9. Does your domain name have numerals?
Avoid numbers in domains because they can be hard to remember and can create confusion. For example, in the case of born2blog.com, some will also type this as borntoblog.com. But since both domains are different, the person who types the wrong version will land on some other site. Domains with numbers cause marketing problems.
10. Are you following latest trends blindly?
Many people prefer to go for mis-spelt words even if they don’t sound good but just because they have good searches. It surely was a great strategy before the Google EMD update but now, it isn’t anymore.
11. Do you have a .com domain?
When you forget the extension of a site last visited, what do you typically type as the extension? First, you’re likely to type the name of the domain with the .com extension. If you don’t find the site with .com, then you’re going to try the others. Right?
The above happens if most of your traffic is typing your website name directly into the browser. However, if you’re receiving organic traffic or referral traffic, you needn’t worry about this as most of the traffic comes from clicks.
However, if the one who landed on your webpage though organic click wants to visit your website again after few days directly by typing the URL, he or she’ll most likely type the .com extension.
So, to be safe from all sides, it’s better to go for .com extension.
12. Is your domain name descriptive?
Are your visitors able to recognize your niche simply by knowing your domain name? If your domain name is a brand, you needn’t worry about this because branded names may not be always descriptive. However, if your domain name is related to some keyword, it must reflect your niche.
So, before you choose the best domain name, you need to know exactly the purpose of creating your website and building your business.
13. Do you want online local authority?
If your business is local, you can lower the competition and rank for your domain name simply by choosing a domain name the name of your local place. For example, if you want to rank for the keyword “seo in India”, selecting the domain seo.com won’t give you much advantage because it’s global and you’ve thousands of other competitors. On the other hand, seoindia.com will give you the advantage of ranking locally in India.
14. Are you adding prefixes or suffixes to your domain name?
Sometimes, adding the prefix or suffix to a word works well and goes to the extent to being a brand itself in the future. For example, Bookster can be a name with the word as “book” and the suffix as “ster”. Choosing the right domain names is not always a science but also an art that needs some creativity.
15. Have you blended two or more words to make a new one word?
Blending two or more words to make a new word is the common modern English and gives a brand new look and feel. Sometimes, taking a part of the word from the one word and another part of the word from another word works well too.
Take the example of Microsoft. The word “micro” has been taken from the word “micro computer” and the word “soft” has been taken from “software”. So, you can see how well they have blended the two word, both from their niche and has made it into one word.
However, keep in mind not to stuff the name with consonants because then the name would sound complex to hear and difficult to pronounce.
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Do not feel discouraged if your current domain name does not have all the characteristics covered. I know plenty of popular websites that don’t have all the aspects covered yet they are ranking. These are just some factors to keep in mind when choosing the right domain names for you, and using these helps in marketing and SEO aspects.
The next time you buy a domain name, make sure to follow most of the aspects covered here. So, if you feel you’re going to need this guide in the future when buying a domain name or if this might help someone, bookmark it for future reference.
So, over to you – what is the one factor you consider when you choose the right domain name?