How to choose a good domain name
One of the key ingredients of a strong online presence is a good domain name. As manifested in this digital age, a company’s website is equivalent to an electronic business card. So it should represent the company’s brand, products, and services. Your domain name will play a significant part when people discover, think of, talk about or search for your website.
An intelligent approach, imagination and smart merging of keyword strategies are the main recipes to cook the best domain name for your website. Ideally, your site’s domain name must be (basic recommendations):
- Easy to pronounce and spell
- Attractive and unforgettable
- Not a defilement of any trademark
The above recommendations are basic and are good rule of the thumb. However, they are too general in determining a good domain name. Allow me to list down 10 tips on how to choose a good domain name.
1. Name your domain after your own business name
It is nearly instinctive that when a person thinks of a website, he’ll think of it by name. If your business name is also your web address (URL or domain name), people will automatically know where to go to and type in the address bar. Most of the time, they’ll just add a “.com” extension after it.
2. Keep the name as short as possible
Short names are easier to type. The easier your visitors can go to your website, the more you achieve your site’s goals. And by giving your domain a shorter name, you’re one step closer to that.
3. Make it easy to remember
If your domain name (URL) needs significant attention to type correctly due to the spelling, length, and use of hard to remember words, you’ve lost a good percentage of your branding and marketing value. You don’t want to have an amazing website and yet no one can ever recall to tell their friends about it because they can’t remember the domain name.
4. Compound top keywords
Brainstorm at least 5 top keywords about your topic. Once you have the keywords that best describe the domain you’re searching, you can start to compound them until you create good domain ideas.
Tip: You can use free online application like Google Keyword Tool to help you search for the top keywords related to your topic. This application displays a huge list of keywords ideas for that topic with the global monthly searches and local monthly searches
5. Add prefix or suffix
If your chosen domain name is not available, you can alternatively register a variation of your choice. For example, your first choice is pagehub.com and is already registered, try adding prefixes like “e” or “my”. Or add suffixes like “online”, for example:
Use your imagination and linguistic creativity to find alternative to your original choice.
6. Satisfy your target audiences’ expectation
When someone hears about your website’s name for the first time, they should be capable to immediately predict what your site is all about. At some degree, it should be related to the content of your blog. But what if you want to use your own name as your URL? I’ll talk about that in a while, keep reading for now.
7. Avoid defilement of any trademarked names
Make sure someone else has not trademarked the domain name you target to register. You cannot register names that are already registered as copyright, Coca-Cola for example. Just like a company name, domain names are unique and can’t be duplicated. Avoid naming your blog to famous trademarks. Visit copyright.gov and search before you register.
8. Do not prioritize misspelled keywords or spelling mistakes
Unless you are planning to brand your domain name uniquely “as is”, I discourage using misspelled words. It will only look second rate, trying hard, fishy website. For example “ggoogle.com”. It doesn’t make sense to add the letter “g” at the beginning of the name just for it to appear related to Google.
On the other hand, if you know how to drive web traffic to your site and establish it as a brand, go for it. Some successful brands have made it to the top, like flickr.com. You might get your share on the pot, right?
9. Stand out as a brand with your own moniker
A brand is more than just a combination of keywords. It’s your unique style that will shape your success by adding value and attention to your domain name. Sites like seomoz.com, kaiserthesage.com, and shoemoney.com have built their names with their own brands and styles.
10. Use domain selection tools
There are several companies that offer service that determines the availability of a domain name you target to register. Sites like namecheap.com and hostgator.com. Just type and search the domain name you desire, go register if it’s still available.
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All the best to you,