Whether you are starting a new business or rebranding the existing one, you need a website that reflects your brand. And a website requires an appropriate domain name. A domain name is like your digital identity-it is what distinguishes you from your competition. So, getting it right is imperative.
So, how to choose the right domain name?
Here, we have mentioned a list of factors that you should consider while selecting a domain name for your website.
1) Keep it Short and Simple
In order to make more and more people share your domain name, it should be easy to spell and pronounce. And that is possible only when it is short and simple. Short names are less likely to be shortened on social media sites.
Long and complex domain names are more likely to be mistyped or misspelt making it difficult for people to find you on the internet.
Domains like Facebook.com and Twitter.com became instantly popular because they were incredibly simple and shareable.
Choose a name between 6 to 14 characters. The shorter the better.
2) Avoid using Numbers and Hyphens
While choosing a domain name, stick to the letters. Numbers and hyphens are best avoided.
As we just discussed, a suitable name is easy to type and spell. If your domain name has numbers, it may end up confusing people. Someone typing your domain name may wonder if the number is a character (say 1) or should be spelled out (one).
Same goes for the hyphen. People typing your domain name may forget or misplace the hyphen.
Finding a website should not be too much work. If it is, people may get discouraged and forget about your site altogether.
3) Create a Brandable Name
Creative and brandable domain names are always better than generic ones.
A brandable name is one that stands out from the competition on account of being unique, while a generic one is forgettable. The online space is full of names that are so similar that they are forgettable.
Think of some popular domains. Names like Google.com or Yahoo.com stand out on account of being catchy (and brandable, of course). If Google were named something like searchengine.com or internetsearchgiant.com, do you think it would have become as popular?
So, how to generate a brandable name?
Simple. Use a thesaurus to find words that reflect your work. Or create new, catchy words that people can remember even after they have left your website.
4) Use Keywords appropriately
Keywords help you rank better on Google. But you need to be careful in not trying to stuff keywords. A domain name with awkwardly stuffed keywords can become long, generic and forgettable.
If you plan to use keywords, try placing them at the beginning of your name for better results.
Tools like Google Keyword Planner and Keywordtool.io can be useful in searching for keywords.
5) Choose a Proper Domain Extension
A proper domain extension matters for marketing your business. It is highly recommended to go with ‘.com’.
.com is one of the oldest domain extensions and internet users are well-acquainted with it. A domain name ending in ‘.com’ makes customers trust your brand more.
As per a recent study, 91% of the internet users trust .com. net and .org extensions.
Read: What are the five most common domain extensions and which one should I use?
6) Don’t fret if .com is taken
Agreed .com is the most preferred domain extension for websites. But, what if the extension of your preferred name has already been taken.
Don’t be anxious.
There are other domain name extensions you can explore. Some of these extensions such as .net, .org, .biz, .org can be as good for branding as .com. And their acceptability is increasing day by day.
7) Avoid Trademark Infringement
Before you finalize your domain name, make sure it is not copyrighted or trademarked by another company. Choosing such a name can land you in a legal hassle and cost you a fortune.
For example, if you are a shoe retailer and your domain name contains words such as ‘reebok’ or its variations like ‘reebock’, it can be cited for infringing upon the shoe brand name Reebok.
Choosing a name that could be confused with another brand will also make it hard for your business to stand out.
Consult a legal professional if this confuses you.
8) Use a Domain Name Generator to get ideas
Once you have an idea of what can work as your domain name and what cannot, you can come up with names you feel are simple, catchy and unique. But some of these names may already be taken.
So, how to get the right name in this case?
A domain name generator comes in handy under such conditions. Using a domain name generator, you can convert your ideas into fresh, available domain names.
Some recommended domain name generators that you can try out:
Lean Domain Search: This tool generates a list of domains based on the keywords you provide. You need to click on individual domain names to find if they are available or not.
Bust a Name: This tool offers several filtering tools that help you find a quality domain name that meets your specific needs. You can put in a keyword and generate names that ‘start’ or ‘end’ with that keyword.
You can choose your character limit and select how natural you want your name to sound. You can also filter domains by extensions such as .com, .org or .net.
Read: 15 Best Domain Name Generators
9) Register as Early as Possible
Domain names sell fast. So, the moment you realize you have got the right domain name, get it registered. Even a delay of a few hours may cause you to lose the name.
Registering a domain name is easy. Create an account with a domain registrar like GoDaddy, Bluehost, or HostGator. Once the account is created, make the payment and voilà-your domain is registered.
The Final Word
Your domain name impacts the success of your website (and business). Choosing a domain name requires careful consideration. A good domain name is short, simple, easy to recall and builds trust with your audience. Use the above tips to get a suitable domain name and set the ball rolling!
About the Author-
Parul Singh is a content writer at Go4hosting.com. A technology enthusiast, she loves to pen well-researched articles on futuristic technologies like Blockchain, big data analytics, cloud computing, and web hosting. Her other interests include history, food and travel.
Also published on Medium.