10 tips for choosing a domain name
Your website domain is the first thing people will associate with your business. A domain name will create the first impression and become a business card that will stay with you for a long time.
However, choosing a domain that is clear, concise, and memorable to represent your brand – both now and in the future – is not easy.
In this article, we’ll show you how to choose a domain name that embodies your brand, engages customers, and proudly represents your business online.A little bit of foresight can help you avoid the disaster embodied in the following unfortunate domain names: Itscrap.com: Is it really that bad (“It’s crap”) or is it just “IT scrap”? Americanscrapmetal.com: “American scrap metal” or “Americans crap metal”? (It looks like one should be very careful when using the word “scrap” in the domain!) Mp3shits.com: Most likely they were referring to “Mp3s hits”, when MP3 was still considered a good thing and not its complete opposite (“Mp3 shits”). Bendover.com: Maybe a certain Ben Dover should have included his middle name in the domain? Choosespain.com: The owners of this domain just want you to visit Spain! (“Choosespain” can be read as “Choose Spain” or “Chooses Pain”.) Oldmanshaven.com: These country houses can really provide shelter for an old man (Old Man’s Haven), although you could read this domain name as “Old Man Shaven”. Imagine that you happen to be on one of these domains. Sure, these unintentional puns may look funny from the outside, but they put a mark on your business. Choosing a domain is like choosing a name for your brand. This process takes thoughtful thinking, at least so that you don’t end up with an unfortunate domain name. What is a Domain Name? The “domain” is the portion of the website URL after the // or https: // prefix (see below): There are two main parts to your domain – the actual domain name and the top-level domain (TLD). The TLD is the part after the dot that “covers” your domain name. Most often, a top-level domain is found in the form of a .com or .se (for Sweden) domain name. The domain name does not match the name of the website (web host). A domain name is your internet address. A web host is a server that stores your website data. The process of visiting your site is as follows: someone enters your domain name into their web browser, which directs it to the web server that the particular domain points to. For ease of understanding, you can imagine that the domain is the address of your company and the web host is your office itself. People need an address to find their way to your office. The house, the address of which no one knows, still exists – but no one will find it and will not come to the meeting. Why is choosing a domain name so important? Your domain name has a direct impact on the success of your website and brand. Just as real estate ultimately boils down to “location,” a domain address becomes one of the keys to your success (or failure). A domain is the first impression you make on a visitor. The URL is the first thing they see (and type) when they come to your site. A brand-focused, at-a-glance domain can make a great first impression of your business. A domain name describes your brand and forms a memory that your target audience will primarily associate with your business. A bad domain name can get lost among a host of others, or – even worse – it can lead visitors to distrust your business. For example, the domain “FreeMoneyForYou. com ”(“ Free money for you ”) appears to be untrustworthy and visitors are likely to close the tab before the page even has time to load. In addition, your domain name can have an impact on search engine optimization. While exact match is no longer a prerequisite for the search engines to function correctly, domains based on keywords can help improve your SEO rankings. (We’ll talk more about this below). Your domain name will influence your brand, marketing, SEO, and more. So how do you choose a domain name you won’t have to regret? Key considerations when choosing a domain A good domain meets five key criteria: Uniqueness: Competitors’ domain names are not similar to yours, so customers won’t get confused. Easy to remember: the domain should not be complex or verbose. He needs to have a “clue” that allows him to remember. Easy Pronunciation: When you say your domain name out loud, you can effortlessly translate it into writing. Understandable: The domain must be readable and instantly reveal its meaning. Reliability: Some domain names are less secure than others. The site with the domain “MakeMoneyNow” (“Make money now”) seems a little suspicious. Follow the tips below to avoid these kinds of problems. 1. Choose the correct TLD Let’s start with the simplest part of the domain: the top level domain (TLD). Such domains include the following types of suffixes: .com = commercial .org = organizations (non-profit organizations) .edu = educational institutions .gov = US government website .net = networks .biz = business .info = generic information There are also local TLDs based on the nationality of the domains. For example, domain .se – for Sweden, .fr – for France, .uk – for the UK. If your business is strictly targeting a local audience, you may want to consider using one of these national TLDs, but this is not your case unless you want to limit your business to just one region. Regardless of which top-level domain you are using, you can also buy other TLD options, as well as set up all TLDs to be redirected to your main site. This will allow you to maintain your brand’s presence on the web and prevent fraudulent sites from appearing. There is even a form of attacker who can buy up your other TLDs, impersonate you, and then try to sell those domains to you at astronomical prices. Thus, purchasing all domain zones with the same primary domain will save you the trouble of troubleshooting online fraud in the future. 2. Establish the relationship between domain and brand Your domain name is the “representation” of your brand on the Internet, so the domain itself must be branded. What does it mean? Basically, you want it to match your company name without having any real specific meaning. 3. Keep your domain name short and clear You want your domain name to be easy to remember and enter into the browser, so you should avoid the risk of visitors navigating to the wrong domain. We recommend that you adhere to the following rule: less than 20 characters without hyphens, underscores, punctuation marks, special characters or numbers (unless your brand or company name contains numbers). As a domain name, you need something unique but not complicated. Let your customers find you online without difficulty. 4. Start with keywords Keywords are a great starting point to start brainstorming your domain name. A keyword placed in the URL, can help you to take a higher position in the search results, and this is likely to be meaningful to your client if a specific keywords related to the services that you offer. But you don’t have to just include the keyword in the domain name – it is misleading and reduces the uniqueness of the domain. In general, keywords do not stand out from the rest and do not attract much attention. It’s enough to use keywords as a starting point for inspiration to come up with your brand and domain names. 5. Enjoy creativity Pick a word related to your business and then change it slightly. “Push” words together, which together will sound different. Add a couple of extra letters. Use any historical or mythological allusions and references. You will need to do a little research and dig deeper to find inspiration. Be creative, but at the same time, keep your creativity within relevance to your business mission. Here are some examples to inspire you: Products / Services: Coca leaves and Cola berries are the two main ingredients in Coca-Cola. Brand mission: The Amazon is the largest river in the world, it was to such a scale that Bezos intended to expand his company’s presence in the market. Acronym: Skype is an abbreviated version of the pronunciation of the original idea of the developers “sky peer to peer” (something like “A network of the size of heaven between its peers”). Linguistic Borrowings: Sony comes from the Latin word “sonus” which means “sound.” Mythological / Historical References: Nike’s name comes from the winged Greek goddess of victory, Nike. Their famous swoosh logo is associated with the mythical character’s wings. Simplicity: The name Uber is easy to write and easy to remember, immediately evoking associations with the slang version of the word “super”, derived from the German “Über” (“Super-“), which in turn denotes the superlative degree of something. We must emphasize that you must want your domain name to be memorable, unique, and as simple as possible. 6. Try using a domain name generator At this point, your head probably has a lot of keywords, ideas, and different variations of them. Looking for even more ideas? Try free domain name generators. They will help you find options based on keywords and phrases, no matter where you are in your brainstorming stage. They are also able to adapt your ideas to the domain format. 7. Do not encroach on anyone’s territory Copyright or trademark infringement can kill your business. We don’t want to scare you, but this is the truth. Even if the violation was unintentional, you could end up with a scandalous lawsuit that could end your business. However, it will not be difficult for you to make sure that the disaster will not occur. When you come up with a domain name that you like, do a Google search for it. Check the first two pages of the search results to see if there are any similar domains. You will need to be especially careful to ensure that competitors or businesses in the same marketing niche or industry as yours do not use similar names. 8. Claim your domain Now that you are fairly certain about your desired domain name, it is time to make a foothold on it. You need to acquire ownership of everything related to this domain so that you can avoid any predicaments in the future, including provocations by impostors with “fake” sites. Start by checking other TLDs with your domain name. You can buy as many versions of top-level domains as possible, as well as domain names that contain any common spelling mistakes in your site’s name. In this way, you will solve two important tasks: You will prevent possible cases of fraud with a fake of your site and insure yourself from the dissatisfaction of deceived customers, from damaging your reputation and / or from trying to sell you your domains at a high price. You will also avoid potential customer mistakes. If someone incorrectly enters your domain in the URL, they will still be redirected to your site. This will ensure that you don’t lose potential customers over one miss-typed letter. You will also need to register your domain on all available social media platforms. This will help you maintain control of your branding in every possible direction, while still allowing you to scale up or redirect your marketing efforts as needed. Even if you are not currently using Instagram, you may want to do so after a year (especially since social media is a great source of leads). You are unlikely to want another business or user to have a similar domain to yours, which can confuse customers and damage your image. 9. Fight for your domain if it is already taken If your desired domain name is already occupied by someone, you can still get it if it matters to you. The current owner may sell you a domain, especially if the site is currently empty (which is called “parked”). Some people buy up a huge amount of domain names as a kind of investment, expecting that the newly formed business will acquire the necessary domain from them. Using who.is, you can find out who owns a site and then contact the owners to find out if they can purchase that domain. If the domain is “busy”, but the web resource associated with it is empty, then it may be related to the domain name resale market. Check out the following markets to see if your domain is up for auction or outright sale at a fixed price:
- GoDaddy Auctions