Are you just starting a new website, or re-branding an existing business or blog?
No matter which it is, you will need a domain name. A domain name is your identity on the World Wide Web.
Choosing a domain name is similar to choosing a company name — it requires a lot of thought and consideration. Here are 7 essential tips for choosing and registering a domain name.
Unique and Brandable
Your domain name is the face of your company—in the form of a URL. Therefore, you should make sure it actually sounds like a brand. Google.com sounds better than google-search-engine.com If you are a personal brand, I recommend using your own name.
Easy to Pronounce
This tip is closely related to my first bit of advice. Even though users aren’t likely to be saying your domain name out loud, pronounceability is still important. Names that don’t require a person to think too hard are usually the easiest to remember, and also more likely to inspire positive associations.
When people routinely misspell your domain name because it’s too hard to figure out, all of that potential traffic is lost. Most people will give up searching for your brand’s site quickly; they don’t have the time or desire to try multiple Google searches of possible spellings.
The lesson here is simple: make it easy for your customers to find you!
Keep it Short
Keep your domain name fewer than 15(-ish) characters. This makes a domain easier to remember.
However, you don't want it too short. If you abbreviate your domain name to keep it short, then you have made it harder to pronounce.
Also, it is only wise to use initials if your brand or product is regularly referred to by it's initials.
Stick to .com
When it comes to extensions, being unique isn’t always better. .com names are the most established, credible, and also the most memorable. In fact, ¾ of all websites use a “.com” extension.
If you can’t get the “.com”, go with other well-known extensions like “.co” or “.net” or “.org”. Then plan on acquiring the .com in the future.
It’s true that having some keywords in your domain name can help. However, you shouldn’t bend over backwards to include exact match phrases. Doing so can actually hurt your brand.
Google caught on to this spammy tactic, so an exact match keyword domain isn’t much of a ranking factor anymore.
No Numbers and Hyphens
You're just asking for disaster. Using Numbers and hyphens increase your chance of losing traffic to typos. For example, if your domain has a 2 in it, someone could type "two."
If people can confuse your name with another brand, so can search engines. Picking a name that’s too similar to another business can lead to your name’s search engine results being littered with irrelevant links.
I hope these tips help you find the most effective domain name for your website. If you are currently juggling a few names, share them in the comments. I'd love to hear what you're considering and help your business establish a thriving web presence.
Got a great idea for a domain? Register your name today and put a website out there before someone else beats you to it. Save some time, hassle, and money and purchase your domain name through Wix.