Part 2 of 2 of Choosing Your Domain Name
Now that you have a general idea of how to go about Choosing Your Domain Name, here are some tips on creating a domain that not only defines the purpose of your website, but can easily be remembered or indexed. In some cases, certain aspects are more important than others. Remember, these are suggestions, not rules.
Stick with .com
The .com TLD (top-level domain) is by far the most widely accepted extension for a domain name. For obvious reasons, it is also the easiest to remember. When you tell someone to go to your site, in most cases they are going to think "name/business name.com" so try to stick with a .com if you can.
- It is also a good idea to never buy an alternative TLD if your first name pick is being used as a .com. Doing so increases the possibility of driving your own viewers to a competitor's site as they will more than likely mistake it for a .com of a similar domain name.
- If you run a business that is based in a country outside of the United States, it can be smart to use a local TLD (.uk for the United Kingdom, .au for Australia, .ca for Canada, .de for Germany, .cn for China, etc.). Again, make sure that the .com is not already taken first.
Keep it Simple
Try to find a domain name that only has one possible spelling. Choosing a simple domain name without confusing spelling will make it easier for visitors to reach your website.
Shorter is Better
The shorter your domain name is, the easier it is for your visitors to remember, type and tell others about. Try using 6-10 consecutive characters.
Hyphens can really get someone lost. Not to mention, it can be difficult to embed the hyphen into someone's memory.
If mydomain.com is taken and you decide to order my-domain.com because it is available, there is a great chance you will end up getting people lost at mydomain.com
Consider Other Extensions
If you find the perfect domain name ending in .com, it's a great idea to pick up other extensions (like .net, .org, .info, .us, etc.) as you can park these domains to point to your actual account to pick up any visitors that just may happen to type in a different extension.
In addition, it also helps protect your site in case you become the next big internet sensation and someone tries to purchase another extension of your domain.
Keep it Singular
This follows the same reasoning applied for avoiding hyphens. If mydomain.com is taken and you pick mydomains.com, there is a good chance you will be sending your traffic to mydomain.com as most domains are singular rather than plural. (This is not so much the case when it comes to picking keyword rich domains.)
If someone owns a domain you want and you see it is not in use, run a WHOIS to find the owner and communicate your interest in obtaining the domain.
Make it Keyword Rich
While this does not significantly impact SEO, it can help. For instance, if people are searching for "Texas motor events," texasmotorevents.com could be a great domain to buy for the mere fact that it is exactly what people are searching for.
This is applicable when someone navigates directly to a website by simply typing in what they are looking for followed by “.com” in their browser's URL bar.
This goes hand-in-hand with the previous tip of choosing a keyword rich domain.
Avoid Numeral Substitutions
Numeral substitutions just really do not work. Tell someone your site is "adv4nce.com" and you are guaranteed confusion.
This is for the same reason as avoiding numeral substitutes. For instance, ursite.com is a bad substitute for yoursite.com.
Make it Brand-able
In the early days of the internet, no one knew what Google, Yahoo! or Facebook was going to be. But now they do, and those domains are highly brandable. It does not hurt to get creative with your domain name in anticipation of future branding.
Avoid Copyright Issues
This is just common sense really. If you go for a domain named "hostgatorhosting.com," let's just say Snappy will be coming after you.
Use a Thesaurus
Look for alternative words if something you want is already taken. This is a great way to come up with a creative name; however, make sure your alternative word is something that can be remembered and spelled properly.
Industry-related domains are best suited for online sources or communities. If you cannot find a domain to match your actual business name, this is a second option.
Take your time and put some real thought into it. If you have a business partner or someone you closely trust, work together to brainstorm a name. In most cases, you will already have a name if your site is going to be business related.