New domains usually struggle to find a perfect name that will represent their business, strengthen their marketing and help them rank in Google.
Have in mind that dot com companies are much more different that the regular brick-and-mortar ones.
Their success is often attributed to how people perceive their online organization.
Given that web visitors have very limited data to start from, they will cling to your site name.
Choosing domain names is no easy task.
It takes a lot of time and still, when you finally choose one, you cannot be certain this was the best choice.
In order to help you out, I made a list of tips that are a good starting point and will point out the most important things to consider.
Here are 10 pro tips on how to choose a domain name for your website:
Choose a catchy domain name
When we search the Internet for information we rarely remember blog names as we are focused on the information provided in the articles.
Sometimes this is due to the fact that the name is really hard to remember and is more descriptive than catchy.
Keep in mind:
“Generic or exact match domain names may be good for SEO but no one will remember them”
For example dental office called “Top dental office” may easily rank in Google but it definitely sounds suspicious and has no flair to it.
Don’t create a name for the search engines; create one that will resonate with the your readers and clients.
Make it short
When you register a domain, you need to make sure that the name is rather short.
With the increase of words and characters, it becomes increasingly hard to memorize and thus go back to it without checking your browser history.
If you think about it, the most popular company names in the world are rather short and consist of only one word.
Good examples are “Google”, “Amazon“, “Nike”, etc.
Now, have in mind that the name doesn’t have to consist of only one word.
There are also quite a few organizations with two word names but these are usually connected: “Coca-Cola” and “Ali Baba”.
The rule of the thumb here is:
“If the name cannot roll off the tongue, it’s too long”
Domain name needs to be impactful and if possible to have some contact point with your industry.
Unfortunately, domain names are not free of trends.
During certain periods, you can easily notice increase of names that are rather similar. You might’ve noticed a lot of websites ending with “ly” such as “Weebly”, “Dorkly” or “Zeebly”.
Unfortunately, this is something that is noticeable in all spheres of marketing, ranging from videos that have dorky music to About us pages where employees’ pictures change as you scroll over them.
The biggest issue with this strategy is the fact that:
“You are connecting your brand to a trend that is popular right now but likely won’t be popular in future”
By following trends, not only are you hampering your future organization but are also losing uniqueness.
No matter what kind of web trends are popular in 2017, steer clear from them and create your own brand persona.
Think about your brand
Branding is perhaps the biggest challenge when it comes to choosing a domain name.
Everything else can be easy but this is something where most owners stumble.
By now, you know that your domain should be short, unique and catchy. But it also needs to be something that has a potential of growing into a brand.
Here are some general rules when choosing a brand name for your new domain:
- It should be related to your business and yet, it should create a new spin to a traditional topic (“Ali Baba” is a good example as it represents a treasure trove with prices that are a steal)
- It may include advantages of your brand over competition (“Costco” is a good example)
- Or it can use some other symbolism that is not directly obvious (“Nike” is a name of Greek goddess of victory and works well with company’s sports apparel)
Well thought name is a play on words and it tells a story.
“Nike” sends a much more powerful message than “Jimbo sportswear”.
Domain extensions are important
Although this may seem as a technicality, extension can separate winners from losers.
Company that sells its products exclusively on one market, should use a domain extension of that country.
This may send a powerful message to consumers and indicate that this company works exclusively for them. This approach evokes patriotic feelings and increases conversion.
However, based on research we know that .com companies are the most popular ones.
Why is that so?
“.com extension indicates a globally accepted business, strong brand and company that is technologically advanced”
We tend to associate .com with digital business and things that are advanced.
That being said, having such a domain extension may create an image of a company that is better than its competition which may prove to be crucial especially if you have an online shop.
Consider search engine optimization
Although I am fully against companies that are keyword focused, I have to admit there are a lot of cases where organization took over global internet business by registering a domain that revolves around a popular keyword.
It is no secret that:
“If your domain is an exact match of a popular keyword you will get more free traffic and presumably better organic rankings”
Unfortunately, this is short-term approach.
If you ever encounter serious competition on your market, there is a good chance they will take over your market share by creating a better, more viable brand model.
Keyword approach is solely made for online traffic.
However, it doesn’t work so well in a real life situation where you have to present your brand to a group of shareholders sitting in a room and making decision regarding the future of your company.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean you cannot partially rely on a keyword without chasing for exact match (“Pizza Hut” is a good example for a partial matching domain).
Keep it clean
If people are satisfied with a website, they will share their experience with friends.
This is basic word of mouth that works in all industries and for all types of organizations.
Websites are the same in that regard.
If you created a good brand and people slowly start talking about it, it is only a matter of time when this message will spread.
As the message goes around, people will start talking about your site.
Unfortunately, if you have a symbol or a number in your website’s name, this increases the odds that potential visitors will misspell it.
“Everything that makes typing website’s name complicated should be avoided”
You should always go for a simple version of the name so that the message doesn’t get lost along the way.
Avoid legal issues
As I previously mentioned, website owners often refer to current trends when picking a name for their blog.
They try to use names that are perceived as popular at the moment.
However, there are also some other, more malicious uses of domain names.
Given that keywords can play a big role in boosting your website traffic, it is not uncommon for companies to take a name that is very similar to a popular phrase.
In some cases, if the keyword is already used, website owners will have no issue misspelling of that word.
For example, if domain “Bestfurnitureonline” is already taken, someone may register “Bestfurnitureoline”.
Although this may seem normal and even acceptable (given that these are two different names) it can cause some trouble in terms of infringement.
Use name generators
There are a lot of tools that can help you find a proper domain name.
Have in mind that this software can prove to be great in terms of suggestions but still, nothing can replace your ingenuity
Here are some products:
- Lean Domain Search
These tools not only provide some new ideas but they also show you what is currently available and can be registered.
Think in terms of local business
Not every business is global.
A lot of companies use website as a way to promote company online.
Still, their core business is connected to one market whether we are talking about city, region or a state.
“If you have a local business consider using the name of your city or a region”
Obviously, there are numerous things that need to be considered when choosing name of a domain.
It is much more complex than you might think. Nevertheless, always focus on branding!
Your online business is not only about SEO, promotion and quick buck through high traffic.
It may become a long-term engagement and something that will last for a lifetime. That being said, there is no need to ruin this opportunity by catering to Google.
How did you choose your domain name? Do you think this name can serve as a global brand? If you liked the article, subscribe to my email list and share this post on Facebook and Twitter!