I was recently confronted with a choice about my domain name. I had already thought about my perfect domain name before setting up my website (but hey, why don’t I complicate my life a bit and give myself a head ache over my domain name again? ). Choosing a domain name is the most important step to consider even before one can start building a website, or even a business (since almost all businesses are online nowadays). So let’s figure it out how to choose the perfect fitting domain name for your need. Shall we??
Why choosing the right domain name matters?
When visiting your website, the URL is the first thing your visitors come across, which contened your domain name. (read more about URL and domain name relationship here).
Your domain name represents your identity online. Your website, blog or business identity. Therefore, choosing a domain name requires a lot of thoughts. Among other things, your domain name can affect your SEO ranking. Some well-placed keywords in your domain name can help improve your SEO ranking. In the other hand, some bad word choice can drastically decrease your SEO ranking. Nowadays brand is becoming everything, well your domain name can help you to better define your brand. The right domain name can bring your branding to a whole new level.
Tips to choose that perfect domain name
The .com fever
The .com is one of many domain name extensions that are available. Some of the other popular ones include, .net, .org, .info, etc…
The .com is largely the most used one with 46.7% as of June 2019. In cause, it has been around since, and people are very familiar with it. Almost all the well-known businesses or websites have a .com. It’s THE domain name extension by default. There is a lot of factors that can push you towards a .com, and they are very justified. The .com by now comes naturally to everybody online. But his fam shouldn’t be the only reason to choose a .com (Yeah says whose website is a .com , well that’s just a coincidence ). A part the fact that .com might not be appropriate for your needs, it can be also very difficult to find a cool .com name since it has been around for so long. There is a lot of new domain extensions coming out all the time. Feel free to explore and try new ones that would be even more adapted to your need than a .com.
If you are still not comfortable with new domain extensions, you can always fall back on the .com .
Far away from the .com
These days you can get yourself a multitude of different domain name extensions that weren’t available just a couple of years ago.
With all those new domain extensions, your domain name can make sensation. You can get domain extensions such as: .shop, .club, .store, .blog, .design, and so on.
For example, if your website is meant to reach a local audience, you can go for a local domain name extension (example: Mali= .ml, China: .cn, France= .fr etc…). With your domain name extension you can also show your sector of activity (example: if you are in Artificial Intelligence= .ai, or in blogging= .blog etc…).
Doing this will give your visitors that little bit of additional awareness and boost your trustworthiness.
However, the thing with these new domain name extensions is that not every domain registrar offers them. Nevertheless, if you’re after some specific domain name extensions, you can just look around with different registrars.
Choose a catchy name
We all know that branding is crucial to long-term success, and your domain name plays a big role in your branding. There are many factors that come into play when it comes to choosing your domain name. The most important ones are as follows:
- The name you choose doesn’t have to have a specific meaning (eg ‘Google’ is not a word, ‘YouTube isn’t one either, etc… you get the idea).
- Must be unique, your competition doesn’t use anything similar.
- Must be easy to memorize, not too wordy, and no complex vowel combinations.
- Must be easy to pronounce and dictate over the phone.
- Must sounds trustworthy, some names can be a little shady by definition, avoid those.
- Keep it short, preferably with fewer than 15 characters, excluding the domain name extension. If your domain name is long and complex, you risk your visitors mistyping or misspelling it. Short and simple is the way to go.
- Avoid numbers and hyphens, simple, just words, no underscores, no complicated words as part of the domain, or any other punctuation. avoid using numbers unless absolutely necessary (for example, if it’s part of your brand name) Numbers and hyphens are often misunderstood — people who hear your website address don’t know if you’re using a numeral (5) or it’s spelled out (five) or they misplace or forget the dash.
- Make it easy to type, finding a domain name that’s easy to type is critical to online success. If you use slang or words with multiple spellings, it might be harder for customers to find your site. no weird spellings or every single time people will mistype it.
- Use keywords, try using keywords that describe your business and the services you offer. It helps improve your rank on search engines (which increases traffic) and just makes more sense to your visitors.
- Target your area, if your website is local, consider including your city or state in your domain name to make it easy for local visitors to find and remember.
- Be memorable, There are millions of registered domain names, so having a domain that’s catchy and memorable is essential. Once you’ve come up with a name, share it with close friends to make sure it sounds appealing and makes sense to others.
- Research it, Make sure the name you’ve selected isn’t trademarked, copyrighted or being used by another company. It could result in future troubles!!!!
In short, making sure the name is catchy, fun to say, and not difficult to memorize. To make things easier, you can experiment with some combinations of words, keywords, and random suffixes. The main goal being to create a potential for the domain name to build brand value over time.
Your domain name will be one of the biggest elements that defines your business and brand for years. So you should be ready to stick with it for better or worst. Changing your domain name after establishing your website will cost you money, branding, and SEO rankings. In short, it’s a huge pain!!!
Therefore, keep your long-term vision in mind and pick your domain name accordingly.
Domain name generator
With all that said, it may be difficult sometimes to get a good domain name. Domain name generators can help you to come up with a cool domain name. These tools are very simple to use. All they need is one keyword from you, and, in return, they give you tons of suggestions, full of valid and available domain names that you can register right away.
Some of those tools include:
- LeanDomainSearch, This tool matches your keyword with other keywords and generates a list of available domains.
- Business name generator by Shopifyworks similarly to the above, and also helps you build a Shopify store with the domain name of your choice.
- Nameboy is a bit more old-school, especially in its design, but it’s still useful. It needs more specific input, and does a better job once you have a general direction you want to follow with your name.
- Wordoid this tool allows you to plug in a word, it will come up with ideas that either contain that word, begin with that word or end with that word.
- DomainHole this tool allows you to search keywords, find expired domains, generate new names, and more.
Domain names sell very quickly. Thankfully, they are often very inexpensive. So register your favorite domain names as soon as possible. If you’re still having trouble finding an available name, domain registrars will suggest alternate names during your domain search to help you find the perfect domain name.