Your domain name is the very first point of interaction that visitors and potential costumers have with your brand online, so, if nothing else, that should be enough reason to motivate you to pick the best possible domain name for your business.
This might sound like an exaggeration, but choosing the right domain name is as almost as important as choosing the product or services you are about to market.
A good domain name gives the impression of a well-established site, it is representative of your business, it is pronounceable, and it will help promote your business online.
In contrast, a bad one might wrongfully indicate to visitors that your site is not to be trusted. In short, there are way too many websites with bad domain names that are used to run scams and to infect its users with malware.
If you are thinking about registering your own domain and have no idea as what to choose, here are a few good practices to pick an awesome domain name.
1. Brandable Names Are Easy to Remember
The web is overflowing with more than a billion sites and it continues to grow without signs of stopping anytime soon. With so much competition, you surely want to pick a domain name that is unique and easily remembered. The most obvious answer to that is to register a single word domain representative of your product, but these domains have almost entirely being registered, and while you could purchase them from current holders, their price tags are in the millions.
The next best choice is to come up with a single unique word that can be easily recognizable, in other words, a brandable name.
If you think about this for a moment, you will recognize that the most used sites on the web, many of which you visit daily are brandable names. A few years ago, words like Google, Yahoo, and YouTube were chosen as domain names, nothing but a random concoction of letters without any meaning, but today these websites are so strong that they are even used as verbs by people all over the world.
Need to find information about something? “Google it.” Want to learn DIY bathroom remodeling? “YouTube it.”
These businesses made the choice for a brandable domain name, and their success should be enough proof that this is the number one strategy for choosing a domain name, but whatever strategy you choose to decide upon a domain name, you should always try to make your name as brandable as possible.
2. Use Keywords to Define Your Marketplace
Choosing a domain name based on descriptive keywords might sound like a great way of letting search engines find you while also allowing users to have a good idea of what your site is all about, but beware, using keywords on your domain should be done with care.
Descriptive keywords might help define your business to a potential customer base, and consequently help them find you on the Internet, but you must be careful in the way you chose these keywords or you might risk ending up with a bad name. For example, compare the domain name SawyerArtDepot.com with TreasuredArtDepot.com.
The first example clearly defines who owns the art depot, while the second one sounds very generic. The second option might not only cause confusion in the mind of your customers, but it is likely to require more investment on your end to rank well in the search engines dues to the ambiguity of its wording.
3. Understand Your Product, Know Your Audience
Thorough knowledge about your product allows you to sell it better, but also, gives you a profound understanding of who your target audience. In turn, this knowledge can lead you to chose a domain name that not only strongly represents your brand, but potentially, could also help you boost sales.
For the sake of example, let’s assume you are in the business of selling crafting materials for young artists. While you could go with something like SawyerArtDepot.com, if you consider what you know about your business and audience, something like ArtForTheYoung.com or TheYoungArtist.com might end up being better choices.
4. Leave Room for Growth
In many ways, coming up with a domain name is similar to paving the roadblock to how much success or failure you might have in the future. For example, while a domain like ArtBrushes.com might be an excellent choice for the business of selling art brushes, you are bound to put a limit on an expansion into different product lines.
Choose a domain name that clearly defines what your website is about but does not limit you from expanding your online venture as you go along.
5. Check for Availability on Social Media Sites
Speaking of growth, a domain name alone will not guarantee the success of your business. With so many networking platforms around, it is key that you are able to secure the same name, or a very similar variation, on the most popular social media websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
Before you purchase that domain name, do an in-depth research of similar username availability in social media platforms.
A very helpful online tool called KnowEm allows cross-examination not only on leading social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Linkedin among others. It can also show availability on blog sites such as Blogger, WordPress, Weebly, etc., business sites like Etsy, eBay, Slack, and many more.
6. Prioritize a .COM Domain Name Extension
You might ask why yyoushould prioritize a .com domain name extension when there are so many interesting TLDs alternatives. Well, to put it simply, most people’s default idea of a website URL has a .com extension. Users tend to assume that every website ends with .com, and if your site ends with another TLD, that is lost traffic right there.
So far, registrars stats indicate the biggest preference over .com domains, with .net as second and .org coming up on third. Getting a .com extension will be your safest option.
As alternative TLDs become more popular, users will become accustomed to pay closer attention to that, and in due time, prioritizing a .COM domain extension will no longer be a relevant strategy.
7. Avoid Excessively Long Domains
People can hardly be bothered with domain names that are unnecessarily lengthy, so the ideal domain name length should only be as long as it needs to be.
I, for one, would not be interested in checking a website with the address whydomainnamesshouldbekeptshortandsweet.com. That may be a bit of an exaggeration but you know what I mean.
8. Choose a Domain that is Easy to Type
Unlike passwords which you do not want people to be able to figure out, domain names should be simple and easy to remember. Domain names that have double or triple letters are most susceptible to typos and will most likely confuse the user.
9. Make it Easy to Pronounce
Aside from creating a domain name that will be easy to share online, make it effortless to be spread by word-of-mouth as well.
Let us take two painters, Jerry and Ben, who are friends with each other and decide to share paint brush secrets over the phone which may sound primitive but still possible. Jerry refers Ben to your site ColorfulArtCrawl.com for high-quality paint brushes. Ben fails to catch it but says, “Perfect. I got it, Jerry.” for fear of looking like an idiot.
Ben never makes it to your website and never gets to buy from your online shop. You lost traffic and a sale. The bottom line here is, keep your domain name simple.
10. Get Ideas from a Domain Name Generator
If you have been racking your head for so long but still cannot come up with a good sounding URL, do not hesitate to seek help from free domain name generator sites. Here are a few of our favorite ones along with their strengths:
NameMesh is ideal for when you have more than one keyword in mind but you cannot quite make them work as a group. You can simply fill in your keywords on the site’s input boxes and it will generate domain ideas for you.
The domain names suggestions will be grouped based on several categories like common, short, fun, mix and even alternative keywords that may be synonymous with your input.
Lean Domain Search is another straightforward domain name generator. It lets you enter keywords, produces thousands of related .com domains that are available, and allows you to save the ones you favor the most.
NameBoy allows users to enter two keywords and provides alternate domain names in case the one you wanted is no longer available. They also suggest rhyming keywords which can be useful if you are running out of adjectives or nouns to use.
Whatever name you decide to go to, be sure to be a name that is a brandable domain name. When it comes to building businesses online, the name of your website is the very first step in launching a solid professional online presence. It pays to take the time to get the right name, so be sure to put the work.
Are you trying to decide on your domain name? Do you have another tip to choose the right domain name? Leave your comments below.