Deciding on the best domain name to register for your business? Here are strategies for picking a domain name that will stand the test of time.
How thoroughly should you think about your domain name? Is it really that important?
If you have a quality website and business, people will visit your site no matter what the domain is, right?
Well, not so fast…
You see, your domain name is the key element of your website. It can make or break you, so it’s crucial to choose a domain name that works for your business.
But wait, why is your domain name so important?
- It’s your “first impression”. Your URL is the first thing your visitors will see. A good domain name can make a positive and lasting impression, while a bad domain name can send visitors running.
- It affects SEO. While exact match domains (EMDs) are no longer a necessity, keywords in your domain name can still help your SEO ranking.
- It defines your brand. We’ll talk about this in a minute – your domain name is a branding opportunity; the right domain name can increase brand recognition.
These elements are only a few of the many reasons why your domain name is so important.
How do you choose the right domain name? That’s precisely what we’re going to share with you today.
Let’s take a look at these tips one by one with more details: –
How to Choose the Perfect Domain Name
1. Use The Right Domain Name Extensions (.com, .org, .net)
When you choose your domain name extension, you can be sure of one thing: “.com” is still the best.
According to research from Domain Name Stat, 43% of all domains have the “.com” extension.
Why? Well, “.com” is the most familiar and easiest to remember.
While there are many successful websites with a “.net” and “.org”, your website will probably do better if it has a “.com” extension. It’s the safest bet.
Our Tips: Go with .com. If that’s taken, try .net or .org. If these are taken too, you’d be better off brainstorming a new domain name. And Avoid those weird extensions like “.club”, “.space”, “.pizza” and so on.
2. Use keywords in your domain name search
Keywords play an important role in a domain. By using keywords in your domain name, you tell the search engines what your website is about.
Together with quality content and good user experience, keywords in your domain can help you rank higher in Google.
It is very hard to find a good domain with your target keywords, that’s not already taken.
You will need to be creative and combine your keywords with other words to make your domain stand out.
3. Keep your domain name short
While keywords are so important, don’t go overboard with domain length. It’s better to have a domain name that’s short and memorable.
We recommend keeping your domain name under 12 to 15 characters.
Longer domains are harder for your users to remember.
Not to mention, users will also be more engage to entering typos with longer domain names which can lead to loss traffic.
That’s why it’s a good idea to keep your domain length short.
4. Make Sure it’s easy to Type
Think of some of the most popular websites in the world. What comes to mind?
Google, Instagram, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon……
One great thing in them is that they are all easy to spell.
Your visitors should be able to type your domain name without any problem. If you have to explain the spelling more than once for it to be understood, it’s too complicated.
The last thing you want is for the potential visitors to mistype your domain and end up on a different website.
Here’s an easy way to test this…
Tell 20 people your potential domain name and ask them to spell it. If more than a few people struggle to spell it, you need to simplify it.
5. Make Sure it’s easy to Pronounce
As easily as your domain name rolls off the tips of your fingers, it should roll off the tip of your tongue.
This makes it easier for visitors to share your domain name by word-of-mouth and makes it easier for you to share your site with friends and potential customers.
You can test this the same way as with the “spelling”.
Write your domain name on a piece of paper and ask 20 people to pronounce it. If more than a few people struggle to pronounce it, you should simplify it.
Here’s what to keep in mind: You want your domain name to be passed along easily by you and others.
The only way for that to be possible is if it’s
- Easy to spell
- Easy to pronounce.
6. Brandable over generic
For example, do you know the difference between Lifeinsurance.net, Lifeinsurance.com, or Lifeinsurancesort.com? Probably not, right?
These are horribly generic. They don’t have any meaning. You won’t hear anyone talking about how awesome “Insurance.com” is. Variations of the word “insurance” will increase the competition and make it blend in even more. Sites like LifeCareOnline.com and winner.com stand out because they stand for something. When people hear those domain names, there is a trust factor there.
Here’s how to find a more brandable domain name:
Create new words. You can make up your own catchy, new words. That’s what Google, Bing, and Yahoo did.
Use existing words. You can use a thesaurus to find interesting words that fit your brand.
Use domain name generators. These tools can help you create a unique, brandable domain name from your initial domain ideas and keywords.
7. Avoid Hyphens and Number
Remember, how your domain name should be easy to spell and pronounce? Hyphens and numbers make it more difficult.
Imagine explaining Instagram if it had a hyphen in there…
“Have you seen this new site Insta-Gram? There’s a hyphen in there by the way, between the ‘Insta’ and the ‘Gram’”
Instagram might not have spread so quickly if that was the case.
The bottom line? Your domain name should be smooth and punchy – hyphens and numbers get in the way of that.
8. Avoid doubled letters
It’s a good idea to avoid domains with doubled letters, because it increases your chances of losing traffic to typos.
For example, a domain like Videossetup.com will be more prone to typos and result in lost traffic. Avoiding doubled letters will also make your domain easy to type and more brandable.
9. Consider using a keyword that reflects your website
Our website mainly about web development, Online Marketing or helping people to create a website and Marketing. Hence, we chose to add a name that reflects all of it – “website”. Obviously website.com (or .org, .net) was no longer available, we simply chose just like “vspdigital.com”.
Keywords can help to improve your SEO – you need to tread carefully here. If you try to awkwardly stuff keywords into your domain, it comes across as generic.
If you choose to use keywords, put the keywords at the beginning of your domain. That’s where they’ll be the most powerful for your ranking. You can find keywords with tools like Google Keyword Planner and Keywordtool.io.
10. Research your domain name
11. Think long term over the short term
Are you ready to marry your domain? You should be because it will be one of the biggest elements that define your business and brand for years.
If you decide to change the domain in the future, it will cost you money, branding, and SEO rankings. In short – it’s a huge pain.
When you’re choosing your domain, think long-term.
For example, if your company helps businesses SEO optimize their websites for Digital Marketing, you could choose a domain name like, “digitalmarketing.com”
If you think there’s a chance you might expand to more general digital marketing services in the future, like email marketing, PPC, etc. then it might be wise to reconsider your domain name.
You don’t want to pin yourself down to a certain niche if you think you might expand out of that niche.
Therefore, keep your long-term vision in mind when picking your domain name.
12. Check if it’s not trademarked or Already Used
Before you move forward with a specific domain name, check to see if the name is available on social media sites, as well as if there are any trademarks already registered to the name.
To build your brand, it’s ideal to have the same name across your domain and social networks. This builds familiarity and makes it easy for your visitors, fans, and customers to find you around the web.
Avoid legal issues; you should stay away from names that already have trademarks.
How can you quickly check social networks and trademarks for your potential domain name?
It’s quite easy with a tool like Knowem. Search your potential domain name – it’ll show you if it’s available throughout over 25 popular social networks and if there are any trademarks already registered to the name.
If it’s taken, consider tweaking it so that you can create original social media profiles.
13. Use domain name generators when stuck
At this point, you should have at least a general idea of some possible words to put in your domain. Some of those words may already be taken, trademarked, or just don’t have the “sound” you’re looking for.
That’s where domain name generators come into play. These generators can turn your ideas into fresh, available domains.
Here are some of our favorite domain name generators to try out:
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.
Lean Domain Search This tool matches your keyword with other keywords and generates a list of available domains.
DomainHole This tool allows you to search keywords, find expired domains, generate new names, and more.
14. Act quickly before someone else take it
Each day thousands of new domain names are registered from all parts of the world. If you have found a domain name that you like, then don’t wait too long.
Domain names are like real estate. Thousands of people are actively looking for good brandable domain names that they can register for better rates in the future.
If you don’t act fast, then someone may go ahead and register your domain idea.
Since domain names are relatively cheap, we always recommend our readers to act fast. If you change your mind later, then you can simply let it expire.
15. Best place to register a domain name
If you don’t know where to register your domain name, we recommend choosing another guide of ours – How to Register a Domain Name (+ tips for getting it for FREE)
Your domain name will have a significant impact on the success and potential of your website. Make sure to put some careful thought into choosing yours.
16. Get a free domain with web hosting
Majority of web hosting companies also offer domain registration as a service. Some of those companies offer free domain registration with new hosting accounts.
If you’re starting a new website, then it’s a smart idea to take advantage of this offer and get your domain name for free.
Below are the two WordPress hosting companies that are offering our users over 60% off web hosting, free SSL certificate, and a free domain name:
Bluehost is one of the oldest and largest brand name when it comes to web hosting. They’re an official “WordPress” recommended hosting provider.
HostGator is another popular web hosting provider that’s offering a free domain name with very affordable website hosting options.
It’s important to keep in mind that most hosts offer free domain registrations for 1 year only. After the first year, your domain registration will renew at usually around $14 per year.
A lot of users take advantage of the free domain for the first year because you would have to pay for the domain name regardless, why not get it for free.