Choosing the perfect domain name isn’t as simple as using a keyword or picking a random .com that looks catchy.
Your domain name is the online address for your business and it’s often the first impression people have of your brand. Don’t you want it to pull people in instead of driving them away?
Some businesses spend weeks trying to figure out the perfect domain and for good reason. It’s a long term investment that could boost your search rank and site visitors. Need help choosing yours? Use these 10 tips to get started.
1. Short, But Not Too Short
The hardest problem with choosing the perfect domain name is figuring out how to condense your brand into just a few words. The length for domain names for the top one million sites on Alexa range on average from 5-10 characters. Shorter is usually better because it’s easy to remember, type and spell. Of course, a memorable longer domain works too, if necessary.
2. Don’t Get Too Catchy
It might be tempting to get cute and catchy, but make sure the domain makes sense. Straight-forward is easier to understand. Puns are often misinterpreted which is why many domains are either the brand name or product name. If you want catchy, ensure it’s still clear what your site is about.
3. Make It Memorable
A domain is useless if it’s not memorable. It needs to stick with people after visiting. What’s more memorable to you for a bookselling business – ISellBooks.com or PageTurningDeals.com? The first sounds generic and almost spammy while the second is not only memorable but sounds more like a brand name.
4. Choose Extensions Carefully
Overstock learned this lesson the hard way. When spending millions to market the new O.co, many visitors still tried to go to O.com, leading to a loss in business. It was a costly mistake, but one that could’ve been avoided by considering that most people instinctively go to .com domains or country-specific domains, such as our own .ie extension. If in doubt, buy several extensions to avoid any conflicts.
5. Avoid Similar Domains And Brands
Before you settle on a domain name, think about how similar your domain sounds to other domains and brands. The last thing you want is for visitors to end up at a competing site. Even worse, you could face copyright infringement. Do your research to make sure your domain is unique to your brand.
6. Consider Keywords
Keywords are a consideration when choosing the perfect domain name, but not a necessity. If the keyword fits naturally, use it. If not, don’t worry about it. In fact, Google may even punish your domain if it’s an exact match domain (EMD). Too many sites used this keyword technique to instantly rank high, but as it turns out, most of those sites were spam. It’s better to use your brand name than trying to stuff in keywords.
7. Avoid Odd Spellings
Be careful with cute spellings, using symbols or using numbers. All of these could spell disaster for your brand. For instance, if you use WereNumber2.com, some people might type in WereNumberTwo.com instead, leading them nowhere. Try to stick with normal spellings whenever possible to avoid any confusion.
8. Keep It Brand Specific
No matter what you choose, it should still reflect your brand. This is why most brands stick with their brand name. It’s easy to remember and associate with your brand. Of course, there are times when this might not be possible but keep it as close to your brand and what you do as possible.
9. Think Positive
You want your domain to encourage people to visit, not make them angry. When choosing the perfect domain name, keep the domain uplifting. For instance, what sounds more professional and appropriate for a dating site – FindHotBabes or FindAttractiveWomen? The first sounds offensive due to the use of “babes,” while the second sounds more respectful. Avoid negative words or phrases whenever possible.
10. Modify The Brand Name
If your brand name is already taken or you want to spice it up, feel free to modify the domain as needed. Though a common practice, your domain doesn’t have to match your brand exactly. For instance, if your business was named Cleaner Bottoms Toilet Paper, your domain might be CleanBottomTP.com or CleanYourBottom.com. Both work, but don’t match exactly.
Branding With Domain Names
Choosing the perfect domain name for your business is just another way to help brand your business. The better your branding, the more successful your site becomes. Don’t skimp on this crucial step. Think it through carefully and take your brand to the next level with the right domain.