How to Choose The Perfect Domain Name
There are a lot of unique ways to get started online these days - through social networks like Facebook and Twitter, online marketplaces like eBay and Etsy, even on classified networks like Craigslist.
But eventually, any business that is serious about having a presence online is going to need their own website, and the first step to having a solid presence online is...choosing the right domain name for your blog or business!
With around 80,000 domain names registered online every day, you may not want to wait to choose the right domain name for your website.
Below is a short, helpful video that will explain some of the best strategies for choosing your own domain name, with deeper insights on some of the main points to follow.
Tips For Choosing The Right Domain Name:
Keep It Simple, Stupid
While it is possible to buy multiple domain names at the same time, or redirect websites onto different domain names over time, it's much easier and more beneficial to your blog or business if you choose a good domain name and get it right the first time.
Think about the websites that you use on a daily basis. What characteristics do their domain names have? Are they simple or complex? Try to find the same for your blog or online business.
A couple other things to consider when choosing your domain name:
Anyone should be able to pronounce it. There are a lot of creative ways to spell domain names, but not everyone has the budget for television ads or other mass media marketing campaigns that can help the public pronounce a hard to spell domain.
When you are choosing your domain, try doing a “radio test” with some friends and family. Can they spell your domain name right after hearing it? If yes, then you're probably on the right track.
Will it relate to your readers and potential customers? Domain names need to create trust with potential site visitors and customers quickly.
Can the domain name you choose create trust? Is it short and catchy? A person should be able to remember the name of your site and be able to refer it to a friend by word of mouth, or else it is probably too complex.
Potential visitors should also be able to have a reasonable expectation of what your website includes before they click to it, and choosing the right domain name can impact on that on many levels.
How Should You Select The Right Domain Extension?
So you've selected a domain name that is easy to pronounce, trustworthy, short and catchy? That's great... if it's still available! If you find yourself having a hard time choosing the right domain extension for your new website, keep some of the following things in mind.
Dot Com is King.
The majority of website domains registered today are still .com's, and the majority of Internet users assume .com is the extension of a website before any other extension because of familiarity. However, extensions like .net and .org are still frequently used and generally carry some trust with them.
If your blog or business targets a specific country outside the United States, country codes are still relevant and can produce some great domain names. In certain industries, newer extensions like .travel work well, also.
But make sure if you decide to use this tactic for choosing your domain name that you target a specific audience that is more tech-savvy - otherwise, the potential visitors may not understand that the domain extension is actually a word and not ".com".
Trademarks and Branding
If you have already trademarked your business name, then you should be in good shape to acquire your domain names.
On the other hand, you may want to research and make sure that you are not violating anyone else's trademarks. A simple check of a trademark database should be fine as you get started. For the sake of your own branding and to prevent misspellings, you should probably avoid hyphens in your domain name, too.
Finally, double check the availability of your brand name on sites like Facebook and Twitter, to make sure your brand is easy to find when your readers and customers want to connect with you on their favorite social media networks.
How to Buy a Domain Name That's Already Registered - Found the perfect domain name, but someone already owns it? Read our tips on how to track down the perfect domain.
Illustrated Guide to Web Hosting - If a domain is like a street address, then web hosting is like the building - where your digital business is stored. Read how web hosting works here.
Domain Names - Everything you need to know about domain names, from how DNS works to suggested Registrars.