How To Choose A Domain Name (You Can Be Proud Of)

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Bart Keating

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2019 February 6th at 6:41

how-to-choose-a-domain-name

Whether you're starting an online business, or creating an online blog, it's essential to choose the right domain name.

Domain name is the ultimate first impression about you and the type of content you are offering, so it should be catchy, relevant and timeproof.

More to add, it's really important for your SEO ranking and brand recognition. That's why you need a domain name that can grow with your company brand and connect with your expanding audience.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help ensure you choose the best domain name:

  1. Use relevant keywords
  2. Consider your target market
  3. Don't forget simplicity
  4. Avoid lengthy domains - make it catchy
  5. Choose the right extension
  6. Discuss your ideas with friends and family
  7. Check if it's legally available

1. Use relevant keywords

Using keywords on your website can help you improve search result performance and boost traffic.

And while domain names are not thought to play a significant role in boosting SEO performance, using keywords in your domain name can help you improve SEO throughout your site.

If your domain name includes keywords that are relevant to your business or niche, you'll be able to integrate these words into your website's content more naturally.

For example, if you manage a website that reviews hosting, not a bad idea is to name it hosting.review. But someone took right before you.

2. Consider your target market

Your target market is vital when choosing a good website name. If you want to ensure your domain is relevant to your site's visitors, consider what they're looking for.

For example, if you're building a website for a local plumbing company, an understandable approach is to use the location of the business in the domain name.

Consumers are known to prefer local businesses. If you are a local business owner, using your company's geography in your domain can help you connect with customers.

3. Don't forget simplicity

You may remember the domain name that you choose. Your visitors, however, will be subject to thousands of various brand names: so picking out something very simple should be your first priority.

So, ideally, find something closely linked to the name of your business or blog.

If you want to increase the chance that web users find the right site, it's a good idea to use your business name in your domain name.

Next, try and use traditional spellings or wordings when choosing a domain name. While changing spelling or using slang may help you get a domain closer to what you're looking for, it makes it harder for consumers to find your site and can cause ambiguity.

Also try avoiding hyphens and numbers, if possible. While you are allowed to use letters, numbers, and hyphens in domain names, you should try and stick to letters where possible.

Explaining domain names with numbers or hyphens can confuse web users and reduce the chances that someone finds your domain. Keep in mind, you can't use symbols in domain names.

4. Avoid lengthy domains - make it catchy

Including everything in your domain name may sound like a good idea, but in practice, it causes more harm than good.

Long domain names are confusing and increase the chances of typing mistakes. Using a shorter domain makes it easier for repeat visitors to access your site. Check this out:

A shorter URL is easier to remember and advertise.

What was it again? Mike's Plumbing and...a what now?

A short and catchy domain name makes your website much more memorable. If you want to engrain your domain name in the minds of your readers or customers, try and create a domain that catches on quickly.

The catchier your name is, the more memorable it will be for your target market. This doesn't mean that it has to be too simplified but it needs to sound good.

5. Choose the right extension

There are now hundreds of different domain extensions to choose from. Choosing the right one can help you place your business in the right niche. In most cases, .com is the "Holy Grail" of domain names. Unfortunately, most .com names are now taken, so you may have to get creative with your extensions.

Other popular domain extensions include .org, .biz, .xyz, .net, .co., .co.uk, and more.

For local business owners, you now also have the opportunity to choose from localized extensions. For example, if you're an art dealer in Miami and don't plan to move elsewhere, you could use the extension '.miami' to customize your domain. Keep in mind, not all cities have custom extensions.

When choosing a custom extension, make sure no major existing business uses a .com one. Getting mixed up with a major business will do more harm than good.

6. Discuss ideas with friends and family

It's always a good idea to make a shortlist. Once you determine a few different domain names that seem suitable, it's time to contact your friends and family to ask for their opinion.

After you've spent a lot of time thinking of a name for your site, you might not have a clear understanding of which domain is most memorable or appealing.

Asking a broad range of people for their opinion will help you choose the most appealing option on your shortlist. After all, you're not making a domain for yourself - you're making it for the visitors!

7. Check if it's legally available

Once you've chosen the perfect domain name, it's time for the last hurdle. It's essential to check for trademarks and copyrights when choosing a domain name; otherwise, you may end up in legal trouble. This will help ensure that you're not taking a domain that's rightfully someone else's.

You can search for US trademarks by using the government's TESS trademark searching system. This can help you clarify if someone else has a right to your domain name.

How to Choose a Domain Name Trademark Search

Additional Factors to Consider When Site Naming

Using the above tips, you now know how to choose a domain name. But there are also a few other components to consider when you're setting up your new domain:

  1. Purchase Extra Extensions: When you decide on your domain name extension, you should also consider purchasing as many of the other extensions as you can afford. This can help you prevent people from hijacking your domain name. You don't want your name sending traffic to other websites. You can set up the other domain extensions to redirect to your primary extension.
  2. Pay for Extra Privacy: Most domain registrars will allow you to pay extra to keep contact details private on the ICANN WHOIS database. This can help ensure your identity stays protected online. Also, some marketing companies scour the ICANN WHOIS database to find contact information on website owners. If you don't hide your data, you may receive annoying leaflets and letters in the mail.

    How to Choose a Domain Name WHOIS

  3. Avoid Domain Providers that Charge Large Transfer Fees: There may come a time when you want to transfer your domain to another registrar. Unfortunately, some domain companies charge large fees to prevent you from moving your domain. Always check the 'transfer out' fees before committing to a specific registrar.

Don't Underestimate the Power of a Good Domain

So, if you find yourself wondering how to come up with a domain name, the above tips will put you in an excellent position to find the perfect name.

Good website names take careful consideration and feedback from friends and family. When you decide on a name, you can use various affordable registrars (such as Hostinger) to register your domain.

Don't rush to a decision; it's essential to choose a domain name that can carry your website forward.


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Bart Keating

Experienced in copywriting, SEO and creative writing (journalism, blogging, poetry, lullabies etc.). Public communication bachelor and HoReCa expert. A strange sense of humor but bearable. Has a beard, a cat, a fiancee, a hedgehog, and a brand new pug.


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