Choosing a domain name can be a tricky process because once you choose your name, you’re pretty much stuck with it. Sure, you can change your business name in the future and buy a new domain, but going through the process of re-directing all your content and re-branding your business can be hassle, so I highly recommend making the right decision the first time around.
Before moving on and buying a domain, read over these tips and try to base your decision from these facts. I own hundreds of domains and now that I think back, I wish that I had a guide like this when I was starting out.
15 tips for choosing the right domain name
- The Shorter the Better
- Choose Easy Words to Spell
- Think About SEO
- Be Careful About Misspellings
- Look Closely at How it Reads
- BE UNIQUE
- Protect Your Brand
- Set AutoRenew
- Beware of Copyright Infringements
- Don’t Be Cute
- Avoid Hyphens – Use Dashes
- Purchase for Multiple Years
- Buy From One Registrar
- Check For Domain Abuse
- Ask A Guru!!
15 Tips for Choosing the Right Domain Name
The Shorter The Better
Shorter domains are easier to manage, easier to remember and it is safe to say, shorter domains make more popular websites. Make your domain as short as you possibly can!
Choose Easy Words to Spell
One thing is true, most people do not like to read, think or spell, Do Not make your customers think! Some words are easy for you to spell, because you may write them everyday, but your customers may not be as familiar with words.
Think About SEO
It does not matter if you do not rely on Search Traffic for your business or not, you should always try to show up high in Google for your brand, keywords and content. Pick a domain that is more highly searched. Use the Google Keyword Tool to decide which keywords are searched more for your business.
Be Careful About Misspellings
We have all made this mistake a few times, and this can be costly, especially when purchasing multiple years. We recommend using a dictionary or a spell checker like Word before purchasing. It might sound silly, but it is embarrassing when you push a new website live and your domain is misspelled.
Look Closely at How it Reads
When putting 2 or more words together, often times you can create interesting names. Be careful, as this will look strange to your clients. Get creative and think of interesting ways to work around the problem without using hyphens.
Always try to stand out of the crowd, and your domain will help out with that! Purchase a few domains or ask some friends or co-workers what they think about the domains before purchasing. I recommend buying multiple domains, buy a bunch and use them all for your website. You will not get every domain to show in search engines, but you can always use redirects to your main domain.
Protect Your Brand
Don’t be scared to buy every extension of your main brand before someone else does. And keep up with new extensions launching in the next few years. It is very important to not let competition take advantage of you not purchasing all your brand extensions. DON’T BE CHEAP!
Set AutoRenew to ON
This can cause all sorts of problems when your domain expires, don’t let this happen to you! Website goes down, email goes down, and so many other technical issues that may take weeks to resolve can happen. Don’t mess around with setting calendars or other reminders, SET TO AUTO RENEW!
Beware of Copyright Infringements
No one likes getting letters from lawyers, purchase trademarked names, or infringe on a copyright and you will get the pleasure of reading one of these letters. It is not worth it!
Don’t Be Cute
It doesn’t matter how witty you think that you are being with the domain name or how funny you are, unless you are building a viral blog or something along those lines, a majority of your visitors (if they even notice) they will not care. Professionalism is very important online, as every part of your site is the only representation of your company your visitors might see. Today most people will purchase online and never walk into your store, be professional and make the right choice when buying your domain.
Sometimes hyphens work for Landing Pages or other marketing pages where people will not be direct traffic. It is hard to speak domains with hyphens, so try to stay away from them. Also, Google is not a huge fan, but will still index your domain with hyphens. With this said, stick to using dashes. This is Google’s preferred method.
Purchase for Multiple Years
Lock in your brand, if you anticipate having your domain or business for a few years, lock it in! You can always sell the domain later through a broker, but do not make the mistake that could cause you to lose your domain.
Buy From One Registrar
Almost every web master could probably agree, organization is so very important when managing 1 domain or 3000+ domains (which is somewhere around the number that I manage). You have to keep all your information in one place. If you jump around, you can forget log ins, forget to renew and all sorts of other issues can arise. Pick one registrar (Godaddy etc) and stick with them. I keep all my domains with GoDaddy, and host my websites elsewhere, I am not a fan of Godaddy email servers or web servers.
Check For Domain Abuse
Do Not buy a domain that was abused or has a bad reputation, as you might find yourself purchasing someone else’s problems. In this situation, one man’s trash will not be another man’s treasure. Online reputation management is best practiced by started with a clean slate, and keeping up with your brand’s negative content.
ASK AN EXPERT
We do this all day, everyday! Ask us questions we would be more than happy to give advice. It is free to ask questions and free to get the answers in the chat box below, or just contact us. USE US! That is why we are here.