Your domain name and URL are going to play a big role when it comes to search. Not only will this the destination where your visitors are going to find you and your content, but the domain that you choose also can and will influence your overall search visibility. While there are so many more domain options than ever before, there are still some best practices you should follow if you want to see best results.
1. Be Brandable Over Generic
A Creative and Brandable domain name will always be better than generic. Remember: Your domain name will be how visitors are going to be able find, remember, and share your company on the web. It is the actual foundation of your brand. Here is the main difference between a brandable and generic domain name:
A brandable domain name is unique and will stand out from your competition. A generic domain name is usually going to be stuffed with keywords and will not be memorable.
For example, do you know the difference between Autoinsurance.net, Newautoinsurance.com, or autoinsurancechoice.com? I am thinking probably not, right? These websites are terribly generic. They don’t have any real meaning. You are also got going to hear of anyone talking about how totally awesome “Insurance.com” is. Plus, the variants of the word “insurance” are going to increase your competition and cause it to blend in even more.
But sites like StateFarm.com and Allstate.com will stand out because they actually stand for something that is known. When people hear those domain names, the trust factor is already there.
Here’s how to find a more brandable domain name:
- Create new words. You can make up and create your own new and catchy words. That is exactly what Google, Bing, and Yahoo originally did.
- Use existing words. You are able to use a thesaurus to help you find interesting words that will fit your brand.
- Use domain name generators. These tools are going to help you to find and create a unique and brandable domain name from your original domain ideas and keywords. (I will highlight some of my favorite domain name generators later on in this post.)
2. Keep It Concise And To The Point
Usually, when it comes to the length of your domain name, the shorter the better. According to research and many studies, the top five websites have approximately six total characters in their domain name.
When you scroll down through the list of the top 1 million domain names, there is a direct relation between the domain name length and it’s popularity. (Popularity in this case refers to the amount of web traffic that the website receives.)
Additionally, of the top 100 websites, the longest domain name is 17 characters. All of this information will go to show you that you should keep your domain name concise and to the point.
The target 6 to14 characters and remember: the shorter, the better. More than likely, the shorter domain names were taken a long time ago and sold for thousands of dollars. So if you have trouble finding something short, then make it brandable.
3. Make It Easy to Type
Take a moment and think of some of the most popular websites in the world. What are the names that come to mind? Names like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Bing, Yahoo, and CNN are some great examples. One main thing that they have in common is that they are all very easy to spell. Your visitors should be able to easily type your domain name without any difficulty. If you find yourself having to explain the spelling more than once for it to be understood, you know that it’s too complicated. The last thing that you want is for potential visitors to do is mistype your domain and end up on a completely different website! Here’s an easy way to test this: You can tell 10 people what your potential domain name is and then ask them to spell it. If more than a few people find it difficult to spell, then you will need to simplify it.
4. It Should Be Easy to Pronounce
As easy as your domain name rolls off the tips of your fingers when typing, it should also roll off the tip of your tongue. This will make it easier for your visitors to share your domain name by word of mouth. And it will make it easier for you to share your website with friends and potential customers. You can easily test this the same way as you did with the spelling of your domain name. You would write your domain name on a piece of paper and ask 10 people to pronounce it. If more than a few people find it difficult to pronounce it, then you should simplify it.
Here’s what you to keep in mind: You are going to want your domain name to be passed along easily by you and by others. And there is only one way for that to be possible and that is that it is: 1) easy to spell and 2) easy to pronounce.
5. Avoid Using Hyphens and Numbers
Remember that we discussed earlier how your domain name should be easy to spell and pronounce? Well, hyphens and numbers will make both of these things more difficult. Can you imagine the developers of explaining their new website named Facebook if it had a hyphen in the name? “Have you seen our new website Face-Book? Oh, and don’t forget, there’s a hyphen in there, between the ‘Face’ and the ‘Book.’”
Facebook probably would not have spread so quickly if that was the case.
So, what’s the bottom line? Your domain name should be smooth and carry some punch. Hyphens and numbers will just get in the way of that. Simply stated, just stick to letters!
6. Consider Using Keywords
Keywords can help improve your overall SEO. But, you need to be extremely careful here. If you attempt to awkwardly stuff keywords into your domain name, it will come across as being generic, as opposed to brandable as discussed earlier.
If you do choose to use keywords, try to put the keywords at the beginning of your domain. That is where they are going to be the most powerful for your ranking.
There are many keyword ranking tools available on the market. I am a member of the Wealthy Affiliate Community, the LARGEST affiliate marketing community in the world boasting over 850,000 affiliates! Our Keyword Search Tool is named JAAXY. There are over 500 Million “brand new” search terms that are being searched every day. Therefore, it is important that you have a keyword tool that can offer accurate traffic, competition, and domain insights into billions of keywords. With the Keyword Research Tool, you will be able to quickly discover unique, hot and untouched keywords. Then you will be able to use them to drive your SEO and PPC campaigns to new heights. For the complete details on JAAXY, please click HERE to go directly to my complete review of the program’s features and benefits.
7. Think On A Long-Term Basis
Are you ready to make a lifelong commitment to your domain name? You need to be, because it will be one of the most important elements that will define your business and brand for many years. Additionally, if you decide to change your domain name in the future, it is going to cost you money, branding, and SEO rankings. In short, it will be a large problem, not to mention the inconvenience.
So it is important that when you choose your domain, think long-term.
For example, if your company works with businesses to help optimize their websites for SEO, you might choose a domain name like: “ImproveSEO.com.” But if you think there may be a possibility that you might expand to more general marketing services in the future, then it would be wise to reconsider your domain name. You don’t want to restrict yourself to a certain niche if you think that you might expand out of that niche in the future. So, it is important to keep your long-term vision in mind when picking your domain name.
8. Check Social Media Sites And Trademarks For Availability
Before you move ahead with your choice for a specific domain name, be sure check to see if the name is available on social media websites. Also, check to see if there are any trademarks that are already registered to the name. To properly build your brand, it’s optimal to have the same name across your domain and social networks. This will build familiarity and it also makes it easy for your visitors, fans, and customers to search and find you around the web.
Also, to avoid legal issues, you need to stay away from names that already have trademarks. The question is: how can you quickly check the social networks and trademarks for your potential domain name?
It can be quite easy with a tool like Knowem. You are able to search your potential domain name there. And it will show you if it’s available throughout over the 25 most popular social networks and also check to see if there are any trademarks already registered to the name. If your potential domain name is taken, you can consider tweaking it so that you are able to create an original social media profile.
9. Use The Right Domain Name Extension
When you are choosing your domain name extension, you can be absolutely sure of one thing: that “.com” is still the best.
According to research from Registrar Stats, 75% of active domains have the “.com” extension, the second most popular is “.net” and third is “.org.” This is because “.com” is has been around since the beginning and is more familiar and easier to remember. And while there are many successful websites with a “.net” and “.org”, your website will probably perform better if it has a “.com” extension. It’s just the safer bet.
My advice: Go with the World’s Largest Domain Registrar, GoDaddy. Whether you have a new idea or an established business, the key to success online starts with a great domain name. GoDaddy is the place people come to name their idea.
Additionally if at all possible, go with a .com. If that is already taken, try .net or .org. If these are taken as well, you would be better off by brainstorming a new and different domain name. And also, avoid the odd extensions like “.club”, “.space”, “.taco” and so on.
10. Use a Domain Name Generator to Gather Ideas
All right, so at this point you should have at least a general idea of some possible words that you want to put in your domain name. However, some of those words could already be taken, trademarked, or just don’t have the right sound that you are looking for.
This is where domain name generators will come into play. These generators are able to turn your ideas into fresh and available domains.
Here are some of my favorite domain name generators that you can try out:
- Wordoid. This tool will allow you to plug in a word. And then it will come up with ideas that will either contain that word, begin with that word, or end with that word.
- Lean Domain Search. This tool will match your keyword with other keywords, and then it generates a list of available domains.
- DomainHole. This tool will give you the opportunity to search keywords, find expired domains, and generate new domain names.
Your Bonus Tip
If you are planning to start a blog, a podcast, or your own website, the best idea may be to use your own name as your domain name. This will help you to become more recognizable. What’s more, by simply owning the domain of your name could end up being a good strategy.
If your website, blog, or business becomes very successful, you could become a household name. And that domain, “YourName.com” just might become a hot commodity. You are going to be very happy you have it. Now, if your name happens to be a bit long, difficult to spell or pronounce, or the domain is already taken, you can consider using a nickname or even a combination of your first name and your middle name.
Your domain name is going to have a significant impact on the success and the potential of your website. Your domain is where you are going to do business online. By having a domain that clearly tells your user and the search engines who you are and what you do will be able to help you establish and build your brand online. Don’t just pick any domain; take some time and select the right domain for your business. And of course, use these 10 tips to help you choose the best domain for you.
Thanks for taking the time to read my post on the 10 Ways To Choose a Perfect Domain Name. I hope that it provided the information you were looking for and that I was able to help you in some way. Please feel free to leave Comments or Questions below. Take care.