How to choose a domain name? This is one of the frequently asked questions by bloggers. If you are running a blog, a website or an online business, a domain name is your online identity. It does not matter what type of website you are having, a domain name is how your website will be known online.
Just like your residential address, a domain name is your unique online address and will be yours till you continue paying the annual fees to your domain registrar. Users will come to your blog by typing in the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) in the address bar of a web browser, like Google Chrome. And users who are not aware of your URL, may be able to come across it through search engines like Google and Bing.
Your domain name is your identity, it sets you apart from others. So briefly, I want to share with you some tips that will help you pick not only a good domain name, but a name that fits your type of business an also easy to promote to your prospects.
Why is choosing the perfect domain name important?
Let’s assume you have registered your company; with the intention of using the same name you used in the registration for your domain name registration; only to find out that the domain name has already been taken by someone else or another company; at this point, you may decide to choose any domain, probably by adding hyphens or numbers to it which is not really recommended.
Let’s talk about the structure of a domain name.
To understand the domain name structure in a better way, look at the illustration below.
A domain name can be divided into four parts. Let’s see what the meaning of each one is.
- Prefix – This is the standard internet protocol. It will either be HTTP or HTTPS depending if you have a security certificate.
- Subdomains – A few sites might have a WWW subdomain while the others won’t. This is the third level domain of your website. If you would like not to display the subdomain in the Google search results, you may change the setting under your Google Search Console.
- Name – This is the second level domain of your website which you get to choose and is unique to a website or blog.
- Extension – Also called TLD or Top Level Domain. You get a lot of choices for this like, .com, org, .net etc. We will discuss more on how to pick a TLD next.
Choose A Suitable Domain Name Extension
As discussed earlier, you get tons of choices to choose a domain extension or a Top Level Domain (TLD). Here’ a general overview of what’s on offer.
A few popular top-level domains (TLDs) are .com, .net, .gov, .edu, .org, .int, .mil. Out of these, only a few can be used by general public. Others are specifically for government and educational institutions. A .com is the most popular TLD for the general public.
There are also country specific TLD’s, also called country code top-level domains (ccTLDs). A few examples include .in (India), .uk (United Kingdom), .au (Australia) etc.
In recent days, generic TLDs (gTLDs) are becoming popular. These are specific to a business that you are running and helps in easy identification. A few examples are .tech, .business, .social, .digital etc.
When you hear of domain name extension; it is the .org, .com, .net you usually have at the end of a web address, so choose an extension that is suitable for your type of business. The .com extension is widely used by most webmasters and website owners, but you may decide to go for the .org extension which usually represents an organization; that is if you want to use the domain name for an organization or a .co which usually represents company, community or commerce. So make sure you choose a domain name that is suitable for your type of business or what you want to use it for. If it’s an organization; then you can go for a .org domain name extension.
Now for the important part. How to choose a domain name? Considering the points that we have discussed above, I have come up with a few tips for you.
Why Choosing the Perfect Domain Name is Crucial
When you're starting a new website or blog, the first hurdle to overcome is choosing the correct domain name. Many newbies who are not professional in the online business makes a mistake in choosing a right domain name for their new website. It looks fancy nowadays to have your own personal blog or a website for your small personal business.
Every website starts with a particular idea and in order to make this idea successful you have to link this idea to the every part of your website, whether it is content writing or design of your website, everything of your website should represent that particular idea in its own way.
So what is the first thing of your website that represents your lucky idea.
Obviously, it is the domain name. But most of the people makes a mistake in choosing a right domain for their website or blog and that is why I’m writing this guide which clearly illustrate the tips on How to choose a domain name.
Let’s start with our first tip…:)
Tips To Choose A Good Domain Name
Like I said earlier on; to choose a domain name for your business is just like choosing your business or company name. It requires idea and creativity, you may call it inspiration; whichever way, note that your domain name is just like your real name: your identity, so it is important that you choose a domain name that fits your business and also easy to be found. Briefly, I want to list out top 18 tips I consider extremely important that will guide you through your journey of domain name research.
1. choose a domain which is Seo friendly
A domain name which is Seo friendly by its words always possesses an extra search engine optimization advantage over domain which is not Seo friendly.
Most of you are familiar with term “Seo” and if you are not then let me give you a very brief idea about this.
Seo stands for search engine optimization. Search engine optimization is nothing but optimizing your website for search engines so that your website perform better in the search engine result page (SERPs) for a particular targeted keywords.
So how can you choose a domain which is Seo friendly?
The answer is simple. All Search Engine Optimization revolves around keyword ranking. In order to get on the first page of Google or on other search engines, you have to rank your website very high for any targeted keyword in your niche.
And if one of your main target keywords is included in your domain name then your domain has Seo advantage over other domain which does not include that particular keyword.
You can do keyword research to find out the main targeting keyword in your niche or field. There are lots of online tools available for this task and one of the free and right tool for keyword research is Google Keyword Planner.
2. Focus on branding
You domain name in itself can be used as a powerful branding tool. So, before choosing a domain name, think of it as a marketing tool along with the amount of buzz it can create. A branded domain name brings you credibility, meaning you can get easy links.
A branded domain also assists in a word-of-mouth marketing since people generally tend to talk about it as it’s easy to remember. So, focus on picking up a domain name with meaningful words that can be turned into a brand.
Fact: According to a survey, branded websites that have good content are the 3rd most trusted source for advertising for users on the internet.
You should also register your own name to create a personal brand. For example: https://www.mawdo3at.com.
Even if you have not decided what to do with it, you should still get it before someone else does.
3. Make it easy to spell
Before buying a domain, always spell it aloud a few times (you should probably do it when you are alone) and see if it’s easy to pronounce. Reason being that almost 20-50% of purchases made by consumers are because of word of mouth marketing. And if you domain name is easy to spell, it can easily be passed along.
Moreover, out of the millions of domains registered till date, only about 5-7% appeal to people.
Because they are easy enough to spell.
4. Make it easy to remember
A domain name which is easy to say is always easy to remember.
Along with an easy pronunciation, your domain name should be easy to remember. We talked about word of mouth marketing, remember?
So, if someone likes what you offer on your blog, they will share it with friends and family. But for that, they should be able to remember the domain name. Get the point?
A domain name which is easy to memorize tends to become more popular among the targeting audience. Most of the new unique visitor does not bookmark any website on his or her first visit. So if your domain name is easy to remember, then chances of any new visitor to return to your website increase by 110 % because on his first visit, his mind has already created a relevant website image to a specific topic for your website.
Confused? No problem! Let me clear this point further via short example.
Suppose you run a website which provides information and products about repairing and modifying automobiles. So assume that the user looking for information and products about modifying his car will land on your website through search engines result page or through any other referral program and he gets satisfied by your website information and product but he is not yet ready to buy a product.
Meanwhile, an image in his mind about automobile modification linked to your website is already created. Later after few days, he wants more information about automobile modification and if your domain name is easy to memorize then his mind will automatically present the previously created image first which will ultimately lead him to open your website by direct entering your domain name in the browser.
On the other hand if your domain name is not easy to remember then there is no chance that he would return although he knows that he has found valuable information on one random website, but he does not remember its domain name now.
5. Keep it short and sweet - Optimum character length
Another factor to consider while choosing a domain name is the length of the characters. A domain name with right character length makes a positive impression on your target audience. You must keep the correct domain character length. A very long domain name is hard to remember and very short domain name fails to cover the target keyword.
Having a short domain name compliments the above two points. It is easy to type, spell and remember. Also, having a short domain gives you an advantage. You can have more characters in the URL in SERPs. They also are good for marketing, social media and print media.
Example for this: Let assume three domain name:-
In above three examples, the second example is the most preferable because optimum length is maintained in this. It is not too long and not too small and is relevant to both search engines and target audience.
A domain name which is irrelevant to the niche of your website or blog puts negative impression both on search engines and your target audience.
Your domain name should be related to your blog's or website's topic or niche.
For instance, you have a website that sells medical books online, then a domain name something like “medicalbooksonline” is more relevant than a domain name “Buyonlinebook”. The domain “Buyonlinebook” still provide some relevancy about selling books but “medicalbooksonline” is far better because it is indicating the main objective of your website in three main words.
A domain name like "instantread," on the other hand, appears more elegant and professional, but it is unrelated to the website's goal and thus worthless to choose.
7. Be unique and creative
Try to choose a unique name for you domain and always refrain from choosing something that resembles a popular website or blog as this may lead to a disaster.
A unique domain name also gives you a brand identity and differentiates you from everyone else. It is a good idea to write down 5 keywords that are relevant to your niche and play around with them until you come up with something catchy and unique. You can always add prefixes and suffixes to make it even more appealing.
Since, most of the single name domains have already been taken, you need to be creative.
A unique domain name is the first step towards the art of copywriting when it comes to online venture. It is not a good idea to make a domain name just by reversing some characters of famous online website brand, rather create your own unique phrase or word.
8. Getting a .com extension should be your top priority
As discussed earlier, TLDs are valuable than the other domain extensions. Generally, people who have heard about your business, will search you online with a .com extension as most of them assume that a .com is all that’s out there. So, choosing a .com extension is ideal.
If you are planning to target a specific country, it is better to go for country specific domains like .in (India), .au (Australia) etc. For everything else, you should stick to a .com domain. This will help you in building a successful blog in the long run.
9. Don’t use hyphens
Hyphenated domain names should strictly be avoided. These names are not good from an SEO perspective and may act as spam indicators. They also have very little or no branding and lack credibility, thereby making it difficult to gain links. Also, since these names are difficult to spell and remember, the word of mouth marketing is non-existent.
The hyphens if used properly in the domain name provide a great search engine optimization benefit but in most cases it sucks because only a few experts know how to use them.
But in spite of this, it is better to avoid hyphens because it really feels annoying to put hyphen during entering a web address in a browser. It is really annoying as it looks like you are entering some kind of password, not a web address… 😕
Also, hyphen makes domain name hard to memorize and such domain is not regarded as easy to remember. (Already discussed above).
10. Avoid Numbers
You might have seen some websites that includes numbers in their domain name, one of famous example is 9gag. But, Using digits in your domain name does not ensure that your website will become as well-known as 9gag. It has lots of downfalls for new startups, one is that most of the people think that domain name is made up of alphabetic characters only and they don’t even think that a website with domain name that include numeric characters exists.
Another issue is that including numbers in your domain name has no SEO effect, so you should substitute a relevant target keyword in your field for the numbers. So, the conclusion is that avoid numbers in your domain name.
11. Incorporate Targeted Keywords
From an SEO perspective, it is a good idea to include your primary keyword in the domain name. For example if your keyword is “Blogging”, you can choose something like BloggingBuider.com or BloggingValue.com. Both of them contain your keywords, are not very long and easy to spell and remember.
Like the above domain name? You can go to bluehost to check if these domain are still available!
One of the most strategic points to embed your targeted keyword(s) is in your domain name for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Purposes. Make sure you target your intended keyword(s) by including them in your domain name. But also make sure you use keywords that best describes your type of business.
12. Check username availability on social media platforms
It Is always a good idea to keep the same name across various social media platforms as it helps in easy discoverability and creating a brand image. So, before you choose a domain, use this tool called KnowEm to check for the username availability. Enter you domain, hit search and the tool will display the availability on various social media websites.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are the most popular social media platforms, so you should definitely check if your domain name is available to be registered on these websites.
13. Use of phrases instead of brand
The majority of people including me have a strong pre-built belief in our mind that we should create a website domain with a new brand name of our choice. A domain name that is totally based on the brand name you want to build is not a good idea if you are just starting up. Instead, you can choose a domain name which includes phrases relevant or related to the niche of your website.
14. Try to meet expectations
You should try to focus on a domain name that easily gives away your business, niche or services, as people will relate to the name with what you have on your blog.
For example, Hotmail.com and Gmail.com can easily be related with email services.
Amazon.com and Monster.com don’t really tell you much about the business/services and you need to spend considerable time on investing in brand marketing.
However, if you are already planning on investing in creating a brand for a unique and fictional name, you should be good.
15. Avoid short forms
Always try to use full form in your domain name if possible. This avoidance becomes mandatory when you are using some targeting keyword in your domain name because neither search engines nor your audience knows what is full form of your domain name. You can use short form only when someone else has already registered the domain name you want to register. But still I suggest you to use the phrases instead of a brand name if your domain name is not available to register and avoid short forms.
16. Research Your Intended Domain Name
Before you decide on which domain name to use; be sure that you are picking a domain name that is not already branded and copyrighted already; That is why I said you must research before you decide on which of the domains to use. You may get yourself involved in a legal tussle if you choose a domain already branded and copyrighted by another person or organization; I hope you know what that will cost you? It may even cost your life savings. So be warned.
16. Target Prospects In Your Locality
If the business you intend using the domain name for is a local business; consider using the domain name to target prospects in that locality. What I mean is; including the location in your domain name. Example, Ukphones.com; just an example, and I hope you understand the point which I’m driving at; right? That is the idea.
18. Register on reliable host
This is also an important aspect to consider for both registering a domain name and getting a hosting plan. Never compromise with your web host. Take a deep research before you select your web host. Always register your domain name on web host which is reliable and trustworthy.
So, these 18 tips are important to consider before choosing a right domain.
Watch the video about How to Choose a Perfect Domain Name for Your Website.
Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs )
Here are some answer to some questions regarding how to choose a domain name.
How do I register a domain name?
So, now when you know all about domain name and how to choose a good one for yourself, check out if it’s available here and register it right away.
If you would like to create a blog, read this post" Start Your Own Blog " to learn everything about starting a blog, right from buying a domain to getting a hosting and installing WordPress.
Considering all of these tips; I guarantee you the best domain name ever. So use the above listed tips and get a domain name for your business website or blog.
I hope you like this article and now got your answer of question “How to choose a domain name“…
Why To Choose a Good Domain Name For Your Blog?
One of the major reasons to select a best domain name is it can’t be renamed. So after you register a domain name; you won’t be able to change its name. You will be able to change the name of your blog only by switching onto a different domain name. In this case your blog will loose all its credential and will be back to square one with lower Google Page Rank. So it always advisable to choose a good domain for your blog.
How To Choose a Good Domain Name For Your Blog?
Finding the right domain name is now difficult as most of the names are already registered. You will have to do a lot of research work and have to come up with something creative. You can refer to the points listed below while selecting the right domain name for your blog.
What is an ideal domain name?
Choosing the right domain name is the first and most important step towards blogging. This is the first biggest block which can stop you from being a blogger. I have seen many showing interest in blogging but finding it really difficult to clear the first block. People spend couple of days searching for good domain name and then end up loosing interest thus delaying the process. So here is an online guide which you can refer to while choosing a good domain name for your blog. You can rely on this site Domain name generator, to choose a perfect domain name.
New or Expired Domain Names
I decided to add this to this list of guidelines as I personally look into expired domains too while registering a new domain. The reason being I get to book a domain name with good backlinks, PR, Dmoz listed names. It also includes one additional benefit wherein I can purchase a domain with good PR, set up a nice looking site and can sell it at a good price.
If you are new to blogging then I would not recommend this as registering an expired domain does require some skill set. You should know the history of the domain in order to book an expired domain. Else you will end up purchasing a domain which is blacklisted or a domain which doesn’t have valid backlinks or PR.
Go for a new domain name but if you know how to check the history of the domain then you can look into expired domains too.
Conclusion about How to Choose a Domain Name
These are some of the basic guidelines which you can refer to while you choose a good domain name for your blog. Having a good domain name does not mean that your blog will automatically do well. You can find a lot of domain names which are not relevant to the blogs content still ranking higher. You can also find blogs with best domain names ranking lower. So in order to rank higher you will need to offer Google what it needs i.e. fresh high quality content. Do let me know if I have missed anything in here by commenting so I can add it to this list.