Today, entrepreneurs and new business owners know that having an internet domain is essential to boost their brand or business in digital media.
At the same time, choosing a good domain name is a decision that, without a doubt, should not be taken lightly, since it will be forever associated with email, website, or online store, all of them very important elements for marketing and promotional campaigns.
Because we want you to be very successful with your digital initiatives, in this article we offer you the 9 tips to choosing the perfect domain name, whether you have a small business that you want to promote locally or you dream of reaching every corner of the world with your products.
Table of Contents
1. Make it your brand name
Your domain name should reflect your brand. A great way to create a unique and memorable domain is to include a version of your brand name in the URL. It’s also a good idea, however, not to use any existing trademarks or brand names as part of your website’s domain as this could potentially run into legal issues that could complicate things further down the line.
One good reason for using your company’s name as part of your domain is because doing so can help you stand out from competitors and it can also increase visits to your website.
2. Keep it short
Hand in hand with the previous point, if your domain name uses long or complicated words, you risk that people will misspell it when they want to type it in the search engine and, therefore, that they will not find you.
In addition, a very long domain causes mistrust, while short names tend to remain fixed in the memory of users, which also increases the potential for it to be shared.
Thus, a good name uses between 12 or 13 characters, which is equal to 2 (maximum 3) words joined. Although it is not a strict measure, If it exceeds 15 characters you may want to consider shortening it.
At this point, you should write several versions – always without spaces – to give you an idea of how your audience will read it in browsers.
3. Avoid numbers or special characters
Going back to the clarity and simplicity of your domain name, using numbers or special characters is completely discouraged.
In the case of numbers, these can be confusing; for example, if you advertise in travel but do not specify that your page travel10.com has the Arabic number (10) or if it is spelled (ten).
And what about the hyphen? If your domain name consists of two words (for example, yourbike.com), you may think that a hyphen should be used to separate them, but keep in mind readability and uniqueness. Hyphens and digits obstruct the smooth and punchy character of your domain name. So stick to the letters!
4. Make it easy to identify
In order for users to always find your site, you must prioritize clarity in your domain name, both in writing and in the value proposition.
Thus, with your domain you must tell your user what your site is about, that is, you need to communicate at a glance the course of your business, the products you sell or the topics your website touches.
This also has to do with the intention to search for information, products or services of the user. So, once they see your domain name, they should be able to intuitively relate it to their expectations of what they will find there.
5. Use keywords
Domain names with an emphasis on keywords tend to attract more clicks in search results. For example, forbetravelguide.com is a domain rich in terms that are immediately associated with the travel industry.
Although today Google and other search engines no longer benefit from this practice so much in terms of positioning, you can continue to use these domain names, particularly if you want to reinforce the specialization of your site.
For example, if you sell bike equipment, your domain should have the word “bike or cycling.” This is so that you are in tune with the search intentions of the users.
Fortunately, the process of researching keywords for your domain name is the same as finding effective keywords for other uses. You can use tools like Semrush, Google Keyword Planner, and KWFinder to search for terms that have both a high search volume and (ideally) low competition. Just remember that in this case, you’re looking for a keyword that represents your website and content as a whole.
6. That the extension is according to the turn or sector
More than 30 years after its creation, “.com” domains continue to be the most used and recognizable, as well as the ones that generate the most trust among Internet users.
However, given the saturation of registrations in this extension, sometimes the domain name you are looking for may not be available. The alternative, in this case, is to register your domain with a “.net“, “.org” or country extension.
A good way to differentiate your value proposition is the so-called new generic top-level domains since these have options related to the industry “.travel “, “.photography“, “.shop” that your site touches.
For example, for personal brands or freelancers, a good option may be the “.me” domain, which is very popular among the bloggers and influencers community.
7. Let the extension show the geographic location
Using an extension of the country where your business or base of operations is located (examples: .com.uk for United Kingdom or .sg for Singapore) can be an indicator for your audience or potential customers of what they can expect.
However, this can benefit the positioning of your website because search engines such as Google tend to give more value to geolocated domains in local search results, that is more likely that they lead to sites that have an extension of the country or area where the user you are looking for is located.
8. Protect your brand
To take care of your brand and your domain, you must take into account two aspects: not to infringe the brand registrations of other companies and avoid that someone “hangs” on your name.
First, make sure your domain name is not confused with established trademarks, which could sue you for misappropriation. Go to a law firm to learn more about this issue.
In the second point, what can happen is that a competitor registers your domain name with an alternate extension, which could lead to confusion for your users and loss of authority for your site in search engines. To avoid this, buy your domain name with different extensions.
If you have little budget, make sure to at least have your domain registered in the .com extension, in the country code extension, and in the compound one.
9. Make sure your domain name is available
Unfortunately, this can happen: You have a domain in your head – but unfortunately it is already taken. However, this is not a broken leg because you have different options. What you shouldn’t do in this case: just change the URL extension. Because the change from .com to the somewhat less well-known extensions .net or .info does not help much. So people who are interested look for your website, end up typing .com, and end up on a completely different website. This is not an advantage for you or the visitors. It is better to make your domain really unique:
- Make a small change
- Use an abbreviation ( Example: WordPress > WP)
- Integrate (in addition) the location or region
- Add terms like “blog” or “shop”
Once you have registered your domain, verify that the data with the provider is in order, including your full name or that of the legal representative of your business, so that you and only you are the owners of your domain.
Hopefully these tips have helped you find your ideal domain name. With this first step, you are going in the right direction to create a digital presence that impacts the exact audience. Do not let anything stop you!