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12 Tips for Choosing the Right Domain Name

This is your business identity.

Your presence online.

Choose well and you’ll enhance your company’s marketing and sales.

Choose poorly and you may wind up starting all over again.

The right domain name is one of the most essential ingredients of your website. It is imperative that you choose the best one possible. Of course, it’s also important to know how to do exactly that.

Choose Clear Words

Clear Words

Clear Words

Your domain name should be easy to type. Skip the abbreviated “u” for “you” or slang terms that may have unusual spellings. The words used in your domain should have traditional spellings so that you’re not endlessly spelling out the quirky word choices for would-be customers.

Use Keywords

Your domain doesn’t have to be all keywords, but if you can fit in a relevant keyword somehow, you’ll be a bit ahead of the game. Choose a keyword that fits naturally or don’t choose one at all. You don’t want to break other domain name rules by making your domain name ridiculously long or strangely worded just to cram in a keyword.

Make It Easy to Remember and Type

Easy to Remember

Easy to Remember

A domain name that is easy to remember is easy for customers to use. An easy to remember domain name is usually short, makes sense and doesn’t contain tricky spellings or easily misinterpreted number words or words that may have multiple spellings. In a best case scenario, you’ll also be able to make the domain name catchy and memorable as well.

Make It Local

Make It Local

Make It Local

If you run a local business, include that local in your domain name. If you are a freelance graphic designer in Dallas, for example, consider making your domain name something like DallasGraphicDesigns.com so that you can easily snag local searches through the keyword and also help your customers realize that you are close to home, and presumably easier to find and work with.

Avoid Numbers and Hyphens

As tempting as it may be to get just the right keywords or phrase, if you’re forced to use a hyphen or a numeral, skip that name and find another. Hyphens, or dashes, are confusing for would-be customers trying to type in your domain name. If they forget the dash, they can’t find the site and it’s hard even spell the domain name out loud if you have the numeral 2 instead of the word two.

Find the Right Domain Extension

The domain name is the biggest part of the battle, but don’t forget about the domain name extension. .com is still the most sought-after extension, so it may be your first choice as well. That doesn’t mean other domain extensions won’t work – especially if you’re able to use the extension as part of your clever domain name.

As new extensions appear, like .guru and .nyc, you have a shot at a great keyword username without having to fight for a .com or .net. There are even trade specific domains like .photography or .me for personal blogs and websites. Just remember that some domain extensions like .org have specific meanings, in this case a website that is tied to a non-profit or non-commercial organization.

Make it Brandable and Protect the Brand

Brand

Brand

The domain name you choose should work as part of your overall brand. If it’s too messy to brand or unspecific to what you’re doing with your company, it will be hard to make into a brand message.

Choose a domain name that you can easily use in advertisements, letterhead and email addresses and then protect that brand by buying up the other domain extensions and registering trademarks as necessary to give yourself some breathing room on the clever name and business you’re building. Remember to also buy common misspellings as domain names to redirect to your site as part of this process.

Be Mindful of Other Trademarks

Be Mindful of Other Trademarks

Be Mindful of Other Trademarks

As you are choosing domain names, be mindful that others may have had similar ideas. Do not choose a domain name that is very similar to another name running the same sort of business you are. When you effectively copy someone else’s domain name and their branding you’re opening yourself up for trademark violations and even lawsuits.

Even if you accidentally choose something that creates an overlap, you’ll still find yourself in trouble and starting the whole process over. It’s better to do your research the first time and find a name that you can use freely and without concern.

Make It Intuitive

If you sell pasta, your domain name should reflect pasta. If you sell hiking gear, your domain name should reflect this. If your domain name works for both pasta and hiking gear, you may need to make another choice unless your pasta is designed to be cooked on the trail.

When a would-be customer reads your domain name he should have a pretty good idea of what you’re selling, even if your domain name is only loosely tied to your wares. A domain name about Italy still translates to pasta. Likewise a domain about nature will tie to hiking gear.

If Necessary Close is Good Enough

With so many websites in existence, it may be a challenge to find just the right domain name. This is especially true if you have a business established before you start your website. The business you built in your hometown will eventually need a website.

But if the easily domain name that ties to your business name is taken, it’s fine to be close to your company name without matching it exactly. Joe’s Motors can easily become JoesMotorsSanDiego.com if necessary. In fact, including your location will help your customers know where you’re located, which is a big plus for brick and mortar businesses.

Use a Domain Tool

Tools

Tools

There are many domain tools out there to help you make a choice when it comes to finding clever and workable names. Using a domain tool – and there are countless free ones on the web – will let you input keywords and ideas and then brainstorm with the help of technology on what might be workable and what is already taken and registered to someone else.

Buy and Then Design

Finally, when you have found a domain name that works, buy it right then and there. Domain names aren’t expensive and it’s better to buy it and hold it than risk losing it. Don’t start building the brand and website around the domain name until you actually own the domain name and are certain it works. No sense putting the cart before the horse when it comes to expensive and time-intensive website development.

The right domain name can be the basis of a new brand or a great extension of your current business. You will be working from this domain indefinitely, so it is absolutely worth the time and effort to get it right the very first time.

Oleg

Oleg Calugher is your Fellow Blogger and Co-founder of Guest Crew. Catch him on Twitter.

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Comments

21 Comments on “12 Tips for Choosing the Right Domain Name”

  1. Mike says:

    You gave some really good tips on choosing the right domain name. One I believe most people will never think about are the keywords. Excellent tip … thank you for sharing

    • Oleg says:

      Hi Mike,

      Welcome to Temok and thank you for the comment,
      Glad to know that you liked the tips,

      Yeah, keywords are always important and having them in the domain name can be helpful especially if you are going for a micro niche site that needs to be focused on a particular long-tail keyword,

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  2. Mairaj says:

    Hi Oleg,

    You did a fantastic job and shared with us such an amazing information in shape of this quality article but my question is, as we already know that now Google doesn’t give value to EMDs now a days because most of the professionals think that exact match domains are one of the biggest reasons of Google penalty.

    So they use PMDS partial match domains instead of EMDS as well as choose branded domain. EMDs work well in Launch jacking affiliate marketers earn thousands of dollars with this technique.

    Many thanks for your lovely share 🙂

    Regards

    Mairaj

  3. Hi Oleg,

    Great tips. Intuitive sites are clear sites. I chose my domain based on my lifestyle. I blog from paradise. I want to help folks retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging. So you betcha I chose Blogging From Paradise and thank goodness the domain availed itself. I thought it’d be gobbled up. But no twas not. Thank goodness for me because it fit my brand message like a glove. It’s so worth putting in the time to think through your domain name. I see too many unclear, unbranded, non-intuitive site names that only gain traction after year’s worth of networking on the site owner’s part, like they needed to be trusted before the domain name could gain trust. Better to get the domain name right from Day 1 so people can easily get your prime benefit.

    Awesome tips overall Oleg. Thanks for sharing with us 🙂

    Ryan

    • Oleg says:

      Hi Ryan,

      thank you for the comment,
      Love your domain, exactly on topic and totally brandable.

      Completely agree with you, best to take out some time and think about the domain first. Most of my blogs have good domains, catchy, on topic and relevant.

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  4. Nidhi Thakur says:

    Hello Oleg,

    You shared some good tips for choosing the right domain. Thanks for sharing such types post. I know choosing a domain name is too much difficult. I’m completely disappointed when I searched some good domain and found they are already in use. So in last I select my own name as a domain.
    I hope your post helpful for those who are trying to choose the right domain name.
    Your post is awesome and I love your writing way!

    • Oleg says:

      Hey Nidhi,

      welcome to Temok and thank you for the comment,

      For a blog, using your personal name as the domain is a good idea. That way, your readers will be able to better connect with you,
      Glad to know that you liked the article,

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  5. […] the way, my very good friend Oleg did well to share 12 Tips for Choosing the Right Domain Namefor your business since most of us tend to find it difficult in choosing a […]

  6. […] My good friend Oleg did well to share “12 Tips for Choosing the Right Domain Name“. […]

  7. Aigen DM says:

    Hi Oleg,

    Good post as usual.

    To be intuitive could be the best point you talk about. Also, for SEO purposes to combine brand and keyword could be a good option.

    Nice to read your blog!

    • Oleg says:

      Hi Aigen,

      thank you for the comment,

      Yeah, having the brand and the keyword in the domain is perhaps the best thing to do for micro niches. Keeping it short at the same time could be difficult but surely worth it.

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  8. Though choosing the right name for a domain matters but i dont think it really matters on a business website.

    I have seen some business websites with lots of worst name you cant imagine but this websites makes more sales than the one with cool names.

    Anyway this is a nice information and tips.

    Happy Blogging

  9. Hi Olega, and Uttoransen,
    I found this amazing post share on the pages of Bizsugar today and I upvoted the post and posted the following comment there.
    It is indeed a wonderful post to bookmark, As I said will go through once again before is proceed. Best .
    Great tips shared in this post
    It is good to check these tips before we go for a new domain name. I am planning to go for a new one shortly, I am sure i keep and follow these tips shared before i go for the next one. Great info.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Have a great day
    Best
    ~Philip

    • Oleg says:

      Hi Philip,

      Welcome to Temok and thank you for the comment,
      Good to know that BizSugar is sending us visitors, am a big fan of Anita and her BizSugar Social site.

      When I go for a new domain, I look for both branded and targeted ones. That way, you get all the benefits.
      Keep us updated with your new venture and best of luck,

      Thanks,
      Oleg

  10. Harish Negi says:

    recently changed the name of my blog after 2 years of blogging. The experience was leaning. I wish I had read your article before selecting the new name. Superb explanation.

    • Oleg says:

      Hey Harish,

      welcome to Temok and thank you for the comment,

      Name changes can be difficult, once you brand your business – the name becomes important. Moving out of it is hard and promoting a new name is even harder. Good to know that you have already gone through the process.

      Thanks,
      – Oleg

  11. Bashir Ahmed says:

    Hi Oleg,

    Wonderful tips you’ve shared with us for choosing the right domain. Next month I’m about to purchase few domain for our new sites and your tips will really help us. I’m going to share this post with my site partner to follow your tips.

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Oleg says:

      Hi Bashir,

      Welcome to Temok and thank you for the comments,

      Good to know that you are planning to expand further with some fresh new domains. Do let us know more about the sites that you are planning to create and will share your posts on the social media,

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  12. Making sure that the name of your domain relates directly to what your site is about is great advice. It’s so confusing when it doesn’t relate. Sometimes it’s even misleading. For the most part, I think it would help to keep in mind who you’re targeting.

  13. Jimmy says:

    Hi,

    We must use a brandable name for domain name since it will be easier to remember and people tend to remember the name as well.

    Thanks

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