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13 Tips for Choosing a Domain Name – 2017 Edition

A first impression.

Search engine optimization.

Your entire brand.

Your domain name is more than just a URL – it’s truly one of the most important elements of your online business.

Sure you’d like to think that your domain name isn’t as important as your company and marketing, but you’d be mistaken. A convoluted domain name or a subdomain of another site isn’t going to be easy for customers to type in or feel confident with.

When you’re choosing a domain name – especially in 2017 when customers are savvy and skeptical – you need to choose wisely.

Make It Brandable

Make It Brandable

Make It Brandable

Your URL is just as important as your company name. That means it’s important that you find a URL that you can build a brand around, just like you work hard to brand your company name. This doesn’t mean the URL has to match your existing company name, but it should be in the same field so that it can be incorporated into an existing brand.

Keep It Short

Memories are short, and if you want potential customers to be able to remember, repeat and then type your URL into browsers, it needs to be short. Shorter URLs are more memorable and they have significantly less chance for errors when typed or repeated.

Watch Your Spelling

Words in your new URL should be spelled in the most traditional pattern possible. Creative spelling is cute for a baby’s name, but it can be a huge pain for a business owner and his customers as the try to come up with the right random spelling to pull up your site. It is also important that you avoid words that have multiple conventional spellings. Principle or principal? Your customers certainly won’t know.

Pronunciation Matters

Pronunciation Matters

Pronunciation Matters

There are many websites that have creative URLS that are spelled phonetically, but they are pronounceable. Google, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Be creative with your own URL, but don’t be so creative that nobody knows how to pronounce the word that you’ve created. How can people spread the word if they can’t say the word?

Keywords Can Help

Including keywords in your URL was almost a necessity a few years ago, but it is not as imperative now. If you are able to work a keyword into your URL naturally, it can be beneficial, but it is not required for SEO purposes and it can harm you if your keyword use is too heavy, strange or makes your company seem shady. It’s better to have a professional sounding name than one that is jammed full of forced keywords.

Skip Hyphens and Numbers

Adding a hyphen or using a 2 instead of “two” might seem like a good idea to get closer to the URL you want, but that hyphen or numeral are going to throw off everyone who tries to remember or type in your URL later. Even if you have to do more brainstorming or go in a new direction, a whole word URL is better than a hyphenated one.

Commit for Decades

When you buy a URL and start developing it, plan for the long term. You don’t develop a business for a few months or less. You shouldn’t buy a URL and plan to only use it for a few months or less.

You are going to be investing a great deal of time and money into your project. As your hard work pays off, it will hopefully continue to do so for years. So plan to be invested in your new URL for decades.

Try for the .com

There are more domain extensions available than ever before, but the .com is still the gold standard. Play with URLs to try and reserve the .com rather than the .net or .it or .anythingelsetheycomeupwith. It is possible to be cute and clever with a domain extension, but the majority of people will default to the .com when they write or type, so keep it easy for them. The .com makes you appear more professional as well.

Watch for Trademarks and Confusion

Trademarks

Trademarks

Nobody is going to stop you from registering a URL that sounds and looks suspiciously like the name of another business. It is on you to research and do some due diligence on other companies that may be confused with your own new URL.

Granted, you can register the URL and do the work to set up your new website without interference, but if you have infringed on copyrights, you can expect some legal consequences down the road.

Make Sense

It should go without saying, but it can be said that your new domain name should make sense. Sure, you can use a creative word that nobody has ever heard of before – that’s an internet standard. But if you are going to use traditional words, use them with traditional spellings in a traditional phrase. A jumble of words doesn’t make sense, and customers won’t care for typing in what feels like nonsense.

Test It

Don’t forget to do a bit of split testing with your new domain name. It doesn’t cost much to register multiple domain names, so if you’re concerned about a new one, grab a couple of domain names you like and try them both out for a while. Once you’ve lived with both, you will likely find yourself with a clear preference and your testing groups may have a clear preference as well.

Consider Your Area

Local Business

Local Business

If you run a local business and you’re looking to attract a local market, including your location in your URL name makes a terrific amount of sense.

Rather than being plumbers.com, you can become Atlantaplumbers.com (although that domain name is probably already taken). Customers generally respond with trust to websites and businesses they know are local rather than an unknown entity that could be from anywhere across the globe.

Move Fast

It doesn’t take long for domain names to be snatched up. If you’re researching and playing with names and you find one you like, don’t let it sit. It might be snatched up by someone in a matter of minutes. This doesn’t give you a lot of thinking time, but it’s better to spend the $10 to keep the name safe than plan to come back to it next week and find the name taken and out of your hands.

Brand Consistently

Your brand is your business, and you should incorporate your new website smoothly into your existing business smoothly. Even if your URL isn’t the same name as your business, the branding for your domain should be consistent with the business the website is representing.

If you design your website correctly with SEO in mind, customers searching for your business name should be able to find your differing URL easily in a search engine anyhow.

Selecting your domain name might very well be the first step of a new business. If your business is already established, the domain name might be a natural extension of what you already do well. Regardless of your personal scenario, choosing the right domain name is absolutely critical.

Oleg Kaluger

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Comments

42 Comments on “13 Tips for Choosing a Domain Name – 2017 Edition”

  1. niraj says:

    Wonderful blog I liked the complete article…. great written, Thanks for all the information you have provided.

  2. Vijesh says:

    Hi Oleg,
    These tips are really helpful for those who are brainstorming for their domain name. As you have said the word which makes sense and which is short will definitely be a good catch.

    Before we keep a name for our business we should also look for the availability of the domain name so that in future we may not fall short of it.

    Thanks for the worthy tips…

  3. Hi Oleg,
    Great post, I agree, it’s important to choose a brandable and good domain name. I’ve seen some people use hyphens and numbers, which looks confusing and unprofessional.

    Very informative post, thanks for sharing!

    • Oleg Kaluger says:

      Hey Adithya,

      Welcome to temok and thank you for the comment,
      Yeah, totally agree with you, the hyphens are really bad, seems very unprofessional,

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  4. Kamran says:

    Hi,
    Dear your work is very nice and helpful thanks to share us.

  5. Joy Healey says:

    Hi Oleg,

    Glad to see these 2017-style domain name tips, because “things” have indeed changed.

    I was one of those people who chose a domain name, didn’t register it straight away, and found someone had registered it AFTER I was planning to do it. Very disappointing. If you like a domain, register it ASAP.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

    • Oleg Kaluger says:

      Hey Joy,

      thank you for the comment,
      Yeah, so many domains are being registered everyday – if you like a domain, it is best to reserve it before someone else does.

      Your current domain is excellent thought, very personal and yet – short and brandable,

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  6. Sonal Talwar says:

    Hi

    Very informative post! Great tips and very well written, anyone can easily understand it.

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. I found a major league brandable domain name in Blogging From Paradise Oleg 😉 I ran with it when I bought it, building an even stronger brand. Even if it is kind of a long domain name 🙂 Look for something people can visualize, something people can feel, and your domain name becomes memorable. Super tips here.

    • Oleg Kaluger says:

      Hey Ryan,

      Thank you for the comment,
      Yeah, love your domain – it is truly both brandable and relevant! Agreed it is a bit long, but it presents your entire site and your life pretty well.

      I remember you had a different domain when you had started, but this one is indeed stronger!
      Keep up the good work,

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  8. Hi Oleg,
    If I knew then what I know now, my domain name would be different. I used my own name, but it is not the best searchable thing! It’s been seven years now, and most people know my blog by it so it is too late to change or is it?
    -Donna

    • Oleg Kaluger says:

      Hi Donna,

      Thank you for the comment,
      Yeah, its way too late and yes having your name in the domain has its disadvantages but on the positive side – it helps push your personal brand forward.

      Your domain is all right, don’t think about changing 🙂

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  9. Nishant says:

    Hey, Oleg.

    Glad that you highlighted the importance of choosing the right domain name of businesses. Since the website is our online business store, putting a name out of the context seems odd. The website is selling digital marketing courses its bad to have a domain name like, onlinestore.com. It confuses people in thinking that its an eCommerce store.

    • Oleg Kaluger says:

      Hey Nishant,

      Welcome to Temok and thank you for the comment,
      Yeah, relevancy matters a lot, people will surely judge the site based on the domain name you choose. It even has an impact on the CTR in both search and PPC – the domain name plays a big role in it.

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  10. Rupesh Kumar says:

    Nice post Oleg. I always prefer short and sweet domain names with any confusing, repetitive letters, etc. Also, everybody should devote some time on choosing a perfect domain name. Do not hurry. It is not easy to change your website name later. I still remember it took me more than a month before I came up with my website name “Stemjar”.

    • Oleg Kaluger says:

      Hey Rupesh,

      Thank you for the comment,
      Yeah, very true – and coming up with a wrong domain name is one of those beginner mistakes that most people do, and like you said – it isn’t easy to change once your site gets established.

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  11. NogenTech says:

    It is the fact that a most relevant domain name makes the website or blog more visible in SERPs, and you have shared great stuff regarding the selection of right domain name. I am new on board and will probably visit again to get more.

    • Oleg Kaluger says:

      Hey NoGenTech,

      Welcome to Temok and thank you for the comment,
      Try getting a Gravatar for your profile image and use your name in the comments, that way we can address you better!

      Yeah, relevant and short domain names are the best – because in the longer run, it will be both useful and brandable,

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  12. Adeel Sami says:

    Hello, Oleg!

    I actually opted for my personal name because that I thought would work great for me in the long run.

    And that decision was truly awesome — I am loving my name being my domain name to become known in the world of blogging. 🙂

    Yes, people do invest a good time in finalizing the domain names because they have company to represent, the institution to grow, and products to market.

    So, thank you for these excellent tips! 🙂

    ~ Adeel

    • Oleg Kaluger says:

      Hey Adeel,

      Thank you for the comment,
      Yeah, having the name in the domain is excellent for personal branding.
      I can see that it is working out pretty well for you, we all know you pretty well by your domain and your name!

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  13. […] 13 Tips for Choosing a Domain Name – 2017 Edition — Temok […]

  14. Your post is really awesome. I visit regularly on your website. Your all article is really nice and easy to understand. Keep it up and share the more amazing post with us. I am waiting for your next post.

  15. Nomar says:

    For me brandable is the most important factor. Without that, find another domain.

  16. Susan Velez says:

    Hi Oleg,

    Great tips on helping us choose the right domain. Personally, I’ve always had issues with coming up with something creative for a domain name.

    I know that it’s important to choose something that you plan on using for several years. I guess that’s why I went with my personal name.

    I registered it for 7 years. To tell you the truth, I didn’t even take the time to try to think of any other name for my domain.

    I just knew that I wanted to use my personal name. Only time will tell if I made the right choice or not.

    Thanks for sharing these tips with us have a great day 🙂

    Susan

    • Oleg Kaluger says:

      Hi Susan,

      Thank you for the comment,

      Having your own name in the domain isn’t a bad idea, it is actually good for personal branding – am sure it is already helping your personal brand grow further.

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  17. this great info
    it can be use full for me i get so much advantage from this
    thanku bro

  18. Prosper Noah says:

    Helo Oleg,

    I’d have to tell you i changed domain name more than twice before finally arriving at the right one.

    Its way so goog to know how to properly choose a domain name and I believe your tips have explained it all!

    I wrote a post on it earlier, but you have something cool here too!

    Do have a nice one.

    • Oleg Kaluger says:

      Hey Prosper,

      Thank you for the comment,
      Yeah, that happens to most of us – we do keep changing domain names till we are comfortable with – and that is mostly based on the experience that we gain during our blogging life.

      Glad you liked the tips, it is always best to settle down with a domain that you want to run for the rest of your life – and you need to arrive at that decision as soon as possible, because you lose a lot of branding etc. when you leave your old domain behind!

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  19. harris says:

    Great information Oleg..! since few days i’ve been searching for domain names and your tips gave me boost to find my brand able domain . Thanks for sharing. and i think this the second time i read your article.good information for blog starters.

  20. Very informative post! Today if you are digital marketer then all it matters is how you are optimizing your website and marketing it. If you are doing it well, you are all set for the fame. There are great examples and I would like to mention about Ryan and Donna’s blogging website.

  21. Roger says:

    Thanks Oleg for sharing your thought process.
    A good and attractive domain name needs to require some serious brainstorming to determine the best name for it. I was simply stumped on what domain name to buy? Even tried using a Domain Name Generator. I found your article more interesting and useful as a tool which could help me explore my domain name options and help to get the creative juices flowing.

  22. YouMeGeeK says:

    Thanks for this helpful and useful information

  23. Hi Oleg, Thanks for the guide to select the best domain name. I will implement these points in my future projects. thanks

  24. […] knowing that no one has thought of your idea. I found a great article by way of BizSugar.com on 13 Tips for Choosing a Domain Name by Oleg […]

  25. I can remember back in the day when I accidentally bought a domain name that was misspelled. I went forward with it to very little success, but did end up listed on Google in the top spot for that misspelling. This was way before they started giving you the search suggestion if you misspelled your term.

    Great guide here for sure. I love that you included trademarks in there, as that can be a big one. I try to tell bloggers to either choose your real name (pen name works too) as your domain or make it something that represents you. Nothing worse than a domain name that isn’t clear or doesn’t show the visitor what you’re all about.

    • Oleg Kaluger says:

      Hi Benjamin,

      Welcome to Temok and thank you for the comment,
      Yeah, in the past, buying miss-spelled domains was a regular practice – but like you mentioned, it did not bring much benefits.

      For personal branding, having your name as the domain always helps.

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  26. Hi Oleg, Thanks for sharing such awesome tips on selecting the best domain name!

  27. Becca Holton says:

    Now that you mention it, a first impression is a good way to describe a domain name. I’ve heard that it’s best to keep it short and simple. That makes sense to me since it’ll probably be easier to remember.

  28. Aashima says:

    Well I always love to pick branded domains since its easy to promote. You have shared pretty informative points here.

    I definitely savored every little bit of it and I have you saved as a favorite to see new stuff on your site.

  29. John Neon says:

    This is one of the best article, that really help me to choose my domain name. I just love the blog.

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