The domain name of your website is not just a name. It’s the introduction of your vision to everyone who has access to the world wide web. If you want your domain to stand out in the ocean of the internet, you must consider all the variables that make a domain name special. Below are 10 tips to select the perfect domain name for your website.
Use a .Com Extension
No domain extension can deliver the kind sense of authenticity that a “.com” domain offers.
The country-specific extensions limit your reach. Besides, other extensions like “.info” or “.buzz” may give a false impression to your potential visitors. They will likely perceive it as a junk website.
The only case when you should deviate from the “.com” extension is when you have a particular motive behind your website.
If you are to choose a domain name for a non profit organization, it’s wiser to go with a “.org” extension. It will bring more credible value to your website.
The only downside of domain names like “.org” comes when visitors visit a website for the second time. They mostly end up typing a “.com” extension. Meaning your potential visitor can land somewhere else.
Keep It Short
You can gauge the importance of short domains just by searching the availability of two-word domain names with the “.com” extension.
You will find surprising results. Such domain names will be hard to grab. It’s a herculean task now to secure an even three-word domain name.
At this juncture, you should aim for an 18-20 character domain name. Anything less than that is a dream bid. But make sure you don’t go beyond the ballpark of 20 characters.
Yes, the briefness of a domain name is essential. But you should not lose your vision to achieve brevity. If available, the domain names with less than six-character will be costly. To balance out these aspects, it’s always a good idea to work around among two to three-word domains.
Make It Easy to Remember
Not many internet users have the habit of bookmarking their favorite websites. They remember the names subconsciously. If you keep your domain name too complex, they will probably forget it and end up searching for an alternative that they remember.
Then, there are many people who usually like to bookmark their favorite websites. But when it comes to searching, they type it out and never visit their bookmark section. These are small things but tend to have a huge impact. Thus, you have to cash in these small elements.
The most straightforward approach to address this issue is to choose high-frequency words. The words that most people use in their daily life. This way, you can make people reiterate your brand for free. And when it comes to searching a website of your niche, your domain will be among the first ones to pop in their mind. You can take this advantage of human psychology. And have a clear edge over your competition.
Make It Easy to Spell
We have discussed the importance of high-frequency words, and they can make your game. But you have to be very vigilant when you are choosing these words.
There are words like “itinerary” that we frequently use in our day-to-day life. But if you ask people to spell it out, you should not be surprised if five out of ten people don’t get it right. Your visitors might end up typing “itinarary.” That “a” in place of “e” can take away half of your potential visitors.
The above case substantiates how important it is to keep the domain names easy to spell. You certainly wouldn’t want your potential visitors to land up somewhere else because you chose to go with some fancy word.
Describe Your Site Niche
We have constantly mentioned the significance of vision in this piece. Your domain name should give out a rough idea to your visitors. Tell them what your website is all about.
Yes, it isn’t easy to describe your vision in two words. But it would help if you try to go closer to your niche. You have to keep it relevant. Unless you want to bet on the curiosity of your visitors, such domain names always take time to find relevance. And surely you will need deep pockets to market them.
Keeping your domain name aligned with your niche keep your visitors from playing guessing game. That means you can be a better candidate to get organic traffic than someone who’s playing with abstract names.
No Hyphens or Numbers
The hyphens and the numbers – it can be the last experiment you would want to do with your domain name. People tend to go with hyphens or even numbers when they don’t get the domain of their choice. It’s not a good idea because people who don’t usually bookmark websites will struggle to find you on the web.
The problem with numbers is more or less the same. Either people forget it or spell it out incorrectly. Meaning, the visitors who should have landed on your website get transferred to someone who chose to spell the same domain name.
Also, websites with numbers and hyphens face authenticity issues. It’s hard to validate such websites; because they are cheap. Moreover, many spam sites use such domains.
Make It Brandable
You might have come across so many domain names that defy the strategy of description. They are nowhere close to being descriptive, but they do exceptionally well. People can easily recognize them. That’s the magic a brandable domain can do.
There are no better examples of brandable domains than technology giants like Amazon and Google. Their names don’t tell you a thing about what they do. And look where they are. Both have now transcended their initial description. Their initial description is just a tiny part of their business now. That’s the kind of scope and potential brandable domain name offers.
Also, if you go with brandable domain names, you won’t have to fight for availability. You can even get five-six characters long domain names. Something that you can’t get if you aim for descriptive ones.
The only downside of brandable domain names is that it takes time to build a brand around them. And, of course, you’ll need financial backing to promote them.
Use the Right Keywords
Using keywords in the domain name makes it easier for visitors to guess your website’s content. Hence, you maximize your chances of getting organic traffic.
Subtle use of keywords in domain names has been a successful strategy, and it still works if you optimize well.
At the same time, playing too much around search engine optimization can, at times, be detrimental. It might help if you have a very balanced strategy.
Those days are almost gone when you would use keywords by just giving hyphens to attract traffic. You have to be innovative while using keywords in domain names because search engines are now getting more intelligent. They may filter out your website if you make your keyword too obvious. The search engine giant Google has even started discounting websites bloated with keywords.
Irrespective of the motive or application of a website, domain names should never be a product of a hasty decision. It will help if you think it throughout and keep your long-term goal at the fore.
Suppose if you are setting up an e-commerce store where you are initially selling T-shirts. And in the long run, you wish to make it a full-fledged lifestyle store. Then you can’t name your domain as “trendytshirt.com.” If you do that, you are limiting the potential of your business. Besides, it would be difficult for you to sell shoes and watches with that domain name.
An ordinary customer with no pre-existing knowledge of your brand would remember something like “style.com” to buy shoes and other lifestyle products.
Moreover, this idea is valid for every website, not just for an e-commerce store. If you are to run a blog and think you can go beyond your current niche in the long run, it would be best to for a brandable domain.
Avoid Copyright Infringement
Can you check all the boxes mentioned above? Do you think that you are all set? Probably not. Checking for copyrights and trademark protection should be your first step once you believe you have come up with a final domain name.
It’s not a very difficult thing to do these checks. There are public copyright databases available in most countries. You can directly match your potential domain name with that database.
Still, things can be dicey at times. There may not be enough clarity whether that domain name has some trademark protection or not. In such cases, do not make wild suppositions. It’s about the brand that you are going to create. And you can put life into it, only if its soul is original.
To be on the safer side, one can take the services of an attorney who deals with intellectual property issues.
In an open and independent market, consumers seek expertise. So, the name of your brand should make sense with your area of expertise. And the idea of a brand is the same for everyone: a nonprofit organization, an e-commerce store, a blog, or a video-content website.
You can choose a domain name and then build a brand around it. But it takes money, effort, and time to promote a brand. Thus, when you think of selecting a domain name, you should not think about where you are starting. Instead, think about the potential of your idea. Choose a domain name by considering your end goals and objectives.
The points mentioned in this piece are simply open secrets. If you can optimize them with clarity of thought, they can help you create a successful brand.