Figuring out how to choose a domain name is similar to figuring out how to choose a company name — it requires a lot of thought and consideration. Your domain name is your identity on the web; you want to make sure you choose a domain name that not only fits your business, but is also easy to find and promote.
In a hurry? Check out our synopsis here:
How to choose a domain name that gets results
- Choose a domain name that is easy to type.
- Keep it short.
- Use keywords.
- Target your area.
- Avoid numbers and hyphens.
- Be memorable.
- Research it.
- Choose a domain name extension that fits.
- Protect and build your brand.
- Act fast.
Follow the steps below to help you pick the perfect domain name. And if you want to learn even more about domain names, check out “What is a domain name” for in-depth information.
1. Choose a domain name that is easy to type
Choosing a domain name that’s easy to type is critical to online success. If you use slang (u instead of you) or words with multiple spellings (express vs. xpress), it might be harder for customers to find your site.
Related: How to buy a domain name in 3 steps
2. Keep it short
If your domain name is long and complex, you risk customers mistyping or misspelling it. Short and simple is the way to go.
3. Use keywords
Try using keywords that describe your business and the services you offer. For example, if you’re a glass replacement business, you may want to register GlassRepair.com or GlassReplacement.com.
It helps improve your rank on search engines (which increases traffic) and just makes more sense to your customers.
4. Target your area
If your business is local, consider including your city or state in your domain name to make it easy for local customers to find and remember. Example: PhoenixGlassRepair.com.
Editor’s note: From .boston to .vegas, you’re likely to find a geographic domain extension that suits your business.
5. Avoid numbers and hyphens
Numbers and hyphens are often misunderstood — people who hear your website address don’t know if you’re using a numeral (5) or it’s spelled out (five) or they misplace or forget the dash. If you need these in your domain, register the different variations to be safe.
6. Be memorable
There are millions of registered domain names, so choosing a domain that’s catchy and memorable is essential. Once you’ve come up with a name, share it with close friends to make sure it sounds appealing and makes sense to others.
Quick solution: Got a great idea for a domain? Search for your domain name today and attach it to a website or one of your social media profiles to help build your brand online.
7. Research it
When you choose a domain name, make sure the name you’ve selected isn’t trademarked, copyrighted or being used by another company. It could result in a legal mess that could cost you a fortune, as well as your domain!
As the largest reseller of aftermarket domain names, GoDaddy has access to extensive data that we use to analyze millions of historical domain sales. Try out GoDaddy Domain Appraisals to determine the value of your domain, so you can name your business with purpose.
8. Choose a domain name extension that fits
Extensions are suffixes, such as .com or .net, at the end of web addresses. These can have specific uses, so make sure to choose one that works for your business. The .com domain extension is far and away the most popular, but it can be tough to get a short and memorable .com domain name because it’s been around for so long.
A bevy of new generic top-level domains — like .app, .photography, .nyc and .guru — offer a great opportunity to register short and highly relevant names. And here are some other top extensions and how they’re often used:
- .co : an abbreviation for company, commerce, and community.
- .info : informational sites.
- .net : technical, Internet infrastructure sites.
- .org : non-commercial organizations and nonprofits.
- .biz : business or commercial use, like e-commerce sites.
- .me : blogs, resumes or personal sites.
Pro tip: You don’t need to build a website for every domain. Just forward any additional domains to your primary website.
9. Protect and build your brand
To protect your brand, consider purchasing various domain extensions, as well as misspelled versions of your domain name. This prevents competitors from registering other versions and ensures your customers are directed to your website, even if they mistype it.
10. Act fast
Domain names sell quickly. Thankfully, many domain names are also inexpensive, so register your favorite domain names as soon as possible. If you’re having trouble finding an available name, domain registrars like GoDaddy will suggest alternate names during your domain search to help you find the perfect domain name.
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Try out our free business name generator also.
This article includes content originally written by Jeff Trumpold.