Choosing a domain is like picking the name for your brand. It will last for long together with your business or your own brand name. Therefore, you need to ask yourself how to choose a domain name smartly before buying one. Here are some notes for you.
1. Contain keyword
When you first begin your domain name search, it helps to have a small set of terms or phrases in mind that best describe the domain you’re seeking. Once you have this list, you can start to pair them or add prefixes & suffixes to create good domain ideas. For example, if you’re launching a mortgage related domain, you might start with words like “mortage, finance, equity, interest, house” then play around until you can find a good match.
2. Keep it short
Short names are easy to type and easy to remember (see the previous two rules). They also allow for more characters in the URL in the SERPs and a better fit on social networks, print media, and every form of offline marketing (including the essential Word-of-Mouth).
3. Easy to remember
Remember that word-of-mouth and SERPs dominance marketing (where your domain consistently comes up for industry-related searches) both rely on the ease with which the domain can be called to mind. You don’t want to be the company with the terrific website that no one can ever remember to tell their friends about because they can’t remember the domain name. There are a huge number of benefits to SEO from following brand best practices, and you will hurt your long-term results by ignoring them.
4. Easy to type
If a domain name requires considerable attention to type correctly, due to spelling, length or the use of un-memorable words or sounds, you’ve lost a good portion of your branding and marketing value. I’ve even heard usability folks toute the value of having the letters include easy-to-type letters (which I interpret as avoiding “q,” “z,” “x,” “c,” and “p”).
5. No trademark
Make sure the name you’ve selected isn’t trademarked, copyrighted or being used by another company. It could result in a huge legal mess that could cost you a fortune, as well as your domain!
6. Avoid Hyphens and Numbers
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.
7. Domain extension
If you’re not concerned with type-in traffic, branding or name recognition, you don’t need to worry about this one. However, if you’re at all serious about building a successful website over the long-term, you should be worried about all of these elements, and while directing traffic to a different domain is fine, owning and 301’ing the .com is critical. With the exception of the very tech-savvy (e.g. OnPage.org can get away with their name because they specifically target a domain/web-savvy group), most people who use the web still make the automatic assumption that .com is all that’s out there – don’t make the mistake of locking out or losing traffic to these folks. I make this recommendation even in light of all the new TLD extensions available in the web’s modern era – a site like “ilove.pasta” simply won’t be read as a visitable or memorable web address by the overwhelming majority of consumers.
8. Act now
Domain names sell quickly. Thankfully, they’re 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.