Choosing a good domain name is one of the most important tasks when building a digital asset and it requires a lot of thought and consideration. The domain will represent your brand online. You have to choose a name that represents the essence of your business as well as make it easy for you to promote it on search engines. A pretty domain name that does not rank in a search engine can be very detrimental.
The following are the top ten tips when choosing a domain name.
1. Select a good Top-level domain.
A domain is split into two main parts. A Top-level domain and Second-Level domain. The top-level domain represents the category of the domain
The .com is the most common type of top-level domain and most browsers autocomplete a domain name with a .com. You should always opt for a .com domain as it will make it easy for users to remember your domain. The disadvantage of using a .com TLD is that the availability of domain is very limited and it might take you a while to find a good domain name that suits you.
2. Short and easy to type
Try to choose a domain name that is easy to type and short. Short domain names are easier to remember. If a domain is hard to type or complex there is a risk that the user will mis-type it. Short domain names are also more valuable and tend to increase in value over time due to their limited availability.
3. Use Keywords
Use keywords that reflect your business or product. The domain name plays a very important role when it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). The site will rank better for keywords that match the domain name.
4. Avoid using hyphens and numbers.
Don’t get tempted to use a hyphen in the domain name. There is a high risk that users will forget it and end up on a competitor site. It is very hard to verbally communicate words that contain hyphens and numbers. It is hard to determine if a number represents is a numeric value or the word representation.
5. Avoid trademarks
Don’t use words that represent a trademark. Tough very tempting using a trademarked name that you don’t own as part of the keywords can generate legal issues.
6. Don’t use expired domains
Expired domains are domains that have not been renewed by their owners and typically end up on auction sites. From an SEO perspective, an expired domain will rank faster in search engines as search engines give an older domain a higher ranking. However, there is a risk the domain might have been used for illegal activity or the site on the domain was compromised and it was used to distribute viruses. The domain might have been banned by google. This means that your domain will never rank. If you still want to opt for an expired domain review this guide to determine the history of a domain.
7. Register your domain with a trusted Domain Registrar.
A Domain Registrar is the entity that is entrusted by the Domain Registers to sell the top-level domains on their behalf. To register ownership of a domain you will need to select a Domain Registrar that you will use to manage your domain. Follow this guide to select the top Domain Registrars in the industry
Make sure that the domain name is also available on social media. When you build a brand it is important that it is consistent on any medium that a user might use. It is important that you check that the domain name is available on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. It will make it simpler for the user to get information about your company if they use the same brand name.
9. Domain Name Generators
Use a domain name generator. Domain name generators are online tools that generate different combinations of the keywords you want to use as your domain name. They will also check for the availability of the domain.
10. Target your area.
If your business is located within a specific area it would be more beneficial if you include the location as part of the domain name. Given that keywords in the domain are important for search engines. You will rank higher for users that search businesses or services in a specific location. If you own a hairdresser shop in Leeds UK it would be beneficial if you name your domain leadshairdresser.com. You will get ranked better when people will search for hairdressers in Leeds.
With over 250 thousand domain registration per day, it is important that once you have selected the domain name you register it immediately so you don’t end up in a scenario where someone else might buy it before you do.