Choosing the right domain name is the essential step to building an online presence or eCommerce business. While its true that you can build the content of a website without a domain name, choosing the right domain name helps start you on building the character, them and overall appearance of the website. With a domain name, the project starts to take shape and develops. But, that is only part of the process, getting people TO the website is essential. Having an easy to type, easy to remember domain name is required. In addition, there are factors that have to do with if the search engines consider the domain name credible and search engine friendly.
TIPS TO FOLLOW:
- Start with a .com name and then [level-premier-free]work with others as needed. Most people use .com domains so your first stop should be with a .com domain name.
- Register the singular and plural domains of your name. If you register a great domain name and fail to register the singular or plural of the domain name, you can be that your competition will and point it to their website.
- The domain should “roll of your tongue”. Pick a domain name that is easy to say. Its hard to say MQPQ5Q.com for example.
- Get your main keyword in the domain name. If you are selling pet supplies for example, try to get the word pet supply or pet supplies in the domain name. This a free way to increase your search engine optimization and makes your website somewhat more search engine friendly.
- Use Godaddy.com to register your domain names. There are many registrar choices for registering your domain name as well as many varying expenses. Today, as this is written, the cost to register a domain name at Godaddy is $14.99 a year. By contract NetworkSolutions charges $34.99 a year for the same domain name. Namecheap appears to have domains for $9.98 a year or $2.99 depending on which link you click. But we prefer Godaddy with the auto-renew feature, this way you won’t run the risk of loosing the domain in the future.
- Use specific tools to generate variations. Nameboy.com has a great tool to help you investigation domains that you want, if they are available and which are taken. It also gives you variations of the domain name and shows you visually what is availalbe and what is taken. Use this tool and then see item #5 for registration. Another great source is Dotomator, BustaName.
- Select a domain that mirrors or suggests your product line or service. Customers may see your domain for a flashing moment in the search engines and getting a domain name that “clicks” in the mind of the customer is key to getting them to click through to your website.
- Register misspellings and variations of your domain name. Registering the misspellings, mispronunciations and other quirks to your domain name, and pointing to your primary domain is key to benefiting from the incorrect usage of your domain.
- Find expired or abandoned domain names. Using a tool like StuckNames you can find domain names that have been abandoned or where the owner has failed to register a good name.
- Smashingmagazine.com did a GREAT article on the advanced metrics of domain name selection. For advanced domain name metrics, I recommend reading this.
THINGS TO AVOID:
- Avoid domain names with hyphens, odd characters or more than four words. Some have said that more than one hyphen will result in Google penalizing your website.
- Use caution with names that may be Trademarks unless you are building a fan site.
- Avoid spelling quirks. Domain names that are hard to spell or often misspelled should be avoided. Cute replacements for real works like “4” for “four”, are also confusing and unless you are going to register all variations of the domain name, these should be avoided.
- Procrastination. You can spend a lifetime tending to the creation of a great domain name. This should not take more than an hour or two, max. If you find yourself taking too long, do as the Latin meaning for decision suggest, “cut off from” and make a decision.
- Non-auto-renew registrars. There are tons of registrars out there that allow you to register domain names, some even have cleverly crafted discounts to get you in the door. But if they are lacking an auto-renew feature, run from them like the plague. Without your domain name auto-renewing, its easy to lose, I have been there!
Much like your home address, it can be as simple or as complicated as you make it. You can say, Bob’s house or you can say Latitude 747, Longitude 473 on a grid map for the United States, or you can spell out the address. Creativity is key and using the right tools helps speed up the process. But the best process is between your ears. A pad of paper, a pen and brainstorming has served the author well.
- Domain name should be catchy and easy to remember
- The shorter the better – while everyone desires a short domain name, they are hard to come by. If you have the main keywords to your product line in the domain and its long, that’s okay too!
- Easy to spell
- Easy to say and pronounce
- Unique as possible and different than competition
- Avoids a trademark issue
Remember that the best names are simple, short and to the point. The best domain names are already taken and will be for the foreseeable future. So be creative, have fun and take action now!