10 Tips for finding the best domain name
Whether you’re already a veteran business owner, or you’ve just decided to jump into entrepreneurial waters, getting your business online should be of the utmost priority. No company, no matter how big or small, can get the visibility it needs and deserves unless it established a presence on the internet.
The easiest way to achieve this is to create a website for your business. Building a website from scratch is both a pretty costly and a time-consuming process. It’s a process that requires design and coding skills which can take years to master. However, there is a way around this, and it’s much simpler than you think.
To make the process of creating a website for your business as easy as you possibly can, we suggest going with a trusted website building platform. Choose a reliable platform with great customer service, a user-friendly interface and integrated SEO. Not only will such a platform make the setup process a breeze, but it will make maintaining and updating your website in the future so much easier.
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When you choose to build your web page with an easy-to-use, responsive website builder, most of the heavy lifting is already done. The only thing that’s left for you to do, after you’ve set up a page, is to choose a domain name. Choosing a domain name is an extremely important, yet often overlooked step. Having a relevant domain name for your website will aid you in establishing an online presence, increasing the visibility of your website, and expanding your client base.
Seeing how important having the right domain name is, choosing it might seem like an almost impossible task. However, coming up with a perfect domain name for your website doesn’t have to be a frustrating and tiresome task.
Following these 10 tips will lead you to a great, relevant domain name that’s going to do wonders for your website’s visibility and help you grow your business.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind:
1.Start by searching for relevant keywords
SEO is the core of every single process and platform that exists in the digital world, so applying the same SEO principles to your domain name should be a given.
Take your name or your company’s name as a base and start researching keywords from there. See what are the most popular terms and phrases used by people searching for your particular craft or product, and try to incorporate it into your domain name. It could be something as simple and general as “cafe” or “pizzeria”, or something as narrow and specific as, say for example, “parquet flooring” or “craft brewer”.
Write down a few of the most popular keywords and phrases that are narrowly tied to your particular industry, and see how you can combine them with your or your company’s name.
2.Make it short
Once you’ve got a few keywords to choose from, you can start looking into ways to make your domain name as short as possible. Having a short domain name means it’s easier to share, remember and type.
However, it’s important you don’t make it too short. While this advice might look counterproductive, it’s actually not that hard to apply. Unless you already have an established business and a pretty recognizable name, we suggest you skip the abbreviations and acronyms. While everyone knows what www.nasa.gov, www.fbi.com, and www.pwc.com stand for, the acronym for your artisanal craft beer shop in the Bronx probably isn’t a household name just yet.
Remember – keep it brief, simple and clear. If you’ve used your name to build a company, and it’s instantly recognizable in your industry, use that as your domain name. A great example of that would be websites such as www.martinallen.co.uk and www.neilpatel.com – the former is a flooring fitter company based in the UK, while the latter is a company that teaches people how to use online marketing to grow their business. What they both have in common is the fact that both of the owners’ names have become synonymous with their craft, so their domain name is basically self-explanatory.
Another great example of a brief, simple and clear domain name is www.animalrescue.com.
3.Make it easy to spell
Using common words known by the vast majority of the English-speaking population is a given. Unless you’re targeting a pretty small and specific crowd (say, doctors with PhDs), then you’re probably better off not using words you wouldn’t be comfortable spelling in real life.
However, there are words that are will be both hard to spell and a necessary part of your domain name. If you’re an otorhinolaryngologist and want to set up a website for your private practice, it’d be a good idea to use abbreviations such as ENT (ear-nose-throat) or ORL as parts of your domain name.
If your company name is already a play on words or has an intentional spelling error in it, you should try to keep it as short as possible. That way, even if someone mistypes the name, the mistake can be corrected quickly and efficiently. A great example for that is www.lyft.com, a ride-sharing company based in California.
4.Don’t use numbers or hyphens
Following these steps has probably brought you to a perfect domain name for your company. However, with the amount of websites that already exist, and the number of new ones being started every minute, chances are that your perfect domain is already taken.
When this happens, people usually tend to add hyphens, numbers and/or other symbols to the name of their company – making their domain name unintelligible, hard to remember and even harder to spell.
Unless your company’s name has a number in it, or there’s a particular number that’s associated with your area or industry – avoid them at all costs. The same goes for hyphens and other symbols.
An example of a good usage of numbers in domain names would be www.site123.com, www.10corp.com, www.99designs.com.
Contrary to that, an example of poor usage of numbers and symbols in a domain name would be adding random, unconnected number sequences to it, such as www.pizza-delivery_345.com, or www.flooring_experts-austin-1.com.
5.Don’t use slang
Coming up with an original name or title can be hard, especially if you’re in an industry with a lot of competition. That can prompt people to start using slang and sometimes even vulgarisms. While opting for a colloquial version of a certain word can be a good thing, using only slang in your domain name can do you more harm than good.
First of all – not all people are up to date with the latest slang words. Unless you’re targeting a pretty specific and small audience (e.g. teenagers), you’re better off staying away from informal speech altogether.
Secondly – the very definition of slang implies that it changes all the time. Registering a domain which could become obsolete in a year or two isn’t such a smart business idea when you come to think of it.
6.Choose an appropriate extension
Coming up with the perfect domain name will get you one step closer to the finish line. However, your job doesn’t end the minute you choose the name– there’s also the problem of choosing the right extension for your website.
There are numerous extensions to choose from, and knowing which one will benefit both you and your company can be hard to predict. If your desired domain name is available with a .com extension – it should be your first and probably your only choice.
The .com extension is the most popular and most recognizable extension available, and registering your domain name under it will help your website look more professional and trustworthy.
If .com isn’t available, there are other alternatives to choose from, some of which could work even better for your particular domain name or industry. You can choose from the always popular .co, .net, .org,, .info and .biz, for an instantly recognizable extension.
Here’s a list of a few more interesting extensions that will surely set your website apart from the competition and help you increase your visibility:
.news – Great for blogs, magazines and up and coming news agencies
.moda – A fantastic way to set your fashion label apart
.cafe – Make your café’s website memorable
.pizza – What says pizza more than an actual .pizza extension
.design – Perfect for artists, architects, interior designers and even landscapers
.foundation – For an instantly recognizable and easy to remember charity organization or nonprofit
7.Target your area
As we’ve said before, you should always have SEO in mind, even when it comes to your domain name. The easiest and probably the most efficient way you can improve your website’s SERP ranking is to target a specific country, area or city.
There are a few different ways you can do this, the first being to target a particular geographical area by using a local extension. If you’re based in Europe and often do business internationally, use extensions such as .eu, .international or .int. For UK based companies, choose .co.uk or .uk, .au for Australia, or .ca for Canada. You can even target a specific city by opting for extensions such as .nyc, .miami, .london, or .berlin.
The second way you can target a particular area is to include the name of a particular city or area in your domain name, and go with a less specific extension such as .biz or .com. Add the name of your country, state, province or city so your visitors know where you’re located. This will also help your website have a better SERP ranking, even if your SEO doesn’t match the exact keywords used.
8.Do your research
An important step in the process of choosing and registering a domain name is to do some research on the name and extension you’ve chosen.
It won’t take more than 10 or 15 minutes of your time, and it will be incredibly beneficial both for your website and your business. Take the keywords you’ve used, the domain name you’ve chosen and the extension you want to go with and search for similar sounding or commonly misspelled versions of them.
People tend to make the same mistakes over and over again – misspell common words, remember the words in a phrase in the wrong order and try to guess things they’re not sure about. You can use that natural human tendency to make mistakes to increase the visibility of your website by registering the misspelled versions of your domain name.
That way, even if people make typos or use the wrong extension, they can be redirected to your original website. Domain names can be pretty cheap, especially if they’re misspelled or have an unusual extension. For less than $5 per year, you can redirect every typo to your website, and turn those visitors into paying customers.
9.Use free online tools for extra help
No computer code can be as creative as a person can, but when it comes to choosing a domain name – a little extra help can go a long way.
There are many different tools available online that can give you a push in the right direction when it comes to choosing the best domain for your website. These apps work by giving you all the possible combinations of words, phrases, and extensions for your desired keyword. We’ll list a few of the best and most reliable websites you can use. However, as helpful as they can be, we suggest only using them at the end of your search. Using these tools as your first and primary resource will make your domain name lack originality, integrity, and the necessary personal touch.
Here are some of the tools you can use that can help you choose a domain name:
This tool is great for generating names for different purposes – you can start by typing in your desired keyword, and watch it come up with domain names suitable for branding.
A great tool for those lacking words, Impossibility comes up with different combinations of verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs and your keyword. We love it because you can choose if you want the extra words to appear before or after your keyword.
Bustaname.com is a pretty powerful tool that lets you type in your keyword along with as many related keywords as you want, and comes up with different combinations you can use for your domain name.
Having gone through the all of the trouble that is coming up with a perfect domain name for your website, it’d be a shame you lost it because you failed to act on it.
Domain names sell like hot cakes, especially the good ones. With the addition of dozens of new extensions every day, people are jumping into the opportunity to make some quick cash by buying out all the popular domain names and then reselling them to companies.
And while the name of your small company might not be worth millions of dollars (check out this list of the most expensive domain names ever sold), having to pay extra for a particular domain is an unnecessary burden. That’s why it’s important to act fast and secure the domain you want before anybody else snatches it.
If you follow the above-mentioned steps, you’ll have no problems coming up with a perfect domain name for your website.
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