Within the past few months I have seen numerous domain names registered through us that were either too complicated or too damn long. Discovering how to select a domain name is of the utmost importance whether you will be searching for a domain name for your online business or for a personalized site or blog. Below are a few simple rules to adhere to which will help with selecting the ideal domain name. May your search for the greatest domain name be a snap!
- Start with 5 Simple Words
When you first start your domain name search, you will benefit from having at least 5 terms or phrases in mind that has some relevance to your company’s product or service. Once you have this list, you could begin by adding prefixes and suffixes to get a rough idea of your domain name. You can use http://www.dotomator.com/ to combine words into a list of potential domain names, then check them all at once to see if any are still available. In regards to the subject of your domain for example, if you’re launching a fishing related domain, you will start with statements like “lures, fishermen, bait & tackle, outdoorsmen, reels” then mix them up a few times until you have something that works for you.
- Make it Easy to Type
If a domain name demands your undivided attention to type correctly, resulting from spelling, length or the utilization of bizarre words or sounds, you’ve lost a good chunk of your branding and advertising value. User-experience experts will tell you to avoid certain letters in your domain name for they are not easy-to-type-letters (which I understand as avoiding “q,” “z,” “x,” “c,” and “p”). I say use what letters you want just keep them at a minimum.
- Use a Unique Domain Name
It takes creativity to develop a new domain that is memorable. Taking the time to find a unique domain name will pay off in the end. But having your website confused with another site because you simply chose to place a hyphen in the name is a recipe for disaster and plain lazy. Thus, one should never use the plural, hyphenated or misspelled version of an undoubtedly recognized domain.
- Stick to Dot-Com Domains
The .com TLD (top-level domain) is by far the most commonly recognized extension for a domain name. If you are searching for a domain name for a company then it is even more important to pick a .com for your domain name due to the credibility that a .com domain brings. Without a doubt, you will still find some very successful companies that have domain names ending in .net or .org but just think; as a new company you don’t really want to gamble that potential customers will remember if you either have .com or .net? There are some exceptions to this rule of course. If you run a business that is based in a country outside of the United States then it can be smart to use a local TLD (.uk for the United Kingdom, .au for Australia, .ca for Canada, .de for Germany, .cn for China, etc.).
- K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple & Short)
Just because some places allow you to register a name with up to 63 characters doesn’t mean you should use all 63 characters. You have to keep in mind that people need to be able to remember it, and easily type it into their browser. Keep the preceding two rules in mind. In addition to being brief, short domain names allow for a better fit on company cards as well as other offline media. Try to fit jacksonvilleseoconsultancyandmarketing.com on a business card and make it look appealing to the eye.
- Is it Easy to Remember?
Remember that word-of-mouth and SERPs controlled advertising (where your domain consistently pops into their heads for industry-related searches) count on the ease with which the domain can be remembered. You do not want to be that person with the awesome website that no one can ever remember correctly.
- Make the Name Intuitive
What do the domain names CareerBuilder.com, Hotmail.com, AutoTrader.com and WebMD.com all have in common? You know exactly what to expect from their website before you even make a visit. You get the general idea.
- Copyright Infringement is a No-No
This is certainly a mistake that can destroy a great domain as well as a great business when it does. The easiest way to avoid infringing upon someone’s copyright visit www.copyright.gov and Google before you purchase.
- Avoid Hyphens and Numerals
Yes, this tip was stated earlier but it bears repeating. A hyphenated domain name will typically be seen as a cheap replacement for the same domain name without the hyphen in the eyes of many visitors. You do not want to send the message to your visitors that you are settling for second best and could only register www.toms-widgets.com and not the better choice of www.tomswidgets.com. Also, numerals in a domain can work some of the time but avoid replacing typical words with numerals as they can often be unclear and hard to recall. For example, try not to use the numeral “4″ instead of “for”, “2″ instead of “to”, etc. A special mention of the numeral “0” as it is often mistaken for the letter “O” and vice versa. Make sure that there is no confusion between the two in your domain name.
- Get Friendly Advice
When you have finally exhausted your options and settled on a few available name choices, ask your friends and colleagues what they think? Just because you understand your choice of name doesn’t mean everyone will find it easy to remember. Does it roll off the tongue well? Can they even spell it properly? If you need to explain your choice of domain name then you should head back to the “drawing board” and make revisions.
- Domain Selectors Tools
There are a number of websites that make domain selection and easy task to complete. A website like GoDaddy.com or our own NQNMediaGroup.com has a simple, yet effective means of checking domain name availability. You can find a name you like that’s available, then go to your registrar of choice.
So, the next time you are having trouble with the next big domain remember these tips.
Author: LA Pride
LA Pride is a native Floridian who is interested in many things including temporal physics, critical thinking, board games, kite boarding and photography to name a few. His primary areas of interest include web CMS, vector and 3D art. He is also the Founder and Sr. Web Developer of NQN Media Group. You can visit his website, or friend him on Facebook.