A domain name is one of the essential elements for creating a website. However, choosing the perfect domain name can be challenging, especially when considering domain availability.
It’s also important for business owners to know that their chosen domain name can impact their website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and overall site performance.
This article will show you six methods to select a domain that’s not only suitable for your brand, but also for attracting visitors and ranking well on search engines.
1. Pay Attention to Domain Extensions
A domain extension, also called a top-level domain (TLD), is the suffix following a domain name, such as .com and .us.
There are currently over 1,500 TLDs available , but there are some crucial factors to consider when deciding which domain extension to opt for.
A good tip is to start by choosing from one of the main TLD categories:
- Generic top-level domains (gTLDs). These domain extensions are suitable for any type of website and generally have no usage restrictions. For example, .com is excellent for business websites, while .shop is ideal for online stores.
- Country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs). They represent a geographical location – perfect for targeting a specific market. For instance, the United Kingdom’s ccTLD is .co.uk.
Use a gTLD to inform users about your website type, or opt for ccTLD if you want to target visitors in a specific geographic area.
2. Keep the Name Short
Short domain names are easy to read, type, and remember, which is beneficial for boosting brand awareness.
A rule of thumb is keeping it to 12 characters maximum or choosing a name with two syllables like Prada and Google. For businesses with a long brand name, we recommend using an acronym such as BMW.com for Bavarian Motor Works.
Due to the .com extension’s popularity, finding a short domain name with this TLD can be difficult. In that case, consider pairing your chosen website name with a different TLD, like .org or .net.
3. Choose a Brandable Name
Brandable domain names are unique and memorable. Starbucks.com is a great example, compared to thebestcoffee.com, which sounds too generic and doesn’t represent the brand image.
Before purchasing your website address at a domain registrar, here are three ways to come up with brandable domain name ideas:
- Use a domain name generator like Namelix or Looka. Enter keywords relevant to your business to get various suggestions.
- Find rhyming words to help people remember your name better. Examples of this include Crunch ‘n Munch and Ring Dings.
- Search for domain ideas in books, mythology, or movies. The name Nike, for instance, was inspired by Greek mythology.
4. Incorporate Keywords
Brainstorming domain ideas that are completely unique is challenging, especially with millions of domains already registered. So, incorporating relevant keywords can be a great alternative if your exact desired domain name is taken – and it’s also excellent for SEO.
We advise including your company name so that the domain is still brandable. Let’s say you own a travel agency named Sakura. Go with sakuratravel.com or experiment with other domain extensions like sakuratravel.agency or sakuraagency.travel.
5. Avoid Numbers and Hyphens
Adding hyphens seems like an easy fix when your preferred domain is not available. However, this is not a good idea since people can accidentally mistype your domain name, resulting in lost potential traffic.
In addition, using special characters makes it harder to recall a domain. It’s also inconvenient to share it in conversation, as you’ll need to verbalize the hyphen out loud by saying “dash” each time.
Another tip when you choose a domain name is to avoid numbers because they can confuse visitors. For instance, a hotel named 24Hotel may leave people wondering if the domain is 24hotel.com or twentyfourhotel.com.
6. Consider the Legalities
Before buying a new domain, ensure to verify its availability using a domain checker tool. Purchasing registered domain names is not possible unless you contact the domain owner to negotiate.
If you are considering buying an existing domain name from marketplaces like Flippa, research the domain’s history first, as it could affect your site’s search rankings. A good domain history should be free from Google penalties , like unnatural links and keyword stuffing.
Additionally, avoid using existing brand names because it may lead to legal issues, especially if the owners have registered the name as a trademark. Ensure yours is original by checking the chosen website name in your country’s trademark database.
Having a perfect domain name involves balancing SEO and brand identity. The key lies in choosing the right domain name extension while keeping it concise and brandable. Remember to utilize domain name generators or add keywords if your preferred domain is unavailable. In general, avoid numbers and hyphens and check whether a potential domain is taken or trademarked to prevent legal issues.
Whatever strategy you choose, make sure to find reputable domain registrars to purchase your business’ ideal domain. Alternatively, get a free domain name when buying a web hosting plan from a reliable provider.