Choosing a domain name is essentially choosing your business name. Sometimes deciding whether if you should go with a keyword or a brandable name is something I struggled with when I was choosing domain names for my websites. Even though you can change the domain name, later on, it is messy and trouble to do later on. So it is important that you choose it right the first time.
You really shouldn’t have to spend hours thinking of a domain name. As a beginner without any clues, I spent a looooong time to decide on a domain name. It seemed like ALL the good ones were taken. But I assure you, that’s not the case. I have created a few websites in the last few years, so I know a few things about how to find the perfect domain for your business. So here are my 10 tips for choosing the right domain name. And this is from personal experience.
Tip 1: It Doesn’t Have to be a Keyword
I know it is sometimes tempting to go with a keyword in your niche as your domain name. After all, it should help with your SEO as well, right?
Yes and no, it will help depending on your niche, but it definitely isn’t significant. You have to decide how important a keyword is for you.
Let me help you with this. What the first thing comes to your mind when I say the word “Google”?
It is the company Google and the search engine, isn’t it?
What about eBay? Or Etsy? Or Amazon?
These are all brands that you know and probably use regularly. So as you can see, It didn’t stop these companies from becoming million if not billion-dollar companies by coming up with cool brandable names. Always keep in mind that choosing a brandable name and making it your own can work equally as well as a keyword.
Tip 2: How You Can Get ANY Domain Name You Want
OK, let’s say you have to have a specific word in the domain name – No exceptions and you won’t settle for anything else.
Here’s my secret to getting that domain name…
You have to be a little bit creative here. Let’s say you want the domain, “Hockey Gear”.
Here’s what I would do to get those words in my domain.
Add words like your name, Mr, Hub, Great, Super, Find, Shop to the end or to the beginning of the domain name.
For e.g: AdamsHockeyGearShop, MrHockeyGear, GreatHockeyGear, FindHockeyGear, HockeyGearHub.
See how easy it is.
My website JustOnlineBusiness.com is a prime example of this. This is the only website I created that I wanted keywords in it. As you can see I’m more than happy with the name I chose using this method.
Tip 3: Make it Easy for People to Remember
Brandable or a keyword, you have to keep your domain name something that people can remember easily.
There is a certain criteria I follow when choosing my domain:
Short and Sweet
You don’t want domains like thebestpetshopforlabradordogs.com. It is way too long and no one is going to remember a domain like this.
Easy to Type
Don’t write Xpress instead of express or n3w instead or new. It is hard to remember these kinda words. You will lose some direct visitors to your site if your domain name is like this.
Also, avoid (-) hyphens. It can be tempting to include it in the domain to get the domain you want but, it is likely your customers will forget to include that when they looking to directly visit your site if they haven’t bookmarked it already.
The only exception to this is, if you have already built a brand around a name using numbers, hyphens and shortened words – then you probably should keep it as it is.
Tip 4: How to Find Cool, Hip and Brandable Domain Name Ideas
If you decide to go for a brandable name, and you are struggling to come with cool brandable domain name ideas, I get it. It happens to me all the time. Our brains sometimes suck at being creative. When that happens, I use these tools to come up with ideas.
Use a Thesaurus
This is something I’ve used in the past. I was struggling to come up with related words and I used a thesaurus to find synonyms.
Use a Domain Name Generator
Domain Name Generator is another tool you can use to find cool brandable names for your business.
In the past, I have used DomainWheel to get some domain name ideas.
Tip 5: Choose Your Domain Extension Wisely
It may come as
.org and .net is a good second choice, depending on what you are creating a website for, something like .org can sometimes make more sense than a .com if it lets say a website you are creating for a sports club or something along those lines.
If your business is a local business, then it makes a whole lot sense to have a domain like .uk or .com.au. Having an extension like this for a local business can actually increase your local traffic to your site, as the people can see their country extension in the domain name.
Tip 6: Think About the Future of Your Business
What I mean is, as an example let’s say, you might create a site using the domain bluetshirts .com. It makes sense as it is the only thing you will be writing and promoting about right now in your business. But what if you want to sell red or pink or yellow t-shirts in the future? So leave some room for expansion.
This is not a problem if you know that this is the only thing you will be promoting and not thinking of expanding into other areas.
Tip 7: Use One Domain Registrar to R
egister All Your Domains
If you are creating your first site or don’t have a successful online business domain registered with any domain registrar then I encourage you to shop around and find a well-known registrar that is also cheap.
It’s not that you can’t change your domain hosts but you should rather do the research now and find a good company to host all your future domain names.
Why do I say that?
It is much easier to log in to one company and manage all your domain names in one go than to switch between multiple registrar’s and remember their usernames and passwords.
I personally use NameCheap to host all my domain names and they have good customer support and competitive prices for their domains.
Tip 8: Do Some Research on the Domain Name
When I find the domain name that’s available and that I’m happy with, I just do a simple google search on that domain name (without the extension – for eg: .com) to see if any big companies have copyrighted or use that name. This is important because you don’t want to find out later on that you have to change it or even face legal action.
And one more thing….
I also do a background check of the domain name to see what that domain name was used for in the past. For this, I use the Wayback Machine. This tool takes photos of the sites the domain was used for in the past. How cool is that?
Tip 9: Keep Your Domain Information Private
As I said, I use NameCheap for all my domain names. And with them, they have a feature called Whois guard. I’m sure other registrars will also have this. Make sure you enable Whois Guard, to keep your personal details private. Otherwise, your personal information is public for everyone to see. This feature replaces your information with the Domain Registrar’s information.
Tip 10: Set Your New Domain to Auto-renew
You found a domain you’re happy with, you worked on it for so long. Once 1 year is up – You don’t want to lose your domain. Make sure you set the domain to auto-renew. You can always go back and turn this off, so better to keep it on until you decide that you no longer want to keep the domain.
I almost lost a domain name because I forgot when it renewed. Luckily the domain went into a grace period where I was able to renew it successfully. If I was late by a few more days, I might have lost the domain name I worked so hard at. Don’t let that happen to you.
So there it is friends, these are my top tips for choosing a perfect domain name. I personally use all these tips when I’m in the market to buy domains. Hunting for domain names
At the end of the day, your domain name can be anything. It can be a made-up word or keyword or something that just came to you in the shower lol. It really doesn’t matter. What matters is the content and building a brand on the name you’ve chosen.
If you have any questions regarding any of my tips, please ask below. If you have your own tips, please share it with all of us, I’m always down for some knowledge and I’m sure the readers will appreciate it too.