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10 Tips To Pick A Winning Domain Name For Your Business

Julia Gao Miller
Julia Gao Miller

Published: December 23, 2021

Last updated: April 26, 2022

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picking a domain name

Why Your Domain Name Matters

Choosing the right domain name for your website is crucial for the success of your business. Your domain name is as much a part of your brand as your logo. Even if you’ve nailed your branding in every other respect, if your domain name puts potential customers off, they’ll likely go elsewhere. Not to mention it can be a hassle to switch domains later on without hurting your brand and search rankings.

The opposite is also true. If your web address is accurate, fun, easy to pronounce, people will be eager to check it out and share it. First impressions matter, and sometimes your domain name will be the initial experience people will have of your brand.

What Makes A Good Domain Name?

Generally speaking, you’ll want something memorable, brandable, and easy for people to type and pronounce. It’s also smart to avoid anything too long or overly specific. By following these ten guidelines, you can pick out a domain name that helps to drive more traffic your way.

1. Make Your Domain Name Short, Easy to Pronounce/Spell

1. A. Why You Should Use Short Domain Names

There are several reasons short domain names work better. First, shorter names are easier to remember and type. We recommend keeping your domain name under 15 characters. 

An overly long domain name can look suspicious and are harder for your users to remember. Not to mention, users will also be more prone to entering typos with longer domain names which can lead to lost traffic.

1. B. Easy to Pronounce/Spell

There will also come a time when you’ll have to give someone your website or email address verbally. Word-of-mouth is still powerful advertising. And it only works when people can easily pronounce and spell your domain. 

An easy to remember domain increases the odds that people will visit and pass the site along to their networks. Having an easy-to-understand and spell domain name is also useful if you’re planning to use your domain name to create a professional business email address.

2. Make Your Domain Name Brandable, and Flexible

2. A. A Unique and Brandable Domain Name

A name or mark which is fit to be used to market a product or service to a wide audience. E.g. That company name is very brandable.Jacknames.com is a very brandable domain name.

– Urban Dictionary

Your domain name should be unique, so you can stand out in your readers’ minds. Research other websites in your niche and find out what domain names they’re using. Once you’ve come up with a name you like, share it with close friends to make sure it sounds appealing and makes sense to them.

Brandable domain names are unique, catchy, and memorable. For example, “Amazon.com” is a much more brandable name than “BuyBooksOnline.com.”.

StitchFix is another excellent example of a unique, brandable name. “StitchFix” is fun to say, doesn’t have any inherent meaning, and is easy to remember and spell…

Example: StitchFix

2. B. Pick A Domain Name That Is Flexible

Properly moving your site to a new domain can be a frustrating process, and it can cause you to lose search rankings if you don’t do it right. That’s why it is important to pick a flexible domain name from the start. Don’t paint yourself into a box. 

While it’s smart to choose a domain name related to your industry/niche, you also don’t want to limit your long-term options too much. Leave room for your website to grow.

For example, a florist might choose a domain name like orchidblog.com, but then they may want to start blogging about other flowers besides orchids. In that case, the domain might prevent you from attracting readers interested in other flowers.

3. Avoid These In Your Domain Names: Hyphens, Numbers and Double Letters

Generally, when you’re brainstorming domain name ideas, try to avoid anything that isn’t a letter.

3. A. Hyphens

Using hyphens may seem like a creative way to get the domain name you want.  Unfortunately, they’re tough to express verbally. They also make the domain more difficult to type. Some people will likely forget about them entirely and end up on someone else’s website. Hyphens can be a sign of spam domains which you do not want to be associated with.

Last but not least, if you choose a domain name with hyphens because the domain you want is already taken, then your users will likely end up at your competitor’s site if they forget to type in the hyphen.

3. B. Numbers

People who hear your website address don’t know if you’re using a numeral (5) or it’s spelled out (five).

3. C. Doubled Letters

Using doubled letters in a domain name is practically asking for typos. Doubled letters are hard to read and even harder to type correctly.

For example, a domain like Presssetup.com will be more prone to typos and result in lost traffic. Avoiding doubled letters will also make your domain easy to type and more brandable.

Good VS. Bad Domain Choices

4. Picking Your Ideal Top-Level Domain Extension.

A Top Level Domain (TLD) is the piece of your domain that comes after the site’s name. The most common TLDs are .com , .net , and .org .

4. A. Suggestion: Stick to .COM Top Level Domains

While it can be tempting to come up with clever blog names using new domain name extensions, .com is still the most established and credible domain name extension. Dot-com domains are the most memorable. Many users, especially those who aren’t as tech-savvy, will automatically type “.com” or their countries respective tld at the end of every domain name without thinking about it. Most smartphone keyboards automatically have a country specific tld built in so it definitely worth considering this as an alternative if you can’t find a dot com.

In the past, newer domain extensions like .ninja, .photography, and others could make your business appear less established, but we’re now seeing more businesses than ever coming up with clever ways to use them. Larger brands are now using domain tld’s like .store and we’re seeing an influx of schools choosing, you guessed it – .school. So don’t rule them out.

Of course, it’s possible you won’t be able to secure a decent domain name with a .com TLD since many are already taken. It’s not the end of the world if you have to use an alternative.

4. B. Other Popular Top Level Domains

You’ll find tons of available domain name options that can add personality to your web address. Just make sure that whatever you select makes sense for your website and audience.

Generic top-level domains — like .app , .photography , .nyc and .guru — offer a great opportunity to register short and highly relevant names. Here are some other top extensions and how they’re often used:.

  • .co : an abbreviation for company, commerce, Colombia and community.
  • .info : informational sites.
  • .net : technical, Internet infrastructure sites.
  • .org : non-commercial organizations and nonprofits.
  • .biz : business or commercial use, like e-commerce sites.
  • .me : blogs, resumes or personal sites.

5. Use Keywords In Your Domain Name or Top Level Domain

5. A. Industry Specific Keywords

Keywords aren’t just for content. Keywords play an important role in a domain. By using keywords in your domain name, you tell the search engines what your website is about. Together with quality content and good user experience, keywords in your domain can help you rank higher in Google.

For example, if you’re a glass replacement business, you may want to register GlassRepair.com or GlassReplacement.com.

If you’re stuck for ideas, you can give Google Keyword Planner a try. This free tool lets you explore keywords by search volume and other factors to identify terms people actually use. 

5. B. Geo-Targeting Keywords

If your business is local, consider including your city or state in your domain name to make it easy for local customers to find and remember.

Example: PhoenixGlassRepair.com.

You can also try using a location specific TLD. From .boston to .vegas , you’re likely to find a geographic domain extension that suits your business.

6. Perform a Trademark Search

Trademark Search

Before you register a domain name, try to find out if there is already a registered business using the same name. You can perform a trademark search to see if there is already a similar or exact name already trademarked. You can also perform a Google search and check for the name’s availability on top social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. A similar or matching name would not only cause confusion, but it could also have severe legal implications which may cost you a lot of money.

Once you have your own website up and running, you can learn more about how to trademark and copyright your website name and logo.

7. Protect Your Brand With Multiple Domains.

To protect your brand, consider purchasing various domain extensions, as well as misspelled versions of your domain name and redirecting them to your main site. This prevents competitors from registering other versions and ensures your customers are directed to your website, even if they mistype it.

This is a smart strategy to apply to social media as well. Even if you don’t think you’ll use Twitter, you might want to grab a decent handle if one is available. You’ll be ready if you ever decide to tweet, and you’ll prevent anyone else from taking that username.

8. Need Ideas? Use Domain Name Generators

Searching for individual domain name manually can be very time consuming. This is where domain name generators come in. These free tools automatically search for your defined keywords to find hundreds of clever domain name ideas.

We recommend using Nameboy , which is one of the oldest and most popular domain name generator tool online.

You can also use WPBeginner’s free Business Name Generator tool , or IsItWP’s domain generator to find more domain name ideas.

9. Act Quickly Before Someone Else Buys The Domain

Each day thousands of new domain names are registered from all parts of the world. Since domain names are relatively cheap, we always recommend you to act fast. Don’t wait too long. Domain names are like real estate. If you change your mind later, you can always let your domain name expire.

10. Final Step: Choosing A Domain Registrar

Once you’ve picked out a domain name, you need to choose a domain registrar, which is the company where you’ll purchase it. When shopping around for a registrar, here are a few things to keep an eye on:.

  • Domain transfers. Check out the registrar’s transfer policy . If it’s complicated or expensive, keep looking.
  • Pricing. Some companies offer lower prices for the first year and then increase them when it’s time for renewal. You may even be locked into a multi-year contract .
  • Expiration policy. You don’t buy a domain so much as rent it. If you forget to renew the lease, someone else can take it from you. Look for a registrar that offers automatic renewals and a grace period.
  • Domain privacy protection. As a website owner, you’re required to add your personal information to a public database. Domain privacy protection hides your primary contact information to help keep your identity secure.
  • Subdomains. You don’t have to register subdomains separately. However, you’ll want to ensure that your registrar makes it easy to add subdomains to your site.

There are plenty of registrars you can use. However, sometimes it makes sense to register your domain through your hosting provider.

References:

https://www.dreamhost.com/blog/how-to-choose-the-right-domain-name/

https://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/tips-and-tools-to-pick-the-best-domain-for-your-blog/

https://www.godaddy.com/garage/10-tips-for-choosing-the-perfect-domain-name/

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Julia Gao Miller
Julia Gao Miller
Julia joined the Elite marketing team in 2021. With a background in online marketing, software development and web development, Julia loves diving deep into the web world and rendering the knowledge into blog posts and other useful forms of educational content. Her interests include front end development, Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu, content marketing, copywriting, and web development. Her creative objective is to produce educational content through Elite to aid you on your journey to building the website and online business of your dreams!

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