When you set out to launch a new website, settling on a fantastic domain name is easily one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make. At the end of the day, a domain name is so much more than an easy way to find your site. In many ways, it can determine whether or not your site is successful. Use the following tips to select the best domain name possible.
Pick a Name with Staying Power
Domain name fads tend to wax and wane over the years. For instance, it seems like every other site that comes out nowadays dislikes vowels and has to have the letter “R” on the end. Tumblr, Flickr and Pixlr are some of the most egregious examples. Ignore the popular trends and find a domain name that hasn’t been claimed yet without becoming a soon-to-be-dated cliche.
Avoid Confusing Spelling Choices
The worst domain names are the ones that don’t feature a clear delineation between their constituent words. Repeating letters should be avoided at all costs. For instance, something along the lines of “SmartStartup.com” or “RusticCooking.com” looks terrible and can lead to errors when visitors try to type it into their browser bars. Pick a domain name that’s intuitive and won’t lead to spelling errors on the part of would-be fans.
Use at Least One Dictionary Keyword
While the intricacies of SEO are always changing, the focus on major and minor keywords does not. Your domain name should feature at least one moderately specific keyword related to the focus of your site that can be used to direct searchers to your content. Try to get specific but not too specific. For instance, a site about horseback riding should at least feature the word “horse” in the URL.
Make Site & Domain Names Identical
Some sites have domain names that don’t quite jive with their brand name. While that’s acceptable in some cases, it’s best if your domain name and site name are as close as possible. A business called “A1 Stucco Roofs” should use a domain name like “A1StuccoRoofs.com” for its primary website. This helps to eliminate confusion on the part of potential clients and solidifies the brand.
Use an Extension That’s Logical
Lastly, your choice of extension can have a big impact on the success of your site. A customized TLD is easy to get but not always warranted or wise. Most people want to see a “.com” or some other fairly common extension on a reputable site. A “.me” extension is fine for social media sites. Only use uncommon extensions if it makes sense in the context of your domain name.
Finding a Home for Your Domain Name
Once you’ve nailed down a great domain name, the next step is to find a domain registrar to buy from. A good start would be Register.com, one of the cheapest domain name registration outfits online that also boasts superlative customer service. Losing the perfect domain name because you’ve opted for a lousy domain registrar is tragic and ultimately preventable if you exercise sound judgement