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How to choose a domain name – 10 Pro tips

Your domain name is your digital address on the Internet. It’s the key that opens the doors of your business to the world. Getting it the right way can pour tons of benefits to your business, the opposite is also true; getting the wrong address will make you lose customers before they even see your website.

The domain name is the first key element of your website, so it’s crucial to choose it wisely.

In this article, I will cover 10 Pro tips on how to choose correctly your domain name. In another article, we explain you in detail the importance of a good domain. Let’s start learning these pro tips…

01- Select the  .com extension

Despite that there are a lot of domain extensions (.com, .net, .org, .pro, .biz, etc.) I recommend you to use the .com extension for your business and for your personal brand. Of course, that you can use any of them, but the .com is still the most established and credible domain name extension.

My advice: Go with .com. And if that’s taken, try to think about some ideas or add a word to it, but use the .com anyway.

02- Consider buying other main TLDs as well

In order to protect your brand, it’s an excellent idea to purchase also the extensions .net and .org.

You don’t need to use them, because the one in your website is going to be the .com, but doing it will prevent anyone to take them and use them with different purposes aside from your website. Also, I’ve seen many cases where a scam site affects a genuine site just because the only difference is the extension. This can also confuse your users.

Some other things you don’t want:

People creating imposter sites — sites that look like yours but aren’t (meant to trick people).
• People registering some of those missing TLDs and then trying to sell them back to you at a much higher rate.
• Genuine visitors mixing up your TLD and not being able to access your website.

03- Select a Brandable Name

Branding is crucial to long-term success. There are several factors that come into play here, but the most important ones are the following:

• A brandable name has no specific meaning (‘Google’ is not a word, ‘YouTube, and Twitter’ aren’t either).
• It’s unique — your competition doesn’t use anything similar. Think about your real name.
• It’s easy to memorize — not too wordy, no complex vowel combinations.
• It’s easy to pronounce and dictate over the phone.
• It sounds trustworthy — some names can be a little shady by definition.

04- Keep it Short

Simply put: when it comes to domains, shorter is better. Longer names are harder for your website readers to remember and users will also be more prone to entering typos with longer domain names which can lead to loss traffic.

According to research from DataGenetics, the most common name length is approximately 12 characters. If it’s possible, aim for 6-14 characters. Most of the shortest domain names are already taken. If you can’t find something short, make it brandable.

05- Avoid Hyphens and Numbers

DO NOT use hyphens on your domain name. 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.

06- Make it EASY to Pronounce and Spell

Your domain name must be easy to type and spell. Do not include words that are hard to spell or say. It helps you to keep it in your reader’s mind. This makes it easier for visitors to share your domain name by word-of-mouth and makes it easier for you to share your site with friends and potential customers.

A good idea that really works is to write your domain name on a piece of paper and ask 10 people to pronounce it. If more than a few people struggle to pronounce it, you should simplify it. Think of some of the most popular websites in the world: Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yahoo, CNN…

One big thing they have in common is that they’re all easy to spell. The last thing you want is for the potential visitors to mistype your domain and end up on a different website!

07- Use Keywords

Keywords play an important role in a domain. Try using keywords that describe your business and the services you offer.

By using keywords in your domain name, you tell the search engines what your website is about. And if you publish high quality content and provide a good user experience in your website, keywords in your domain can help you rank higher in Google and other search engines. This increases traffic to your website and makes more sense to your customers.

Before purchasing a domain name for your business, do your homework. Go to Google and look for the keywords that people enter when searching for products or services similar to yours.

If your desired domain is already taken, be creative and combine your keywords with other words to make your name stand out.

08- Use your own Name

You can register your name as a domain. You don’t know if that will be profitable for you in the future. That’s exactly my case.

I own the domain LFStudio.com, but several years ago, I registered the domain luisfedericopena.com that is my name, and I didn’t use it. But now, I use it to brand myself as marketer and book author.

So, no matter that you don’t have plans to use it right now, register it anyway. And remember to buy also the .net and .org extensions. You’ll be glad you have it.

09- Think in Long-Term over Short-Term

Your domain is one of the biggest elements that will define your business and brand for years. It’s the name that people will refer to.

If you decide to change the domain in the future, it will cost you money, branding, and SEO rankings. When you’re choosing your keep your long-term vision in mind.

10- Act quickly before someone else takes it

Domain names sell quickly. Each day thousands of new domain names are registered from all parts of the world. If you find a domain name that you like, then don’t wait too long. Purchase it immediately. If you change your mind later, then you can simply let it expire.

Thousands of people are actively looking for good brandable domain names that they can register to sell them at high prices in the future. If you don’t act fast, then someone may go ahead and register your domain idea.

CONCLUSION:

– Select the .com extension
– Consider buying other main TLDs as well
– Select a Brandable Name
– Use Keywords
– Keep it Short
– Avoid Hyphens and Numbers
– Make it EASY to Pronounce and Spell
– Use your own Name
– Think in Long-Term over Short-Term
– Act quickly before someone else takes it

It's a Social Media and Digital Marketing consultant, owner and founder of LFStudio. He is also author and entrepreneur. He helps small businesses to get clients online, generate income and grow.

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