How To Choose The Perfect Domain Name

Boast your chances of success by picking the right domain name for your website.

Naming things is always fun, be it your newborn baby, a Wi-Fi-router, your pet dog, a start-up business or even your domain name. It can also be quite challenging.

Whether it’s for your business or a personal brand, putting thought into a domain name is important. After all, it’s what your audience will be typing to get to your website.

It can mean the difference between appearing to be a spammy, out-of-date website or a reliable and functioning one. Simply put, it can mean the difference between earning and losing a client.

When was the last time a website with four exclamation marks in its domain name aroused you to visit it? That’s right. Never.

Which is why your domain name needs to be given a lot of thought. It is your identity on the web; you want to make sure you choose a name that not only fits your business, but is also easy to find and promote.

This post will walk you through four types of domain name strategies and other indispensable tips, which will help you pick the perfect domain name and also introduce you to some tools that can help you find the perfect URL.

Now let’s dive in!


1. Exact Match Domains for SEO

Exact Match Domains (EMD) seem to be an attractive strategy for SEO, such as cheapflights.com, and thus it makes sense to push these sites further. However, the factor ‘Keyword in the domain name’ as an SEO tactic has lost its influence over recent years.

Here’s google showing cheapflights.com has the exact domain for this query and yet it still ranks below Skyscanner:

cheap flights search

Therefore, online success from a technical SEO perspective doesn’t depend on domain name anymore.  Although, EMDs have other benefits, such as branding and recognition value.


2. Keep it Generic

In the earlier days a lot of websites were using generic names, but the popularity dropped quite a bit in the recent years. Also owing to the fact that most generic names seem to be taken. However, in some industries like pharmaceuticals this tactic is gaining traction as per the following article by Bloomberg.

As an example of this strategy, a brand named Doorbat offering a doorbell with security features, later upgraded the website to a generic domain name, Ring.com and had amazing success. Read the full story here.

Some other successful examples of generic domain names are the following: Dictionary.comHotels.com, Cars.com, and CreditCards.com.


3. Stick to Your Brand Name

If your brand is one that is already well-known and recognized, the simplest and most obvious strategy is to keep a domain with your brand name.

Your users will be simply typing the name of your brand following it with a .com anyway.

Often your brand name might be taken up, in which case you can buy the domain name from other businesses or slightly modify yours to make it unique by tweaking your Top-Level-Domain (TLD).

domain names TLD

Here are some tips that can allow you to keep your brand name:

  • Area domain extension: Adding an area domain extension such as .uk for UK or .nl for Netherlands. In terms of SEO, according to Search Engine Journal all domain extensions are weighted the same on Google.
  • Take the Dot, Org or Net: A good 50% amount of websites use this tactic to keep their brand names as mentioned on W3Tech.
  • Devise a new TLD: You can use your product as a TLD making it relevant for your business and also unique. If you sell bikes you can use .bike as a TLD. Here’s a good read on creating new TLDs.

4. Set Yourself Apart With a Unique Name

Using a unique moniker is a great way to build additional value with your domain name.

However, this tactic requires more brand investment. Domains like Monster.com, Amazon.com Zillow.com, and even Moz.com with their un-intuitive names require big branding plays.

Also, compelling brand names such as Hotmail.com, CareerBuilder.com and AutoTrader.com inform the user of their content and promise results. They create and fulfill user expectations and therefore can prove to be very successful.


Tools to Help you Brainstorm Names

  • Business Name Generator– Free tool from Shopify to generate business name ideas.
  • GoSpaces– Free tool that helps you generate a business name. Quick and easy!
  • NameStation – Generates a list of available domains based on a submitted word.
  • Domaintyper – Checks domain name availability instantly.
  • Domain Pigeon – See what others are looking to register as a source of inspiration.
  • Domainr – Type a work and it will find “domain hacks”.

Most likely you will not get your first pick; don’t let that discourage you. You will find a great domain name to represent your store.

To conclude, a lot of factors such as availability, cost and state of brand effect choosing the right domain name for yourself. Keep them in mind and make the right choice for your brand.

Do you have any more suggestions on picking the right domain name for your brand?

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