Do you think that creating a great first impression for your site visitors is really important?
Of course, you do!
Today, when there are tons of websites competing for attention, it takes a great deal to get some visitors to check out your site.
You may have the best content on the site with a touch of uniqueness, but it won’t help if there are no visitors.
So, how do you make people want to visit your site at least once?
The “first impression” of your website starts with its name, that is, its domain name.
Remember, when you first heard about Facebook, Twitter, or Google, their unique names made you take notice and visit the sites at least once.
The same goes for your site as well.
Your site’s domain name has to be unique, short, and catchy enough for people to want to take a look at it.
This makes the task of choosing a domain name extremely important. Once you do it, your site’s content can then take over and capture the imagination of your site’s visitors!
Let’s take a closer look at the various points to remember while choosing a domain name that fits your website.
We’ll first explain the meaning of a domain name, and then look at its importance, and finally check out some tips for selecting the right domain name.
What Is a Domain Name?
How do people identify you in real life?
Of course, it’s by your name.
Similarly, a domain name is your site’s identity on the Web.
People will remember your website by its domain name. So, it’s vital to have the same name for your website as the domain name.
It’s the name of the location (URL) where your website audience can visit your site and check out what it offers.
Why are Domain Names Matter?
As mentioned earlier, a domain name is your first chance to create a positive impression on your website’s potential audience.
A simple and thought-provoking domain name could do the trick.
It’s like making people believe that if so much thought went into the name, then a lot of thought went into making the website. This belief will bring more visitors to your site.
Whether your site gets positive or negative feedback, it’s the domain name users refer to the most.
A catchy domain name is bound to remain in the public memory, and people will eventually land on your site one day if they haven’t already.
Also, it gives the visitors a rough idea about the URL they need to enter to visit your site. That is the impact of having a great domain name!
Some examples of domain names are “facebook.com” and “google.co.uk” (“Google.com” in the US). Here, the extensions like “.com” and “.co.uk” are domain name extensions.
Domain Names versus Business Names
How do you want people to remember your business or brand?
Perhaps, the answer to this query will give you your site’s domain name.
It’s a good sign for your business if you have its name (or brand name) as the domain name because it makes it easy to advertise your products and your business name.
Many people argue that you need to have a domain name related to what you do rather than using your business name.
For example, if you sell paintings or art, several people suggest your domain name should be something like “artseller.com” or “paintingeseller.com.”
This is because they feel such names will come up earlier in search results when someone tries to search for “online paintings sellers” or similar keywords.
However, they forget this is a technological age where almost every category of business has several famous brands associated with it.
So, if you wish to buy electronics online, you search for the popular site names like Amazon.com or eBay.com, where you will get these items.
So, the ideal thing is to have your business brand name as your domain name.
Sharing such a domain name helps your business build a brand and promotes it quickly, without actually looking as if you’re doing exclusive promotions.
At the same time, it’s necessary to remember that your site’s domain name does not necessarily mean it’s your business’s name.
You may have a separately registered business name and a different brand name. It’s more likely you’ll build your domain name for your brand name than you would build it for your company name.
You may have a family business that’s been around for decades without any online presence. If you’re building a site for such a business, it makes more sense to get a domain name that closely matches your brand name or type of business, rather than your actual business name.
The reason is simple: Your business name may now be too common (and perhaps someone has its associated domain name), and it may not help your site stand out from the crowd.
Tips for Choosing the Perfect Domain Name
Now since you understand the meaning and impact that a great domain name can make let’s go through a list of steps that will help you to select a domain name that’s ideal for your site.
Tie Your Brand to the Domain Name
Having your brand name as the domain name or, at least, part of the domain name will prove an immense help to your business.
People will remember you by one name, and that’s your brand name.
In other words, it helps to maintain consistency across all areas where you may have to give an identity (name) to your business, for example, for your social media marketing where you need to give names for your Google+ page, Facebook business page, and Instagram business account.
This way, you can ensure you can use your domain name across all the online mediums where you promote your business.
The most significant benefit of doing this is your customers or site visitors can quickly locate you anywhere on the Internet.
This enhances your business reputation and helps you get more traffic to your website, which is your ultimate goal.
Pick a Unique Domain Name
Unless and until your site is dealing with something no other website is already doing over the Internet, you need a unique domain name to stand out from the crowd!
This is because it’s more likely you already have many competitor websites.
While picking a domain name for your site, remember that public memory is short-lived these days.
People will only remember the names of popular websites in your category. So, for the public to remember your new website, your domain name has to be unique.
By “unique,” we mean the domain name should generate curiosity among your potential visitors.
Even if you’re using your brand name in the domain name, you need to use it in such a way that it gives it the much-needed edge! So, select a domain name accordingly.
Keep the Name Short and Easy to Pronounce
In your bid to making the domain name catchy and unique, you also need to remain careful and not overdo it by having a very long domain name.
You need not try to describe your site in detail with your domain name. After all, it is just a name!
Not only is it difficult for others to remember a long name, but it may also turn them off since it takes more time to type a long domain name.
Also, people who attempt to visit your site for the first time after hearing about it from someone else are more likely to make errors or spelling mistakes if the domain name is pretty long.
So, try to keep the domain name short.
Moreover, avoid using slang or tough words in the domain name, which may make it difficult for people to recommend your site in front of others.
They won’t have any problems in mentioning an easy-to-pronounce site name in public.
If you plan to have a domain name like “kleverhatz.com,” then there’s a chance that many people may end up typing “cleverhats.com” or “kleverhats.com,” which may take them to some other website.
Rather, an easy-to-pronounce name should not involve any discrepancies (or second thoughts) about the spelling of the words used in the name. You just need to keep it short and simple.
Choose a Catchy and Memorable Name
With websites taking up millions of domain names, you need to take special care to find an apt domain name for your site that will last long in the memories of your visitors.
Once you shortlist a few potentially memorable domain names, you can share them with your friends or loved ones to check which one seems the most memorable or catchy.
They’re likely to give you honest feedback. Perhaps, this will make your decision an easy one.
Opt for the .com Extension
By default, the majority of Internet users are likely to type the extension .com at the end of a domain name.
This is because this extension is easily the most popular extension and is the one most webmasters and site owners prefer. It provides a universal reach for your website and doesn’t restrict its audience.
Some other domain name extensions, such as .org, .in, and .biz target a particular section of site visitors. For example, .org is associated with non-profit or non-commercial organizations.
Make It Relevant to Your Business
As mentioned earlier, your domain name should ideally resemble your brand name or business name. If someone already has a domain name, you need to try to keep the name as similar to your business activity as possible.
Think about ways a customer will land on your business website through search results and try to use such business relevant keywords in your domain name.
Avoid Hyphens and Numbers
If you tell your friend to check out a website “test-domain-name-9.com,” it’s likely he or she may try to type the name as “testdomainname9.com” or “testdomainnamenine.com.”
To avoid such discrepancies during your site’s word of mouth promotion, it’s necessary to avoid using any hyphens or numbers in your domain name.
This will make it easy for people to share your domain name with others and will prevent mistakes from people who type your domain name.
Avoid Existing Brand or Trademarked Names
Before you finalize your domain name, just do some additional research to check whether any other business or legal entity has a trademark or copyright.
If you happen to choose a copyrighted or trademarked domain name, you may get entangled in a legal battle.
It will not only cost you money but also plenty of time.
Tools to Help You Create and Choose a Domain Name
There are plenty of tools available online to help you choose an appropriate domain name for your site.
Even if your preferred domain name isn’t available, these tools can suggest similar domain names available for purchase.
Some useful domain name suggestion tools are below:
- Domainsbot. This is a great tool that uses the keywords you provide to suggest several keyword-rich domain names. It also provides domain name listings from other domain name sites such as GoDaddy.
- Bust A Name. This is another useful domain suggestion tool you can use. It allows you to provide multiple keywords and then jumbles them to come up with various unique domain name suggestions. You may even add a suffix or prefix instantly to check various domain name options you can pick up for your site.
- Namechek. This tool is unique in the sense that it tells you whether your chosen domain name is available on all the popular social networking sites. You can even make a good bid (purchase offer) for any unavailable domain names to try your luck.
Best Places to Buy a Domain Name
Apart from the tools mentioned above, you can buy your domain name from various popular domain name registrar websites, such as those listed below:
You can buy expensive as well as inexpensive domain names from the best domain name registrars. You can also buy them on an annual basis or even on a two-year or three-year basis.
We hope that the above information about steps to select an ideal domain name will prove useful to you.
Have you tried some other tips or tools for domain name selection? Please feel free to share your valuable experiences below.