Creating an online identity is a must for any business; the initial move to doing so is selecting a domain name. It’s important to select one carefully as it will be your website address and how customers find you online. Choosing a domain name can seem daunting, but with these tips, you’ll have no trouble selecting one that suits your needs perfectly.
From understanding what makes up a good domain name to register it correctly – we’ve got all the information needed so you can choose a domain name wisely.
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Understanding Domain Names
Domain names come in several varieties, such as generic top-level domains (gTLDs), country code top-level domains (ccTLDs), new gTLDS and sponsored TLDs (sTLDs).
Generic TLDs include .COM, .NET, .ORG., while ccTDLs are two-letter codes that represent countries like .US for United States or .UK for United Kingdom. New gTLDS include popular options such as .APP.
Gaining control of your website’s online presence, branding efforts, and professional look can all be achieved by having your own domain name. Having your own domain name makes it simpler for customers to contact you directly, providing them with custom email addresses associated with your business.
Search engine optimization opportunities are also enhanced through the use of a unique web address. Finally, sharing links across social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter is made simpler when utilizing a distinct web address.
At its core, owning a domain name means taking ownership of something tangible – an asset – that will help establish credibility online so customers can trust doing business with you from anywhere in the world.
Tips for Choosing the Right Domain Name
It pays a lot of time to think of the right domain name. Like your home, which you probably painted a nice color and have lovely decorations to spruce up its appearance, your domain name is the same, so you want it to be correct.
To make the process easier, follow the tips below for choosing a domain for your website.
1) Consider your location
Suppose your business operates in a specific country. In that case, it may be beneficial to choose a country-specific extension, such as .us for the United States, .ca for Canada, or .co.uk for the United Kingdom. This can help you target a local audience and improve your search engine optimization in that region.
2) Consider your area of expertise
Choosing the right domain extension for your business can effectively let potential customers know what you do. For example, .photography represents a photography business, while .edu is usually reserved for educational purposes. Having such a specific extension can help communicate your organization’s nature.
3) Consider the availability of the extension
Regarding domain endings, .com has been a classic favorite for a long time. But now, there are many exciting TLDs (top-level domains) available, ranging from .agency to .organic and even .vet. You can find an extensive list of such new TLDs on this page for inspiration.
4) Make it easy to pronounce and spell
You should be able to share your domain when speaking and writing easily. Generally, it should be easy to understand and spell for potential customers or visitors. Avoid using numbers and special characters because while an in-joke may be great for your team, the rest of the world may not get it, and it could flop.
5) Make it short
Choosing a domain name in a short form must be one of your top priorities. If your domain name is long or complicated, visitors risk mistyping or misspelling it. That’s why it’s better to have a domain name that’s short, memorable, and catchy. More extended domains are more complicated for your users to remember.
6) Avoid numbers, hyphens, and doubled letters
Numbers and hyphens can be confusing. For example, when you mention your website address, the listeners won’t know if you’re using a number (6) or if it’s spelled out (six). So if you need these in the name of your domain, register the different variations to ensure you won’t miss any visitors.
Avoiding domains with doubled letters is also good because it increases your chances of losing traffic to typos. Take as an example a domain like shoesstore.com.
7) Leave room to expand
Choosing a domain name related to your area of expertise is good because it gives visitors a precise idea of what your site is about. But don’t limit your opportunities.
For example, a jazz events organizer might choose a domain name like jazzevents.com but, later on, want to start to organize other events besides jazz. In that case, the domain might prevent you from attracting people interested in other events, such as pop-rock.
8) Avoid super generic domain names
Imagine your company sells clothing. I would imagine you sell clothing for men, women, children, and those articles of clothing come in different fashions, such as a top, bottoms, underwear, and so on, and they also come in different sizes. Buying the domain clothes.com may seem like a great idea, but for customers looking for swimwear, or other specific types of clothing, your domain name might not be the first that comes to their mind.
9) Avoid names that infringe on another company
Do some research for the name you want to register. Ensure the desired domain name isn’t trademarked, copyrighted, or used already by another entity. It could end in a dispute resolution that could cost your domain. Not to mention that this can also create brand confusion.
10) Consider the perception of the extension
Some domain extensions, such as .org or .gov, are associated with specific types of organizations. Consider potential customers’ perception of a specific extension when choosing your domain name.
There are other top extensions that you could use for your domain name:
.net: technical sites.
.org: non-commercial organizations and nonprofits.
.biz: business or commercial use.
.info: informational sites.
.blog: personal blogs.
11) Protect your brand
Register various domain extensions and any possible misspelled versions to protect your brand. This will prevent competitors from registering other extensions, and at the same time, any potential customers will be sent to your main website. Furthermore, you can easily add any other registered domain as a parked domain (alias) under the main one.
If your domain name is unavailable, adding a suffix or a prefix or using an alternate TLD extension is alright.
12) Good, not perfect
Far too often, entrepreneurs and creators waste time agonizing over finding the absolute perfect domain name, when they could utilize that same energy to build a great brand.
Don’t let the search for an ideal web address prevent you from starting your venture.
Lack of inspiration? Use a Domain Name Generator
A domain name generator may seem like a super random way to come up with a domain name, but it’s a great way to brainstorm different ideas and routes of creativity, especially if you have a team coming up with ideas. One popular domain name generator, Domain Wheel, helps simplify that process by ensuring the domains it suggests are available for purchase.
That way, if you come up with the perfect idea, you won’t be disappointed to find the domain unavailable for purchase. Domain Wheel also has a keyword-based search engine to enter ideas into the search tool and come back with other relevant suggestions for your idea.
Think long-term domain ownership, not short-term
Before you register that domain, you should be ready to be married to it. If you decide to change your domain in the future, it could cost you money, branding, and SEO rankings. It’s a massive pain in the butt and something you don’t want to have to do a year or more into your domain ownership and the start-up of your brand. Therefore, keep your brand’s long-term vision in mind when selecting a domain name.
Registering Your Domain Name
Selecting a trustworthy domain name registrar is essential to ensure an effortless experience. A registrar should give you a convenient interface to manage your domain name expeditiously. They should also offer competitive prices, reliable customer service, and a variety of features such as email hosting or website-building tools. Research different registrars before making your decision – read reviews from other customers, compare pricing plans, and ensure they have all the features you need.
The Process of Registering Your Domain Name
Once you’ve chosen a registrar, registering your domain name is fairly straightforward. Once you’ve selected a registrar, use keywords associated with your business or brand to search for an available domain name and add it to your cart.
Then enter in registrant information like billing address and payment details before completing the purchase process. It usually takes just a few minutes for registration to be completed. After this time, you will receive an email confirmation with further instructions on accessing and managing your new domain name account.
Protecting Your Privacy When Registering Your Domain Name
When registering a domain, your personal contact information (such as your name, address, and phone number) is typically added to the WHOIS database, a public domain name registrants’ public directory.
Use domain privacy protection if you are concerned about your privacy and don’t want your personal information publicly available.
How About Registering Your Domain for Free?
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Choosing a good domain name is one of the most important steps when setting up your online presence – so take some time to ensure you get it right.
⏭️ Please join us in the following tutorial, where we will walk you through How to Buy a Domain Name: A Step-by-Step Guide