How to choose the right domain name for your website

Choosing the right domain name for your website can be difficult so I’ve compiled a list of top tips on how to choose an effective domain name for your website. If you need assistance choosing or registering a domain name for your business please get in touch and I can assist.

Brainstorm 5 Top Keywords
When you first begin your domain name search, it helps to have 5 terms or phrases in mind that best describe the domain you’re seeking. Once you have this list, you can start to pair them or add prefixes & suffixes to create good domain ideas. For example, if you’re launching a mortgage related domain, you might start with words like “mortage, finance, home equity, interest rate, house payment” then play around until you can find a good match.

Make the Domain Unique
Having your website confused with a popular site already owned by someone else is a recipe for disaster. Thus, I never choose domains that are simply the plural, hyphenated or misspelled version of an already established domain.

Only get a domain if you can secure the .co.uk and .com domains
If you’re serious about building a successful website over the long-term, you should be worried about all of these elements, and while driving traffic to a .net or .org website is fine you really need to have a .com address as your default domain if you have a business website. Websites like 1-and-1, 123-reg and godaddy allow you to purchase domain names in bulk for a reduced price for your first year. This is a brilliant idea and well worth the investment as it ensures that nobody can setup a site using your website name.

Make the URL easy to type
If a domain name requires considerable attention to type correctly (due to spelling, length or the use of un-memorable words or sounds) then you’ve already lost a segment of your branding and marketing value for your site. Your website should be easy to type, and most importantly…

Make it Easy to Remember
Remember that word-of-mouth and Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) rely on the ease with which the domain can be called to mind. You don’t want to be the company with the terrific website that no one can ever remember to tell their friends about because they can’t remember the domain name or remember what your site is about. This is why it is key to make sure the content on your website relates to what your website is about.

Keep your domain name as short as possible
Short website addresses (URL’s) are easy to type and easy to remember. They allow you to use more characters in the URL for your sub-pages (which appear in the search engine result pages) and shorter website addresses often fit on business cards easier.

Create and Fulfill Expectations
When someone hears about your domain name for the first time, they should be able to instantly and accurately guess at the type of content that might be found there. That’s why I love domain names like Hotmail.com, CareerBuilder.com, and AutoTrader.com. Domains like Monster.com, Amazon.com and Zillow.com (whom I usually praise) required far more branding because of their unintuitive names.

Say no to hyphens and numbers
Hyphens and numbers make your web address hard to type or say. I’d suggest you avoid numbers (text or numeric) in your domain name.

Use an Ajax Domain Selection Tool
Websites like Domjax make it exceptionally easy to determine availability of a domain name – just remember that you don’t have to buy through these services. You can find a name you like that’s available, then go to your registrar of choice.

If you need assistance choosing or registering a domain name for your business please get in touch and I can assist.

Ben Lacey is the Managing Director of Lacey Tech Solutions. He is passionate about everything to do with websites from design and development through to search optimisation and hosting. He started the company blog as a platform to help educate current and prospective customers about the ever changing website development industry.

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