Choosing a domain name is so critical that it is worth spending a lot of time over the process. Once you have set up your site and published pages of content over months and years, you will not want to have to change your domain name without good reason. It’s far better to make the right decision at the start, and here are some top tips to keep in mind to make sure you get it right.
Buy the .com Version – Even If You Don’t Use It
Make sure the .com version of your website name is available even if you don’t intend to use it. Many people will still automatically type in the .com web address, and you don’t want to lose visitors. Once you have bought it, you can redirect it to your chosen extensions like . org, .biz, .net, etc. While you’re at it, you can also purchase the other extensions and redirect them to your main domain to protect your brand.
If you do choose anything other than .com, you may want to advertise its full name (e.g. ‘MyWebsite.net’ rather than just ‘MyWebsite’) to ensure people remember where to find you.
Make It Easy to Remember
A domain name that is difficult to remember will lead to a loss in visitor numbers. People will forget what it is and they will be unable to type it into their address bar. Instead, make it memorable and easy to type, which will also make it easy for people to tell their friends about.
This means keeping it short if possible, but not at the expense of causing confusion. For example, a longer domain made up of complete words may be more memorable than a shorter domain made up of the first letter in each word.
Get a Keyword In if You Can
Using a keyword in your domain name is not essential. In fact, if your domain name is your company name, it will likely be impossible. But if you can get one of your main keywords into the domain name, this may help with your SEO efforts.
It is usually a good idea to avoid hyphens in your domain name. They are difficult for people to remember and to tell their friends about. Numbers are also best to avoid because people may not know whether to spell the number out or not.
Make Sure It Is Unique
You don’t want people to confuse your domain with other websites, so make sure it is unique. If people get confused, they may end up typing in your competitor’s website by mistake, and you don’t want to be sending them to the wrong place.
And unless your domain name is also your business name, it should be descriptive of the type of content it contains. Ideally, you want someone to have a good idea of what the site is about the first time they hear your domain to avoid confusion.
Use the Same Name on Your Website
Make sure you use the same name on your website as on your domain name. It sounds obvious, but many businesses get this wrong. Having different names only causes confusion, and making them the same helps to make the domain more memorable.
Find the Perfect Domain
Once you’ve come up with the perfect domain for your website, check whether it is available. If it is, buy it quickly to make sure no one else picks it up, then start building your website knowing that you will not have to change your domain in the future.