How to Choose a Domain Name – 12 Things to Keep in Mind

how to choose a domain name

Okay! So you have finally made up your mind to start a website or, a blog.

The two primary requirements for a blog or, a website is a domain name and hosting. And it is in these 2 things that most newbies make the biggest mistakes only to find themselves in no-man land, struggling to get back their website or, to revive it.

If that was scary, then let me tell you that it isn’t actually as scary as it looks.

It is very easy to avoid a situation if you are careful and aware of how to choose a domain name and a hosting server for your website.

We wouldn’t really be covering the latter part in this post because it is a topic that needs to be dealt with in a little more detail and might be a topic in one of our later posts.

In this post we will be covering 15 simple tips to keep in mind on how to choose a domain name.

How to Choose a Domain Name

Your domain name could be the make or, break decision for your website. Because that is what will establish your brand and identity on the internet.

And hence it is very important that you choose your domain name wisely.

Just keep in mind the below mentioned tips and we can assure you that you would never go wrong.

Always a .com

There are hundreds of TLDs (Top level Domains) that are available today. TLDs are basically the extensions in a website name.

There are 2 parts to a domain name. The first part before the period (.) is the name and the second part after the period is the TLD. The most common TLDs are .com and .org

With unconventional TLDs like .blog, .site and so on being made available these days, netizens are spoilt with choice. So it natural to go and pick any TLD that is available and float your website.

While that is okay and entirely a personal choice, if you are planning to start a website or, blog as a business then it is a bad idea.

A .com is always the most preferred choice and the easiest to remember and relate to. Your visitors can easily remember you website if it ends in a .com and it is hence that you look for a .com for your domain name.

Easy to Remember

Why would you want to complicate it for your visitors?

Pick a name that is easy to remember. The thumb-rule is to keep your domain name to less than 15 characters, though that is not a mandate.

Shorter names and easier to remember and you would want your customers and visitors to remember your domain name easily.

A domain name dogcaretips.com is any day better than tipstotakecareofyourdog.com

Easier to pronounce

Your domain name should be easier to pronounce and spell. Don’t give your visitors the pain to remember a tongue twister. Imagine a domain name that is difficult to pronounce and you end up in a situation where you have to speak that out to somebody over the phone.

Difficult to pronounce domain names can end up being something else and you might just end up driving traffic to some other website.

Keyword Rich Domain Names

A keyword rich domain name can help get your website ranked. In spite of all the EMD updates from Google, exact match domains are still in demand.

Though I wouldn’t recommend that you go with an exact match domain, pick a domain name that has your primary keyword in it. That will help you a lot when it comes to SEO.

But this rule might not apply to you if you are looking for a domain name that has your company name or, your name in it. In that case you are looking at establishing yourself as a brand and in such a situation, I would recommend that you go with your choice.

Avoid Hyphens

Speaking out your domain name that has a hyphen in between is as difficult as remembering it. Hence avoid hyphens.

I still remember Yaro Starak’s blog as entrepreneursjourney.com instead of the actual entrepreneurs-journey.com. Hyphens can be misleading.

Keep it unique as far as possible

unique names

If you are planning to start a blog, then keep in mind that you are embarking on a journey where one of the objectives is to stand out from the crowd in the blogosphere.

And in order for that to happen, it is important that your domain name is unique.

Think differently and find variations for your idea. You might just end up with a classic domain name that is unique and represents what your are offering.

Your name as your domain

If you are looking to build a brand of your name, then the easiest thing to do is to register your name for your domain. As your website grows, your name will also get established and you would just end up as a household name – a brand.

There are millions of domains being registered everyday. Hence it is recommend that you register your name as soon as possible or, else you might just end up handing it over to somebody else.

Avoid Consecutively repeated letters in your domain

I still remember visiting a website that read designninja.com and for a few minutes I just kept asking myself if it was 2 “n” or, a single “n”. Avoid such repetitions in your domain name that has a possibility of confusing your readers.

Pick something that is straightforward and easily to remember.

Be open to Scope of Expansion

Your business as it is today might not be the same tomorrow. You might expand into newer avenues and at that time, your domain shouldn’t become a constraint.

Keep the scope of expansion open. Don’t pick a domain name that is too narrow, only to find that you need a new domain name when you are expanding.

Don’t be afraid to pick a broader niche name for your domain. That will just help you in the future.

Stay away from Jargons

It is better if you stay away from jargons. Technical jargons might not be something that everybody is aware of and using such jargons in your domain name would make it all the more difficult for non-technical people to remember your domain name.

So, keep it simple.

Start all over again

It is not uncommon for people to enthusiastically pick a name that matches most of the above criteria and then head straight over to a registrar and search for the domain name, only to find that it has already been registered.

Don’t lose heart. There are millions of other names still available. All you have to do is just start all over again. Search for synonyms in the dictionary and thesaurus or, use something like Google to see what similar names pop up and you are sure to find something that is as per your needs and is still not registered.

In fact I would suggest that even before you go to the registrar, keep at least 10 different names ready with you. So that you don’t get stuck if one of your searches ends at a roadblock.

Keep Social Media in mind

Social media is big these days and most of the brand building happens on social media. Hence social media is one of the most important things you need to keep in mind when choosing a domain name.

Check on social media sites, if that name is available. You don’t want to end up with different names on different social media sites. That would be a huge impact on your brand name.

Over to You

If you follow these simple tips on how to choose your domain name, you should be able to register a domain name that talks to your business objectives. That will help you start on the right foot and set the tone for a successful business.

Do let us know which out of the above was a revelation for you by commenting below.

Go ahead and register a domain name today.

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