Are you looking to start a blog?
Choosing a domain name is a monumental decision and locks you into a decision, at least until you buy a new one.
Knowing this can make it hard for you to pick one and give you decision fatigue.
But you can choose your domain name easily and without stress in a few minutes.
I’ve done it several times for several businesses.
So here are my best tips and practices for choosing a domain name.
How Important is a Domain Name?
Before you pick any domain name and call it a day, understand that a domain name is very important.
It is your brand or business identity at any given time.
If chosen wrong, your domain name can cause you to lose business, readers, and/or deals.
In addition, a domain name too similar to that of a known brand can throw your blog into the dark depths of page three of Google.
Why Is a Domain Name Important?
Here is why the domain name you pick is essential to your business:
1. It’s How People Find You
When people are looking for your brand, they will search for your domain name.
Domain names are unique identifiers.
You cannot share or replicate a domain name.
Essentially, they are the fingerprints of the internet.
Your domain name ensures people know that it is your business or brand they have found.
2. It Represents Your Business
As a business, your domain name extends who you are as a brand and what you aim to put out.
The best domain names make it easy for people to know what your business is about.
3. It Helps You Stay Top of Mind
Your domain name can make you stand out within your niche.
The right domain name is memorable and encourages return visits, promoting shares and interactions.
4. It Makes a First Impression
As a new blog or business site, you may not have the online following to launch a site and immediately get traffic.
However, your domain name can help you make an excellent first impression.
You will impress people if it is memorable, unique, and relevant.
What Makes a Good Domain Name?
Now that we’ve covered the importance of a domain name, let’s discuss how to pick the perfect domain name.
1. Keywords Are Included
Including the relevant keywords in your domain name makes it easier for you to rank on search engines.
It also helps your target audience identify what niche your business is in.
2. It’s Easy to Pronounce and Spell
It is easy to get caught up in finding a unique domain when coming up with a blog name.
However, uniqueness should not tramp practicality.
For example, if you have to think twice about typing your domain name, it is likely that your audience misspells it often and gives up.
Don’t try too hard to find a catchy and unique name.
Instead, choose a name people can pronounce and spell to ensure they find you online.
3. It’s Catchy
Catchy domain names are hard to forget and make a better first impression on your audience.
Domain names with alliterations, puns, one-liners, and funny phrases often have a significant impact.
4. It’s Easy to Remember
A memorable domain name guarantees they can search for you on search engines instead of waiting to get a link.
The more people search for you, the higher you rank, and the more people discover you.
5. It’s Unique
Your domain name should be unique.
It is less likely that a unique name is already taken or trademarked.
Distinctive domain names also ensure your audience remembers you.
6. It Doesn’t Have Hyphens
Hyphenated domain names are hard for audiences to remember.
Additionally, they’re bothersome to type, add to links and spell out
So it is not worth the trouble.
Hyphenated domain names are also widely linked to spam and graphic sites, so it is best to avoid them altogether if that is not your business’ niche.
Should Your Domain Name Match Your Company Name?
Your domain name does not have to match your company name.
You can pick an available domain name and link it to your business name.
However, matching your domain name to your company name will make it easier for your audience to find you.
Whether they are searching for you on search engines or social media platforms, matching names will be easier to remember.
Matching your domain name and your company name also ensures seamless marketing endeavors.
You do not need to add asterisks and notes when promoting your website, services, or products.
It also makes legal requirements like trademarking and copyright much simpler.
How Long Should Your Domain Name Be?
The shorter, the better when it comes to domain names.
Your domain name should not be more than six terms.
Three words is the ideal length but play around with your ideas until you find a perfectly balanced, short domain name.
How to Choose a Domain Name
This is a brief overview of how to choose a domain name for your blog.
Approximate time required: 15 minutes
1. Choose the Right Extension
You don’t have to have a .com extension.
Depending on your niche and target audience, you can use several alternatives to .com domains.
Do your research and try different options to find the right extension for your brand.
2. Keep it Short
Domain names should be between one to four words long.
Longer names are hard to remember and rank lower on search engines.
Do not exceed the six-word limit.
3. Use a Domain Name Generator
Domain name generators are great tools.
Key in descriptive words and ideas, and they will give you domain name options.
You can pick one or many of the ideas and use them.
Remember that domains can be registered for as little as $1, so you don’t have to settle on one immediately.
Instead, you can book the ones you like by paying the registrar and decide on the best option later.
3. Research Domain Name History
You do not want to pick a domain name previously associated with topics, people, or beliefs that do not align with yours.
Do the relevant research on the domain name, including business names.
Ensure that the name has either never been used or was previously attached to a brand whose values align with yours.
4. Check Social Media Accounts
Picking a domain name that already has a social media account attached is not suitable for successful marketing.
Your audience will become confused when they search for the name on a social media platform.
Therefore, ensure the name you pick has no social media accounts already attached to it.
Suppose you do find any social media accounts registered to a name you liked.
You can DM the owner and ask if they are willing to sell the account.
5. Avoid Anything Trademarked By Another Company
It is paramount that you do some research before purchasing a domain name.
A domain name can be free, meaning it has not been purchased yet.
However, another company can still trademark the name for future use.
Sooner or later, they will buy the domain name linked to the trademarked name.
Also, if you use the trademarked name for your business, they can successfully sue you.
Estimated Cost: 10 USD
Where to Register a Domain Name
You have to register your domain name using a domain name registrar.
Once you pay for your domain name, you own it for the period your license covers.
You can purchase and register a domain on any platform you like.
All domain registrars offer the same base service.
In general, the only differences are pricing, after-sales services, and other perks offered.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are a few commonly asked questions regarding domain registration.
Do I need privacy protection on my domain name?
Unless you plan on selling your domain name, ensure your domain remains private.
Keeping your domain name private prevents access to your personal information, protects your website from hacking attempts, and reduces the chance of spam emails and calls.
Should your domain name match your company name?
It is not a requirement that your domain name matches your company name.
However, the two names should match for continuity, easy branding, and better marketing.
Choosing a domain name is one of the most important parts of launching a business.
However, don’t make it a stressful task.
Follow these simple tips to help you pick the best domain name for your brand in a few minutes.
Remember to research it, pay for registration and ensure your domain remains private.
Comment any questions you have on domain names below, and remember, you can always re-launch with a better domain name.