Behind every great website is a great domain name. But what if you aren’t sure how to choose your URL? How can you know that you’re making the right choice for your business, blog or ecommerce store? Here are just a few guidelines for choosing a successful domain name.
1. Avoid Numbers, Hyphens and Misspellings
Don’t make your domain name any more complicated than it has to be! As soon as you start experimenting with “Z”s instead of “S”s, you run the risk of losing potential customers who will forget or misunderstand your true spelling. The same goes for numbers. Is it FiveMonkeys.com or 5Monkeys.com? Do you trust your customers to remember that? A good rule of thumb when choosing domain names is to appeal to the lowest common denominator, especially if your demographic is young or tech-illiterate.
2. Utilize Your Keywords
Keywords are an essential tool of search engine optimization (SEO), and putting them right in your domain name is a great way to direct traffic to your site. If you don’t have keywords yet, sit down and figure them out. It’s as easy as brainstorming terms and concepts that you can apply to your business. For example, if you run an online book-lending service, your keywords might be “books,” “bookstore,” “literature” and “virtual library.”
3. Consider Extensions
While dot-com (.com) is the most popular extension on the web, there are many others that you can try. Maybe you’d like the pizzazz of dot-me (.me) or dot-wow (.wow) on your personal blog. Maybe your organization is a nonprofit that could benefit from the authority of dot-org (.org). There are endless alternatives to dot-com, and they’re all available with the click of a button.
4. Anticipate Copycats
Imagine that you’re a first-time customer typing in your domain name. Are there any other words, phrases or slogans that sound similar? For example, if you create BabyRun.com, do you think other people could mistake it for BabyFun.com or BabiesRun.com? Register these copycats in addition to your original idea. Not only will you protect yourself against customer mistakes, but you’ll also prevent competitors from swooping in and stealing your brand recognition. You can even copyright your name if you’re willing to spend a little extra!
5. Include Your Location
If you run a local business, you can distinguish yourself from the crowd by including your geographical location in your URL. This measure will also ensure that members of your community find your website before others of the same name. Just make sure that you’re as specific as possible: CleanWaterMinneapolis.com is a much more descriptive name than CleanWaterMinnesota.com or even CleanWater.com. The former tells you exactly where the initiative is based; the latter could be located anywhere.
These are just a few tips for choosing premium domain names. A successful website can be yours, but it starts with choosing the right foundation for all of your hard work! Take your time and pick a domain name that truly represents your passion.