Do you know how many websites there are on the Internet today? The stats show there are over 1.7 billion websites online! And that’s a number that’s increasing every hour of every day. To be fair, though, only a small percentage of those websites are active. Still, that’s a lot of sites!
Every site has its own domain name so you can get to that page, not a different site. Billions of domain names. Which means if you’re heading towards creating your own site, the reality is that most of the domain names that you want are most probably already taken.
Does that mean that there’s no hope for you getting a great domain name? Not at all! The Internet is a massive ocean where there is room for everyone’s island. Like everyone else, you can find a great domain name for your business, though it might involve a bit of creativity…
Choosing an appropriate domain name can also significantly affect your chances of success online. It’s not easy to switch to a new domain name after registering one for your brand; switching to a new domain name can hamper your brand image and domain authority. It also creates a lot of confusion with your customers too. So it’s best to take the time to try and register the best possible domain from the start.
With all that in mind, here are seven top tips for registering the best domain name for your online site and company.
Seven Tips to Get The Perfect Domain Name
Let’s take a look at the top ways to find a great domain name:
1. Use a Domain Name Generator
The first step to choosing the perfect domain name is to use a domain name generator. This article lists some of the best domain name generators on the Internet today. They’re easy and produce lots of possible domains for any and every business type. All you need to do is type in a few keywords related to your business or new site and the site will do the rest. The result will be dozens of possible domain names you can explore.
Found some good ones in the results? Write them down!
2. Opt for the .COM Top Level Domain
There are a remarkable number of top level domains on the Internet today, many of which you might not have even seen. The main TLDs, as they’re called, remain .com, .net, .org and .edu. Besides those popular extensions, you can also find new ones like .pizza, .blog, .photography, .games, etc. While the range of new and category specific extensions can be tempting, sticking to a .com name is the best if you can find one that’s available.
The “.com” top level domain remains the most popular and credible extension and it’s generally also easy to remember. Remember, if you choose “jane.blog” and someone types in “jane.com” without thinking about it, they won’t end up on your Web site. If you can get it, I encourage you to go for a domain with the most popular extension.
3. Keep Your Domain Name Short, Memorable, and Pronounceable
No one likes the requirement that they learn weird spelling, an obscure word (in a foreign language) or some odd series of letters and digits to remember a domain name. There are so, so many domain names on the Internet, the more confusing yours is, the less likely they’ll remember it. I call this the “radio test”: if you were on a radio program (or podcast) and spoke your domain name, would you have to spell it or specify punctuation for listeners to get to your site? That’s not good. In the end, it’s best if you can choose a domain name that would easily stick in people’s minds.
Keeping a domain name under 15 characters is also a best practice. A person should be able to easily share your domain name with others. Yes, think “word of mouth”. If possible, it’s also smart to make your domain name unique and brandable. As an easy example, “ebay.com” is more brandable than “buyclothesnow.com.”
4. Avoid Hyphens and Awkwardly Repeating Letters
Try to avoid the mistake of including hyphens in your new domain name. There is an increased chance of typos when users enter a domain name with hyphens, particularly if they forget the hyphens entirely. It’s also the case that many scammers use non-hyphen (or, sometimes, incorrectly hyphenated) sites to fool people.
Another avoidable mistake that people make when choosing a domain name is using double letters in the name. Consider the domain “pressilkware.com”. How many letters should you type in to get to that site? Remembering domain names with these confusing repeating letters can lead to user input errors and a loss of traffic for your site.
5. Include Keywords In Your Domain
Using keywords can boost the domain value and can lead to more traffic through synergistic search results. People searching for your product or service can stumble across your site even without otherwise knowing you exist. This is where it’s helpful to be creative in combining keywords with your business name. Think “icedcoffeebymike” instead of just “mike” and you’ll get the idea!
Then again, don’t go overboard with this idea of adding keywords to your domain name. It can increase the length of your name which can then end up appearing scammy.
Want more tips about domain names and search engines? Please check out another article I’ve written about the basics of SEO for bloggers.
6. Be Broad In Scope
Narrowing down your business or site topic, theme or scope through an overly-narrow domain name can become an obstacle in your site growth. For example, a domain name like “JustSunflowers.com” makes it tough for you to expand into other seeds and products. You’ll want to choose a domain name that allows you to expand to new topics in your segment or category, if possible, whether it’s for a personal blog or an up and coming online business.
7. Ensure You Can Legally Have The Domain Name
Another smart step before you settle on your new domain name is to perform some Google searches to find out what other sites might have a very similar domain name. This can be a legal problem if your new domain infringes on another site’s copyrighted material (if they’re “mikesicedcoffee” and you want to launch your new site with the domain name “icedcoffeebymike” that’s clearly a problem waiting to happen).
Infringing on copyrighted names can not only cost you traffic but confuses your potential readers or customers and, in the worst case scenario, can also waste your time and money in a legal dispute.
Overwhelmed? There are a lot of Web sites and domains out there, no question. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a great one for your new site with just a bit of creativity and the ideas outlined in this article. Settled on one and want to make it your own? The next step is to jump over to GoDaddy or another popular domain name registrar to register your new domain name. It should cost less than $20 to register your domain for the first year (remember, hosting is not included when you register a domain) and you’re ready to move on to hosting and building your new site. Exciting!
Have some additional tips on selecting a great domain name? Leave ’em in the comments!