Picking a domain name that works into the theme of your business or site is another important step for your website or blog. A domain name gives you many perks. What kinds of perks? Well, you’ll give yourself instant credibility and professionalism with your own domain name. You’ll also be able to create email addresses that include the domain name. Don’t forget the branding opportunity having a domain name will give you. So when I tell you that picking a domain name is important, don’t take this lightly. So let’s start with a blank slate and find you a domain name, shall we?
Things to Consider when Picking a Domain Name
I like to try to keep things simple, but there are many things to consider when choosing a domain name. I compiled a list of considerations below. But in the end, it’s your domain name and sometimes you just have to go with your gut or what makes you happy.
When Picking a Domain Name, Keep It Simple
The more complicated your domain name, the less likely people are to remember it. This isn’t good from a branding perspective and even worse if you are hoping for return visits. Try to limit the total number of characters in your domain name if possible.
Also be careful of picking a domain name that includes multiple letters together. For example, if you were considering testinggooddomains.com, you will notice that the two Gs and two Ds can be confusing to some.
Be careful not to purchase a domain name that includes trademarked materials. I had a website in the past that I had to shut down because it included a trademarked name. When picking a domain name, double-check that it’s not trademarked at the official US Patent and Trademark Office database.
In some cases, domains have been used in the past by other, only to be abandoned. You want to make sure they haven’t been blacklisted by the search engines. Use BlacklistAlert.com to make sure a domain name hasn’t been blacklisted for spam or abuse.
Should I Use Hyphens?
It’s really up to you. There is so much debate out there, but let me share a couple of things to consider.
- Some people feel that the hyphen dilutes the domain name.
- Do you really want to make people put a dash between every word? I find it a bit annoying.
- Hyphens can be a good way to get a domain you want that isn’t available without the hyphens.
- Some people feel that hyphens are less professional.
- It can be difficult verbally giving someone the name of your domain.
As you can guess, I prefer to leave out the hyphens, but sometimes that perfect domain name might just be better with hyphens. I’ll say it again. Go with your gut.
Picking a Domain Name for SEO
In the past, the search engines gave you extra credit for having your keyword in your domain. Recently, Google made the decision not to give additional credit towards this. In fact, some people think that it even hurts your site now. I wouldn’t worry too much about this, but don’t waste your time trying to find an exact match domain to your keyword, as it no longer carries the weight it used to.
What’s the Goal of Your Site?
What is the ultimate goal of your website? When you consider a domain name, you should make sure it relates to your end goal. Here are some things to consider related to the goals of your site.
- Are you building an authority niche site? If so, what’s that niche?
- Are you choosing a domain name for your business?
- Do you have specific keywords in mind?
- Are you choosing a domain name for a personal website?
- What are you going to market?
- What kind of feel do you want for the site?
What’s a TLD and What Do I Need?
TLD stands for Top Level Domain. It is what you will find at the end of a domain name. For example, this website ends with .com, but there are many other choices out there. Some of them are .net, .org, .info.us, .gov, .me, .biz, etc. If it’s available, I always recommend going for the .com. In some cases, I have built websites with .net, or .org because the .com wasn’t available.
This is pretty important. If you are looking to brand a site, you should really consider getting multiple TLDs on top of the .com. Many times we offer package deals (as do other companies) when you do this. Take advantage of this. Why? You want to protect your brand. You don’t want someone else coming along, stealing your ideas and just picking a domain name with a different TLD. I’ve had this happen to me before. It’s not cool, but people do it all the time.
Friends and Family
If you have a few ideas and aren’t sure what to go with, don’t be afraid to ask for the opinions of others. I’m sure your friends or family have something to say about your ideas, so share them. You could also do a survey. I have a friend who wanted to change the name of his company for a better branding opportunity. He sent out a survey to his friends, families, and even clients asking for their advice on which they liked best. This helped him greatly with his decision in picking a domain name that was better branded.
Time to Register Your Domain Name
Once you have finished selecting a domain name, you want to make sure it’s available. Use the domain tool at Hosting Megastore. Simply enter the domain name you like best, choose a TLD and press enter. It will let you know if it’s available or not. If it’s not available, it will offer similar ideas. If you don’t like any of those, try your next favorite domain name idea. Once you find one, you’ll be able to secure that domain and start building your website. After reading this, picking a domain name should be no problem at all.By: Scott Mazerall