domain name

15 Brilliant Tips For Choosing A Perfect Domain Name

Howdy, Volant lovers, and welcome to another edition of Volant learning.

This week we are going to chat about how to choose a domain name.

Maybe you’re starting a new company, a new brand, or have an existing brand you’re trying to take online? Either way, you’re going to need a website.

15 Tips For Choosing A Perfect Domain Name

1. Make your name brandable

2. Make it easy to type

3. Keep it short

4. Make it pronounceable and be memorable

5. Use Keywords

6. Use an appropriate domain name extension

7. Avoid trademark infringement, numbers and hyphens

8. Target your local area

9. Consider enabling domain ID protection

10. Avoid these words when possible

11. Use a thesaurus for domain name ideas

12. Help yourself to some domain name generators

13. Protect and build your brand

14. Lock the domain so it can’t be stolen

15. Act fast

Domain names have a massive impact all over the web in terms of click-through rate, from search to social media results, to referring links, to type-in traffic, brandability, and offline advertising.

There’s a huge wealth of places that your domain name impacts your brand and your online marketing, and we can’t ignore this.

1. Make your name brandable

Brandable, meaning that when you hear or see the domain name, it sounds like a brand. Which means that hyphens and numbers are a real problem because they don’t sound like a brand. They sound generic, or strange.

We all know that branding is crucial to long-term success, but what exactly makes a domain name brandable? There are many factors that come into play here, but the most important ones are as follows:

  • A brandable name has no specific meaning (eg ‘Google’ is not a word, ‘YouTube isn’t one either).
  • It’s unique — your competition doesn’t use anything similar.
  • It’s easy to memorize — not too wordy, no complex vowel combinations.
  • It’s easy to pronounce and dictate over the phone.
  • It sounds trustworthy — some names can be a little shady by definition, for instance, Pasta-shop.com would be hard
  • to brand, say, or remember, but PastaLabs.com sounds way better because it has a scientific connotation to it, is very brandable, unique, memorable, and stands out.
  • To make the brainstorming process easier, you can experiment with some combinations of actual words and random suffixes, like I did with the PastaLabs.com example above. The main goal here is to create a potential for the domain name to build brand value over time.

In other words, as much as possible, try making sure the name has a good ring to it. It should be fun to say out loud, and not difficult to memorize immediately. Think about the likes of Uber: It’s short and snappy, and there’s no confusion as to how to spell it — even when mentioned in passing in a conversation.

2. Make it easy to type

Finding a domain name that’s easy to type is critical to online success. If you use slang (u instead of you) or words with multiple spellings (express vs. xpress), it might be harder for customers to find your site.

3. Keep it short

If your domain name is long and complex, you risk customers mistyping or misspelling it.
The fewer characters a domain name has, the easier it is to type, say, share, and the less it gets shortened on social media sharing platforms and search results. Short and simple is the way to go.

4. Make it pronounceable and be memorable

You might be thinking, “Tom, why is it so important that it’s pronounceable? Most people are going to be typing it or clicking a link.”.

It matters because of “processing fluency”. A cognitive bias that human beings have where we remember (and have more positive associations with) things that we can easily say and think about. That includes pronounceability in our own minds.

This is going to vary on the language and region that you’re targeting. There are millions of registered domain names, so having a domain that’s catchy and memorable is essential.

Once you’ve come up with a name, share it with close friends to make sure it sounds appealing and makes sense to others.

Quick solution: Got a great idea for a domain? Register your name today and put a website out there before someone else beats you to it.

5. Use Keywords

Keywords in a domain name can help with the cognitive fluency biases, but also from an SEO perspective.

Google has been biasing away from these exact match and partial match domains, but the anchor text you get from people linking to your domain can help.

If you can get a keyword mention in your domain name that helps make it obvious what you’re website is about, go for it.

But if you’re trying to secure a keyword rich or a keyword targeted domain, I would stay away from those in 2017. They don’t carry the weight that they used to and have negative associations (with users and search engines) that you should avoid.

For example, I would not purchase a domain name like; RecipesForPasta.com or BuyPastaOnline.com. I would instead, go for something very broad like Gusto.com.

Think about Amazon.com or Google.com, which clearly has no association with what it is. These are very well-branded but don’t have keyword richness to them.

It’s more of a creative association, just like “gusto” means “taste” in Italian. So I might be tempted to go in that direction instead.

6. Use an appropriate domain name extension

Extensions are suffixes, such as .com or .net, at the end of web addresses. These can have specific uses, so make
sure to choose one that works for your business. The .com domain extension is far and away the most popular, but it
can be tough to get a short and memorable .com domain name because it’s been around for so long.

A bevy of new generic top-level domains — like .photography, .app and .africa — offer a great opportunity to
register short and highly relevant names. And here are some other top extensions and how they’re often used:

.co : an abbreviation for company, commerce, and community.
.info : informational sites.
.net : technical, Internet infrastructure sites.
.org : non-commercial organizations and nonprofits.
.biz : business or commercial use, like e-commerce sites.
.me : blogs, resumes or personal sites.

Pro tip: You don’t need to build a website for every domain. Just forward any additional domains to your primary website.

7. Avoid trademark infringement, numbers and hyphens

Make sure the name you’ve selected isn’t trademarked, copyrighted or being used by another company.

It could result in a huge legal mess that could cost you a fortune, as well as your domain!

Don’t forget to research the value of your possible domain. This can also create brand confusion, which is hard for your brandability.

You should talk to an attorney or a legal professional if you have real concerns.

Trademark owners can attempt to sue a domain name owner, who’s owning the domain legitimately and using it for business purposes, and that sucks.

Numbers and hyphens are often misunderstood — people who hear your website address don’t know if you’re using a numeral (5) or it’s spelled out (five) or they misplace or forget the dash. If you need these in your domain, register the different variations to be safe.

8. Target your local area

If your business is local, consider including your city or state in your domain name to make it easy for local customers to find and remember. Example: PhoenixGlassRepair.com, thelogangroupNC.com or mainstreetsteamboat.com

9. Consider enabling domain ID protection

In simple terms, domain ID protection masks your personal contact information from anyone performing a whois lookup
on your domain name.

By default, and under ICANN rules (the organization that regulates domain names), all domain names must have
publicly viewable contact information assigned to them — the same information you had to provide during
registration. This includes your name, address, phone number, and email address.

Let me say this again, by default, all of this is visible to anyone who puts your domain name through a tool such as the aforementioned who.is.

This is not perfect. First, anyone can see this info, which means your personal details are exposed.

You’re basically sacrificing part of your privacy for nothing in exchange.

So, the way to solve this is to set domain ID protection with your domain registrar (all domain registrars offer this).

This is usually a paid feature, though. The price tag can be around $0.9/ 1 year. Here’s how to do this.

Once under domain ID protection, the whois details of your domain get replaced with your registrar’s information.

10. Avoid these words when possible

If you can avoid it, try not use “a”, “an”, “the” to start a url and “and”, “but”, “or”, or “with” to connect ideas.
These words just make your URL longer and harder to remember.

11. Use a thesaurus for domain name ideas

Okay, so no matter what I say about picking a domain name that’s brandable, simple, has a good ring to it, is easy to memorize, and so on and so forth, the fact of the matter is that coming up with a truly good name is hard.

Sometimes, you’ll easily go through tens of different terms before you settle on that perfect one, while other times nothing will seem good enough. In that case, Thesaurus.com can be the secret weapon in your arsenal.

The site will help you find synonyms and also provide quick definitions to help you not to make a silly mistake by building your domain name around a word with a meaning you’ve misunderstood.

Note: As I mentioned above, it’s not advisable to just go with a standard dictionary word as your domain name, even if it comes from a thesaurus. Always add some modifiers to it, or turn it into something original by changing a few letters here and there.

12. Help yourself to some domain name generators

This is another kind of helper that you can use if you’re finding it hard to come up with a cool domain name, and thus, by extension, your business name as well.

These tools are very simple to use, but also surprisingly helpful. All they need is one keyword from you — a seed keyword (or a seed key-phrase) — and, in return, they give you tens or even hundreds of suggestions, full of valid and available domain names that you can register right away.

The best such tools include:

  • Business name generator by Shopify works similarly to the above, and also helps you build a Shopify store with the domain name of your choice.
  • Nameboy is a bit more old-school — especially in its design — but it’s still useful. This one needs more specific input and does a better job once you have a general direction you want to follow with your name.

13. Protect and build your brand

To protect your brand, you should purchase various domain extensions, as well as misspelled versions of your domain name.

This prevents competitors from registering other versions and ensures your customers are directed to your website, even if they mistype it.

14. Lock the domain so it can’t be stolen

Even though it may seem odd at first, domain hijacking actually happens more often than you’d imagine.

Not going into the boring technical details, your domain can be stolen via several means. Most commonly, this involves either hacking your password or convincing you to give out your password via a phishing attack, plus some other fun things.

Basically, if someone gains access to your registrar’s user account, they can do whatever they wish with your domains.

Some domain registrars offer a feature in which they keep your domain in Registrar-lock status, which prevents unauthorized attempts at domain transfers. In this state, your registration information and DNS configuration cannot be changed until you unlock your domain name.

Luckily, enabling this option is often very easy and only requires you to select a specific box in your registrar’s user panel.

15. Act fast

Domain names sell quickly. Thankfully, they’re also inexpensive, so register your favorite domain names as soon as possible.

If you’re having trouble finding an available name, domain registrars like Namecheap will suggest alternate names during your domain search to help you find the perfect domain name.

In conclusion, choosing a good domain name is a crucial aspect of building a unique and successful brand online.

Leave your comment below let’s know what you think.

5 thoughts on “15 Brilliant Tips For Choosing A Perfect Domain Name”

  1. An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

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