I want to show you some tested steps on how to choose a domain name. But then, does a good domain name really matter in trying to set up a web presence? Is it actually necessary and important to pay attention to your domain name? Can your domain name affect your ranking and people’s perception about your business?
In this post, I want to walk you through some guided blueprints on how to choose a domain name for your business or blog. In this 21st century, getting a good and short domain name is not an easy task. Almost all three letter words domain name has been taken. The same goes for four letter words.
The need and quest to get a domain name has increased such that you could search for a domain name this morning and find out that it is available but before night falls, same domain name has been bought by someone else.
For example, I saw a domain (netatest.com) on expireddomains.com. I left it with the intention of buying it in the next two days. As I checked back after two days, I discovered that the name had been taken by someone else. This is because the need and demand for domain names has increased and is still increasing more daily.
Domaining has become a good business that puts food on the table of several persons. As a result of this, many people who buy domain names do not just buy them for the fact that they want to use it for a business in the future. Some of them buy with the intention of reselling and making profits. As such, a good domain name is hard to come by.
For your new business, you may not be able to afford a premium domain name. Many of the simple domain names have become premium such that the entire worth of your startup may not be able to afford it.
As much as short domain names with the .com extension are hardly available, what do we do? Should we quit our business because we cannot get a good domain name? Do we continue to run offline till we get the fund to purchase a premium domain of our choice?
This post is put together to educate you on how to choose a domain name for your online business. If you are having issues with getting such, after reading this post, I guess the issue will be resolved.
Importance of a good domain name
- It’s your way of presenting and packaging your business in the cloud: Every business talks about branding and packaging. Your domain name is a solid test for brand and the level of packaging you attach to your business.
- It’s the first impression you present to your readers and customers: First impressions matter a lot. Your domain name is the first port of call your clients will have with your business. As such using shady names would mar your business ideology
Here are few things to consider on how to choose a domain name for your business
Use the most popular extensions like .com, .org and .net
Although .com is more preferable and successful. According to w3techs, People are more familiar with .com and .com domains account for about 47% of all websites.
Your domain extension matters a lot to people. This is why using a .com extension is more advised. People tend to guess that your domain is example.com more than any other extension. Others are not even aware of the fact that there are other extensions for a domain name. Such that when they find out your business name, they head straight to the web browser and input the name and add .com to it. Though there are other extensions like .org, .net, .edu, .xyz, .biz, .club and so on. .com, .org and .net are more commonly used. As such try and get a domain with any of these popular extensions but preferably the .com extension
Your business name
The next thing to consider is your business name. What is your business name? It will not make sense if your business name is different from your domain name. Actually, several persons may not know website name. They do their guesses through your business name and with the help of google, they arrive at the correct website name for your business.
For example, if I have a business name called testing, it will be right for my domain name to as well be testing.com. But in the case where testing.com is not available, some prefixes and suffixes could be added. If the business is within the food niche, I could check for testingfood.com, foodtesting.com or even testingonline.com. testinghub.com, testinghome.com, etc.
Any of these could go for a website name for my testing business. If the business is in the automobile niche, I could choose autotesting.com, testingauto.com, cartesting.com, testingcar.com, vehicletesting.com and so on. The point is this; it is very import to have your business name in your domain name.
Go through global brands and you will observe that their website name is the same with their business name. Microsoft website is Microsoft.com, facebook website is facebook.com, amazon website is amazon.com, google website is google.com and so on. It will not be meaningful to have a business name called facebook and a website called google.com.
Choose shorter names if they are available
Many short domain names are no longer available. The few that are available are sold at premium price which many startups may not be able to afford. Some of them go for several thousands of dollars. I guess your new business cannot afford such whooping sum. This means that getting short domain names may be difficult but still possible. If you are not able to get a very simple domain name, try as much as possible to get a domain that is between 7-12 characters. This is the standard because the shorter the better. The shorter, the easier it is to be pronounced and spelt.
Easy to type
One of the things you must ensure while learning how to choose a domain name is that it should be easy to type. Many people world visit your domain via the recommendation of others. As such, the link may not be sent to them, they have to type it themselves. This is why a domain name that is easy to spell and type is more preferred. I got to know about Neilpatel and Backlinko through a friend who mentioned the sites to me. I went ahead to search for them by myself and since then, I have been a stronger reader of both blogs. So ensure that the domain name you will choose will not be difficult to type and spell.
Easy to pronounce
Also, easy to pronounce domain names are part of the things to consider in trying to understand how to choose a domain name. If I want to recommend your website to somebody through the word of mouth, I should be able to pronounce it in a way that the hearer will be able to understand it. With this, check for the difficulties involved in pronouncing your domain name. The easier it is to pronounce, the better for you.
Avoid hyphens and numbers
I plead with you, as much as possible, avoid the use of numbers and hyphens. All these points are because some of your visitors may not see a link to click in order to visit your website. If every visitor on your website comes through a direct link, this point and the other 2 above will not be necessary. But for the fact that some of them will manually type in your domain to the browser. Therefore, as much as possible, avoid the use of numbers and hyphens. It does not make sense in recent time.
While choosing a domain name, consider the future of your brand
Another thing that must be taken into consideration while learning how to choose a domain name is the future of the brand you want to host in the cloud. For example, a friend of mine who is a scholarship blogger had the site, www.nigerianuniversitiesscholarships.com. Apart from the fact that the domain name was long, his business was limited to only Nigerian based scholarships and scholarship for Nigerian students. This actually does not make sense. With that, he moved over to worldscholarshipforum.com where he now enjoys a global audience.
Have the picture of what you want your business to be like in the future so as to avoid shuttling between domain names. If you have a business that takes care of livestock and you have the plan of diversifying in the future, it is better you get a domain name that will be able to accommodate the diversification in years to come.
Choose a brandable name
A brandable name will also make sense. Infoducation has no limitation. As such, I could also convert this blog to a news blog, scholarship blog, travel blog, hospitality blog and so on. But if I have a domain name like seomaster.com, it becomes clear that the site talks about SEO. It will not make sense to talk about lifestyle on such a blog. Thus, as much as possible, choose a brandable name like Microsoft, amazon, google, youtube, facebook, twitter, apple etc. so that it can also accommodate diversification and growth.
Another thing to consider while trying to get a domain name is your niche. What niche do you want to launch your domain in? worldscholarshipforum is a scholarship domain name with a global target, this is clearly seen in the way the domain name appears. Newbalancejobs is a domain in the job niche. Businessyield is a domain in the business and financial niche. Christianpost is a blog in the Christianity niche.
So you see that the choice of niche you want to operate in can also determine your choice of domain name. To do this, understand your niche and add some prefix or suffix and then you come up with a good domain name. I hope that from today, how to choose a domain name will not be an issue to you again.
Your own name
Your name can also be used as your domain name. There are people who may not have a business name but just want to do something online. For example, not all blogs are registered businesses. Therefore, in this case, you will not talk of using your business name as your website name because there is no business name at all.
This is where your name can serve as your website name. There are lots of websites that the domain name is the name of the owner. For example Neilpatel.com is own by Neil Patel. Lindaikeji.com is owned by Linda Ikeji. The list is endless. If getting a domain name becomes a problem to you, try the combination of your name.
You can save yourself the stress of tirelessly looking for and thinking of a domain name that will match your online presence. The good thing in using your name as a domain is that your name will not be limited to any niche. There will be no limitation to what you can do on a domain name that uses your real name.
Your focus keyword
It is possible to build a blog just a on narrow keyword. For example, if you build a business to teach people how to do SEO, SEO related domain name can serve. Names like seomaster.com, learnseo.com, seoclass.com etc. In this era of crypto currencies, many crypto currency blogs have the word crypto in their domain. This is because their chosen niche is crypto currency.
So this is another answer for how to choose a domain name for your blog. If you want to start up a blog that talk about dogs, instead of having a generic domain name for animals, you can limit your domain name such that anyone who sees or hears the domain been mentioned will have an insight into what it is talking about even without having to visit the domain.
For example, a domain name like graduatejob.com.ng talks about jobs. Anyone who sees the domain name will know that it talks about jobs. It will then be wrong to have a domain like that and begin to talk about food on the blog.
Meaningful combination of words
You can as well get a good domain name by doing a sort of meaningful combination of words. For example, the first time I launched this domain name infoducation.com, it was an educational blog. Info comes from the word information because I was to share relevant educational information on that blog. Ducation comes from the word education.
The blog was on the education niche and that was how I came about the domain name. This way of getting a domain name is applicable in every niche because as earlier mentioned; getting a good domain name is difficult in this period.
Be careful of multiple consonant letters
Be careful of buying domain names with multiple consonant letters. This will make it very hard to pronounce and spell. Remember that your domain name should be as easy as possible so that someone could spell when they want to type it into a browser. If you use multiple consonants at the same time, the goal of easily spelling the domain name will be defeated.
Use domain name generators
There are situations whereby you try your best to come up with a good domain name and it does not work. Some other times, you may not want to pass through the stress of thinking through and through on how to choose a domain name. This is where you employ the services of domain name generators.
Domain name generators works like the Gmail application whereby if you want to create a Gmail account and the address you choose is no longer available, Gmail will make some suggestions and recommendations by combining your first and second names and in some cases adding numbers to the combination. Remember not to use numbers in your domain names. You can employ the services of domain name generators like nameboy, business name generator by shopify, leandomainsearch
Do social media consultation
If you have chosen a domain name, try to check up such domain on social media. This is because you are most likely to have social media handles and platforms. Thus, it will not make sense to have website like infoducation.com and a social media handle name magnifysoft. This is unethical and unadvisable. So try to get a domain name that can also host social media platforms.
Check for the price with various domain name registrars
As a new start up, you may not be able to afford thousands of dollars in other to buy a premium domain. You will want to cut your coat according to the material you have. Therefore find out the cost of the domain name with your registrar.
You can check for the availability of your domain on whois.com and who.is but they may not give you the exact prize of the domain. Also, domains do not have fixed prizes. Their prizes vary from registrar to registrar. Though the differences may not be much, but before you conclude on a particular domain name, find out the prize of that domain. But then, I recommend that you register your domain on namecheap as it provides the best domaining service
Try as much as possible to register your domain by yourself
You could register your domain through the help of someone, but it is advised to register your domain yourself. Registering domain needs your credit card details and other vital information which you will surely not want to share with someone.
Also, if a third party helps you to register your domain name, you will have to pay service fee to the person which will in turn increase the cost of your domain name. Another thing is that in future, issues may arise between you and the person. On the other hand, if the need to renew the domain name arises, you will still have to contact the person who registered it for you. But if you do it yourself, such issues will not arise. Therefore it is very much advised to register your domain name by yourself.
If you have the money, register it for many years
Having finalized on the name to use for your business, try to see if you can register it for more than one year. This will help you avoid the stress of renewing your domains yearly. Also, your business may not be profitable at the beginning. This will make you stand the risk of losing your domain name when it expires.
Once your domain name expires, you will be given a grace period (depending on the registrar), after which you stand the risk of losing the domain name. As such, it is better to register the domain name for more than one year, depending on the amount of money at your disposal.
As soon as you confirm its availability, buy it immediately
If you confirm the availability of the domain name, do not waste any time. Go ahead and register it immediately because it is possible that someone somewhere may also have the same name suggestion and if you delay, another person grabs it. So ensure you do not waste time at all. You cannot reserve a name to buy it later. It is possible you add the name to cart on your namecheap account and someone else goes to buy it from hostinger. So at the point of confirming the availability, buy it off immediately.
I have listed some points on how to choose a domain name for your website. A domain name does really matter and that it why rapt attention must be paid in order to get one. A good domain name can give you an edge over your competitors. Even the Bible clearly states that a good name is better than silver and gold. Although, a good domain name is not one of Google’s ranking factor but it helps in easily locating your business online.
As a way of recapping the points earlier explained, let me state them again for emphasis sake.
- Use the most popular extensions like .com, .org and .net
- Choose shorter names if they are available
- Easy to type and spell
- Easy to pronounce
- Avoid hyphens and numbers
- Consider the future of your brand
- Choose a brandable name
- Your business name
- Your own name
- Your focus keyword
- Meaningful combination of words
- Be careful of multiple consonant letters
- Use domain name generators
- Do social media consultation
- Check for the price with various domain name registrars
- Try as much as possible to register your domain by yourself
- If you have the money, register it for many years
I hope this content meets your need.