One of the first things I think of when starting a new website, and arguably one of the most important, is the domain name. Choosing a domain name is easy enough, but here are a few tips to keep in mind to help you choose a great domain name.
Whether you are starting a company, or starting a new blog, a great domain name will make your site memorable, brandable, and marketable.
Your domain name is likely the first thing your users will see. It is also how they get back to your site. A memorable and unique domain name keeps your users coming back for more. Your domain name can define your brand, some domain names are also spread through word of mouth.
This brings me to my first point.
Short, Pronounceable, Memorable
A short domain name is easier to type in, easier to remember and will resonate more with your users. Lets say you wanted to start a website all about drones, maybe with drone reviews, and some drones for sale. The following examples show a few possible domain names. Remember the sky is the limit here, but if you stick to these guidelines you will choose a great domain name.
- ExcellentDronesForSale.com is long, and sounds very generic.
- DroneSource.com is short and catchy and still conveys the meaning of the site.
- FlyDrones.com is short and catchy with the added benefit of being brandable.
The final example is not only unique but also sounds like a brand. More on this in the next section.
Although a domain like OnlineDroneStore.com makes it incredibly obvious what is offered, it does not sound like a 'real business'. This name also sounds very generic. Your website isn't generic so you want a domain name that conveys its uniqueness. A better example would be along the lines of DroneFury.com. Can you imagine the logo?
You can get really creative with this part of the process. Does your business already have a name? Try creative variations of the business name adding a keyword relevant to your niche. Does your business lend itself to a play on words? Use that to your advantage! Creative misspellings of common words also lead to great domain names.
Does saying your domain name out loud conjure up images of the company you want to be, or just some white label storefront?
Keep Your Keywords Broad
In the early days of search engine optimization (SEO) a common technique was 'keyword stuffing' domains. That is fitting as many keywords into a reasonable domain as possible. Search engines now penalize what are known as 'exact match domains'. Don't go for exact match domain names like BuyCheapRCDrones.com.
Using a tool like Google Keyword Planner can help you determine which keywords rank well for your niche.
Include words that are closely related to your niche without stuffing the domain. Remember you are creating this domain name for your human users. In the end humans will be typing in your domain name to get to your site. Optimize your domain name for your human users and your search ranking will follow.
If it sounds awkward, it probably is.
Describe Your Site
Your domain name should make it immediately obvious what your business or site is all about. Not only will having a keyword related to your site help you in search rankings, but it will also inform your potential users if the site is relevant to them.
Building on the previous example, a domain name like DroneFactory.com sounds like it will have something to do with drones. A domain such as CoolRCToys.com sounds like they may sell RC toys, maybe even drones, but it isn't immediately obvious what the site is all about. A domain name that is relevant to your site will help your search rankings and can help build links to your page.
Remember, your users are being bombarded with all sorts of digital information every single day. You want to minimize any potential confusion and make it as easy as possible for someone to end up on your site.
Stick To Common TLDs
If you aren't sure what top level domain (TLD) to choose, you should probably stick with .com. Although most domains function the same way and will get users to your site regardless, a .com is immediately recognized by any Internet user. The .com TLD has been around since the the beginning of the Internet. Your users will already be familiar with the .com TLD and this will make it much easier for them to associate with your site.
Other common and recognizable TLDs include .net, .org, and the various country specific TLDs (ccTLDs). If you are a company based in the United States the .us domain is a great choice. Country specific TLDs also have the added benefit of showing your users where you are based.
If you keep these points in mind, you will have no trouble when you choose a great domain name. Get creative with it! You can really develop your brand and business around a great domain name.
When you choose a great domain name, you want a short, memorable, and pronounceable name that tells the end user what your site is all about. If you can include keywords relevant to your niche, then all the better. But don't go overboard. Too many keywords stuffed into your domain name will actually penalize your search ranking.
When you have come up with a great domain name register it before someone else snatches it up! There is nothing worse than picking the perfect name, only to find someone else has already registered it. At VONKAI Hosting we provide state of the art domain name hosting services.