Finding and registering a good domain name is a crucial part of being successful online. If your domain name isn't optimised through many of the tips described in this article, you could find yourself running into problems with your domain name at a later stage and possibly having to do a rebranding.
Thankfully, finding a good domain name isn't as difficult as it may seem. The main factors you should consider when registering a domain name are the length, simplicity, keywords, extension, and a few more. Read on to learn more about these factors!
Tip 1: Keep it short and simple
The shorter your domain name is, the better. Ideally, it should be no more than 10 characters. If you can get it even shorter to 5 or 10 characters, that'd be a lot better.
You should also avoid using complex words and phrases that people will struggle to type in correctly.
Here's an interesting example of a domain name that's both too long and not simple whatsoever: http://llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.co.uk
And yep, that's a real domain name, which is named after the Welsh village with the longest name in the UK. The Guinness Book of Records even gave it the title of the longest domain name in 2002!
While a Guinness Book of Records title may be nice, almost no one will be able to find their business website by typing it into their URL bar, just because it's way too long and doesn't contain any common words or phrases. Keep that in mind during the domain selection process; the best name for a domain is one that's short and simple.
Tip 2: Consider your needs
If you want to register a domain name for the purpose of using it for a business, you're also going to need email and web hosting. Therefore, choosing a domain provider that provides you with reliable web hosting and email is something important to think of.
One provider you might want to consider is Site.eu. When you register your chosen domain name at Site.eu, the following services are included: web hosting with unlimited traffic, unlimited email addresses, an SSL certificate and access to our website/online store builder.
Domain registration is competitive. That's because only one person can own a specific domain name. This makes good website names valuable.
Tip 3: Use relevant keywords
Keywords are essentially the most common words that people use to find websites through Google, such as "yoga mat".
If you're looking to run an online store that sells, for example, personalised yoga mats, you could register a domain name like youryogamat.com as long as it's available.
When it comes to using relevant keywords in your domain name, there are pros and cons. Below we describe some of the main ones to consider.
- Better search engine rankings: Improve your website's search engine rankings for those keywords.
- Improved user understanding: Help users better understand what your website is about.
- Brand recognition: Build brand recognition through easier memorability.
- Limited branding potential: Can limit your website's branding potential if the keywords are too specific or narrow.
- Over-optimization: Using too many keywords or over-optimizing a domain name can actually hurt search engine rankings.
- Keyword competition: If the chosen keywords are highly competitive, it can be difficult to rank well for them even with a keyword-rich domain name.
If you do decide to use keywords, your priority should be brand identity. You can do that by making sure to keep the domain name short and memorable.
Tip 4: Choose the right domain extension
When it comes to choosing the right domain extension, there are primarily 3 types of extensions you should consider: Generic, country code and industry-specific TLDs. Here's some information about which one(s) might be best for you:
- A generic TLD (.com, .net, .org, .info, etc.) is best if you're looking to operate internationally without focussing too much on one specific country. These are the most popular extensions.
- A country code TLD (co.uk, .fr, .de, etc.) is best if you're looking to focus on one country. They can also be good additions to a generic TLD if you're looking to primarily focus on a few countries. For example, if you want to operate internationally but primarily focus on France and Germany, you might consider .com, .fr and .de domain names.
- An industry-specific TLD (.app, .tech, .store, etc.) is a good alternative to generic TLDs if your desired TLD isn't available, and you're not looking to focus too much on one specific country.
Tip 5: Avoid hyphens and numbers
Not only do hyphens and numbers make a domain name harder to memorise, causing your website's visitors to possibly end up on the wrong website, they can also make your domain name look unprofessional and therefore have a negative impact on the credibility of your website.
Which of these domain name examples do you think is the easiest to memorise and looks the most trustworthy: youryogamats.com, youryogamats100.com, or your-yoga-mats.com?
If you thought it's the first one, youryogamats.com, then you're right!
Tip 6: Research for potential trademark issues
When choosing a domain name, it's important to ensure that the domain name won't infringe with anyone else's trademark. If that is the case, you could have to pay millions in lawsuits or even risk losing the domain name. That can lead to major problems, especially when you've already established a brand identity through your current domain name.
While a trademark infringement probably won't cause you major problems if you're just looking to run, for example, a small blog, it could definitely cause you major problems if you've built, for example, one of the biggest yoga stores based in the United States.
You can do the trademark research yourself. However, since this is quite a complex subject, it is best to consult this with a trademark attorney.
Tip 7: Utilize a domain name generator for good website names
Domain name generators are tools that help you come up with unique and good domain names. These generators typically work by combining words, phrases, and keywords that you enter, or by using algorithms to generate random combinations of letters and numbers. Here are some examples of domain name generators:
- NameMesh: This generator allows you to enter multiple keywords and generates a list of available domain names with different TLDs.
- Lean Domain Search: This generator combines your keyword with other words and checks domain name availability in real-time.
- Nameboy: This generator uses the keywords you enter and provides suggestions for domain names with different TLDs.
- Panabee: This generator uses algorithms to generate random combinations of words and letters to create unique domain names.
- BustAName: This generator allows you to enter multiple keywords and provides suggestions for domain names by combining them with other words or by adding prefixes and suffixes.
If you expect your website to become popular, it can be a good idea to secure other domain extensions for your website.
Tip 8: Test your domain name ideas with your target audience
It's a good idea to know more about your domain name's suitability before you build a brand identity on it, and then improve that domain based on feedback. So, you first need to get feedback, and then make improvements if possible.
How to get feedback on your domain name
- Use social media: Create a poll on social media with multiple domain names and ask people to vote which ones are best, as well as to comment why they voted for that one. If you only have one domain idea, post it and just ask your followers for their feedback.
- Conduct surveys: Use online survey tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms to create a simple survey and send it to your email list or social media followers. Make sure to keep the survey short and easy to complete.
- Ask for feedback from friends and family: Share your domain name with friends and family members who are part of your target audience and ask for their feedback. They can provide you with honest feedback and suggestions for improvement.
The best way to do this would really be to get feedback from as many people as possible. So, asking for feedback from friends and family alone might not be the best option.
How to improve your domain name based on feedback
Once you've got feedback, it's time to make any improvements if possible. You can do so by following these steps:
- Listen to the feedback: Before making any changes, carefully consider the feedback you have received. Try to understand what users are saying and why they are saying it.
- Identify the issues: Look for common themes in the feedback, and identify any specific issues that users are having with your current domain name.
- Think of alternative options: Based on the feedback and issues identified, think of potential alternative domain names that could address these concerns.
- Test the new domain name: Once you have a list of potential options, get additional feedback, whether from the same people who previously gave you feedback or other people. This will give you a sense of which names are resonating with your users.
If most of the feedback is positive, and you don't think you need to make any improvements, then you should have a pretty great domain name!
Tip 9: Secure alternative domain extensions and variations
If you expect your website to become popular, it can be a good idea to secure other domain extensions for your website. Otherwise, opportunists may try to grab these alternatives and resell them to you at a hefty price. For example, Tesla.com was sold for a whopping $10 million to the company!
When thinking about these other extensions, think about extensions that might be valuable for your business in the future. For example, if you expect to operate in Belgium and the Netherlands in the future, you should also register a .be and .nl domain name.
Tip 10: Act fast and register your domain name
Domain registration is competitive. That's because only one person can own a specific domain name. This makes good website names valuable, as discussed in the previous section. For that reason, there are always people searching for perfect domain names to register which they think they can make money from.
So, it's a good idea to register your desired domain name(s) as soon as possible, before you've even collected feedback about it. Even waiting 1 day can make the difference of being able to get your desired domain name or not.
You can register your domain name at a domain registrar or often at a hosting provider too. At Site.eu, you can quickly and easily register your domain name through our domain name search tool.
Choosing a domain name tips: Conclusion
A good domain name can make a massive impact on your online success. It can even make the difference between a failed or a successful online business.
Therefore, carefully consider the tips described in the article. A domain name should be short, simple, memorable, and without hyphens or numbers. Also, it should have a relevant domain name extension. Once you've figured out some domain name ideas, get feedback and check if there won't be any trademark issues with any of them. The best domain name for your website is one that you've researched well, optimized and collected feedback for.
When you're ready to do a domain name search or register your domain name, you should definitely consider Site.eu over other domain registrars. That's because you get web hosting, business email, SSL and our website and online store builder included with your domain name. We also offer 500+ domain extensions that you can choose from!