Choosing a domain name can seem like a daunting task; it needs to be on-brand, reflect what your company does, and, well, sound good! Don’t worry though, if you follow some tips and tricks then choosing the right domain name can be easier than it seems!
Keep your domain name simple
First of all, think of some of the most famous domain names you know; Google, Facebook, YouTube. What have they got in common? They’re all short and simple. Even if you want to make sure your customers know you sell a wide variety of products, having a domain name of pineoakmahoganyandwalnutchairs.com is clunky and difficult to remember. The simpler the name, the easier it will be for people to remember.
Be wary of awkward spellings and using punctuation as this could confuse users and lead to them misspelling your domain name. For example, h4ppych4irs.com, happychairz.com or happy-chairs.com are more likely to get misspelt than a simple happychairs.com.
Make sure your domain name represents your brand identity
Your domain name might be the first thing a potential customer sees of your company, so it’s important it reflects your brand identity. If you already have a company name – great, you can just use that, but if it has already been taken or you’re still deciding on the perfect name, here are some ideas to help you choose.
A good brandable name has no specific meaning (Instagram/TikTok), it’s unique, easy to memorise and importantly, it can be easily pronounced and spelt correctly without having to see it written down.
Brainstorm some ideas of what you want your brand identity to be, and then look up those words in a thesaurus to give you some more ideas. You can also use a domain name generator like Domain Wheel for inspiration.
Optimise your domain name for SEO
Having a simple, memorable domain name means you’re already optimising your domain name for SEO, as the easier your domain is to read, the better a search engine will rank you as your domain is accessible and usable.
Using keywords in your domain name is great, as it makes it obvious to both search engines and users what your company is all about. However, you want to make sure that you don’t sacrifice the previous points in order to stuff keywords in; best-wooden-chairs-uk.com is obviously keyword targeted and Google now associates this type of domain name with spammy and low-quality websites.
Choose a domain extension that makes sense
In an ideal world, we’d all choose our domain name and then slap a .com on it. Having a .com domain extension (also called TLDs, or top-level domains) is the best option as it is good for SEO purposes, looks professional, and is more likely to get traffic. People are more familiar with .com, and assume that all websites will end with this extension.
Although over half of all websites do use the .com extension, there are downsides to it. First, they’re the most popular, so it’s likely that your perfect domain name has already been taken. Secondly, .com is invariably the most expensive, so if you’re strapped for cash, a .com might not be available for you.
Thankfully, more interesting domain extensions are being used more and more, with TLDs such as .store, .co and .ly becoming popular. We’ve written more about this in a previous blog on TLDs, but one thing to bear in mind is that if your company is location specific, using a regional domain extension could work for you. This is because Google will automatically geo-target your site and make it more visible for people in that country, bringing in relevant traffic.
Buy domain names similar to the one you’ve chosen
If you’ve got the money to do so, it’s a good idea to buy common misspellings of your domain name. This prevents competitors registering versions similar to yours and can also be a useful tool to redirect visitors to your site if they didn’t get the domain name right the first time. This also holds true for different domain extensions – if you’ve got a .co.uk extension, consider buying common alternatives like .com, .net or .org.
Check the domain name’s history
First, make sure you google the domain name you’ve chosen to make sure it doesn’t already exist – otherwise it’s back to the drawing board! It’s also a good idea to make sure that the domain hasn’t previously been used for other things that would negatively impact your site. Tools like Wayback machine give you snapshots of what the site looked like in the past, and Who.is can show you who used to own the domain, and who the domain registrar (provider) was.
If you’ve got a domain name ready to then why not choose Go Sitebuilder to help you build your website? You can get your domain name free through our package, and our ready to go themes and website builder will give you all the tools you need to get a website that represents your company and your brand. Try our free 14-day-trial today!