Shaking hands at the party, you listen to the names and introduce yourself to new faces. As you move onto the next hand, their names fly out of your memory.
The only names that stick are the ones that are unique and seem to match the person shaking your hand perfectly.
Your domain name is just as important for standing out from the crowd of competitors within your industry. Without the right name, you run the risk of becoming another voice drowning in the noise of today’s busy marketing. Your goal should instead be to pick a name that sounds unique, is easy to remember, and also feels like a perfect fit for the products or services you’re selling.
Follow these seven steps to choose a domain name
1. Use The Right Domain Name Extensions (.com, .org, .net)
When you choose your domain name extension, you can be sure of one thing: “.com” is still the best.
According to research from Domain Name Stat, 43% of all domains have the “.com” extension.
Why? Well, “.com” is the most familiar and easiest to remember.
While there are many successful websites with a “.net” and “.org”, your website will probably do better if it has a “.com” extension. It’s the safest bet.
Our advice: Go with .com. If that’s taken, try .net or .org. If these are taken too, you’d be better off brainstorming a new domain name. And oh! – Avoid those weird extensions like “.club”, “.space”, “.pizza” and so on.
2. Short Is Better Than Long
In general, when it comes to the length of your domain, shorter is better.
According to research from DataGenetics.com, a blog by Nick Berry, the most common name length is approximately 12 characters.
(Popularity, in this case, refers to the amount of web traffic the site receives.)
All of this data shows that you should keep your domain name concise.
Aim for 6-14 characters – and remember the shorter, the better. Most likely the shorter domain names are taken a LONG time ago and sold for thousands of dollars. If you can’t find something short, make it brandable.
Our own site – websitesetup.org is exactly 12 characters.
4. Make Sure It’s Easy To Pronounce
As easily as your domain name rolls off the tips of your fingers, it should roll off the tip of your tongue.
This makes it easier for visitors to share your domain name by word-of-mouth and makes it easier for you to share your site with friends and potential customers.
You can test this the same way as with the “spelling”.
Write your domain name on a piece of paper and ask 10 people to pronounce it. If more than a few people struggle to pronounce it, you should simplify it.
Here’s what to keep in mind: You want your domain name to be passed along easily by you and others. The only way for that to be possible is if it’s 1) easy to spell and 2) easy to pronounce.
Our other blogs:
5. Avoid Hyphens And Numbers
Remember how your domain name should be easy to spell and pronounce? Hyphens and numbers make it more difficult.
Imagine explaining Facebook if it had a hyphen in there…
“Have you seen this new site Face-Book? There’s a hyphen in there by the way, between the ‘Face’ and the ‘Book.’”
Facebook might not have spread so quickly if that was the case.
The bottom line? Your domain name should be smooth and punchy – hyphens and numbers get in the way of that.
Stick to the letters!
6. Make Sure It’s Easy To Type
Think of some of the most popular websites in the world. What comes to mind?
Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yahoo, CNN…
One big thing they have in common is that they’re all easy to spell.
Your visitors should be able to type your domain name without a problem. If you have to explain the spelling more than once for it to be understood, it’s too complicated!
The last thing you want is for the potential visitors to mistype your domain and end up on a different website!
Here’s an easy way to test this…
Tell 10 people your potential domain name and ask them to spell it. If more than a few people struggle to spell it, you need to simplify it.
7. Consider Using “Niche” Keywords That Reflect Your Website
Our website mainly about web development or helping people to create a website. Hence we chose to add a name that reflects all of it – “website”. Obviously, website.com (or .org, .net) was no longer available, we simply chose “WebsiteSetup”.
Keywords can help to improve your SEO – you need to tread carefully here! If you try to awkwardly stuff keywords into your domain, it comes across as generic (like we talked about before).
If you choose to use keywords, put the keywords at the beginning of your domain. That’s where they’ll be the most powerful for your ranking.