How to decide on a domain name
Your brand says everything about you, your values, your identity, and what you promise to deliver. Why should your domain name be any different? Before choosing one, it’s important that you educate yourself on the different styles and types of domain names out there so you can make the best decision for your needs.
A new startup business should select a domain name that parallels—or even better, matches—the company name to direct customers to your site without any confusion. This is a great opportunity to choose a name for your business that is unique and available as a domain before announcing yourself to the world.
If you already own an existing business and your company name or certain keywords you wish to use are not available, a little creativity might be needed to select a domain name. We’ll get into that later in this article.
Length of domain name
It is always better to have a domain name that is short and easy to remember. Ideally, the length should be between 6-10 letters, with 8 being the sweet spot. Simple, concise, and typeable should be the rule over longer, more descriptive names.
The longer the domain, the more opportunity there is for a misspelling when typing. Also, when combining words in a domain, beware of letters that don’t normally link together or are confusing, like expertsexchange.com for the site Experts Exchange. Not ideal.
Avoid using hyphens and numbers as they can complicate and frustrate users. Always remember: simple is best.
Keywords are words related to the product or service used in a domain name. For instance, best-vacuum-cleaners.com. This is also known as an Exact Match Domain (EMD).
Although most people assume using keywords or EMDs will drive traffic to their website, Google has changed their algorithm in the past few years to downplay the strict use of keywords and now rewards sites with a strong sense of branding instead. It is Google’s way of weeding out the “noise.”
However, using keywords in a domain isn’t always bad. From a marketing standpoint, you know exactly what they sell at best-vacuum-cleaners.com, but beware that you could be looked upon as a spam. This could negatively affect your Google ranking.
You are much better off creating a strong brand image and backing it up with useful and original web content to foster a trusted online presence.
Top-level generic domains (gTLDs) and new top-level domains (nTLDs)
gTLDs and nTLDs are the extensions within your domain name. Far and away the most popular and most effective TLD is .com. It is universally recognizable, easy to remember, and most trusted by web surfers.
The most common list of domain extensions are:
Some TLDs have certain restrictions associated with them. For instance, .biz, .name, and .pro are only assigned to credentialed professionals or businesses.
Sponsored TLDs are overseen by a sponsor who establishes the rules of eligibility for the specified community.
Some sponsored TLDs Domain.com offers include:
New Top-level domains are released every week and help to fill in the gap from a limited availability of gTLDs. They also help users looking to specifically target a niche market or geographic location. For instance, Domain.com offers domain name extensions:
These nTLDs can be very useful to create a domain name that quickly and creatively describes your brand or industry. The possibilities are seemingly endless, but now is the time to capitalize on a creative extension since, as with .com, they won’t be available forever.
What are the pros and cons of hiring a developer and using an online website creation
Pros of a quick website builder tool:
Cons of a web builder tool:
Pros of a site builder (human):
Benefits of a strong domain name
Deciding and registering a domain name should not be done in haste. It is a valuable marketing and search tool that should successfully lead customers to your site. Careful deliberation and research should be applied, as it might be the most important decision you make when carving out your slice of the online market.
A strong domain name: