Do you want to know how to domain name?
Then you need to read this post. I‘ve divided this post into sections to make it easy for you to follow along:
- The Importance of a good domain name
- Things you should consider when selecting the domain name
- Bonus – how to find a domain name with good domain authority
The Importance of Domain Name
Selecting your domain name is one of the most important decisions you need to make about your website. Your domain name:
- Helps in branding – right domain name is an asset whether you are building a new brand or promoting an existing one.
- Can impact SEO – a domain name with right keyword or brand name can improve ranking of your site in search results
- Increase repeat visitors – your site visitors are more likely to come back to your site i they can easily remember the domain name
Since it can have a big impact on your online business, it’s important to select the right domain name.
Ideally, you want to use the name of your business or brand as your domain name. For example, Microsoft’s domain is microsoft.com. It also has a domain office.com for its Office suite of products. If you already have an established business or brand, then you can go ahead and get a matching domain.
If you have not yet decided the name of your business or brand, then you can choose any domain that fits your business. But there are a few things you need to consider when selecting your domain name.
How to Search For Your Domain Name
Before you finalize the domain name, you need to see if it is available for you to purchase.
You can search any domain seller or registrar for your preferred domain. For example, you can go to Godaddy.com and search for your domain name using the search bar at the top of the page:
If the domain is available for purchase, you can buy it. Sometimes, the domain name you are looking for may be booked by someone else who is willing to sell it. If that’s the case, GoDaddy will tell you that and ask you to make a bid.
I don’t recommend buying a domain in an auction unless it’s very unique and you have extra cash to spend.
Things to Consider When Selecting Your Domain Name
How to Select A Domain Name to Improve Branding
It's easier for people to remember unique names. So it's easier to brand a website if the domain name is unique. You don't have much flexibility for an existing brand as the domain name you select should match the brand name. It will be difficult for your prospects to find your website if the domain name is not same as your brand.
If you cannot find the exact domain as your brand, you can get a bit creative by adding a verb or adjective to it. For example, FedEx could select GoFedEx as it's domain name.
You have more options to choose from if don't have an established brand name. You can use an existing word like Amazon did or create a new word like Google. Whatever you do, it should be unique and easy to remember.
Let’s face it – most people are not great at remembering names. Your prospects are no different. It’s hard for them to remember your brand name unless there is something different about it.
Let’s look at the domain name of top web hosting companies – Siteground, Bluehost and Hostgator. The names clearly communicate that these business are related to hosting. But each of these names also stands out from the competition. A name that stands out usually sticks in our mind. A name that sticks is great for branding.
So how do you come up with a name like that?
There is no easy answer. You need to brainstorm, ask friends and family for suggestions, look around other industries or talk to branding consultants (very expensive).
You can also use domain name generator tools such as Domain Wheel to generate unique names. I must add that I have never used these name generators but some people find them very effective.
How to Select And Easy to Remember Domain Name
While a name that sticks out is generally easy to remember, we are generally bad at remembering long or complex names. Also, a familiar word is easier to remember than an unfamiliar one.
When selecting your domain name, choose shorter, familiar and easier names. The longest domain name amongst the top 100 most visited sites is 17 characters long. The average domain name for top 1 million sites is 10 characters long (source: Gaebler.com). So there is enough evidence that shorter domain names are better for websites.
But there is a small problem – most short and good domain names are already taken. So you need to get creative, or lucky to get a good, easy to remember name.
How to Select A Search Friendly Domain Name
Including your main keywords in domain name helps in search engine optimization. If you select a domain name that includes an important keyword, you signal to search engines about your site’s content or focus.
Including a keyword in domain name is not a guarantee that the site will do well in SEO. But it does act as a SEO signal. All things being equal, a site with keyword in domain name may rank higher than one without it.
But don’t overdo it or stuff your domain with keywords.
Selecting Top Level Domain or TLD Your Domain Name
Your domain name includes the Top Level Domain or TLD such as .com, .biz or .edu.
You should select a TLD that meets your marketing objective. The most popular and effective TLD is .com. By default, most internet users add .com to any domain name. So that should be your first choice when you select domain name.
But what if you cannot get a .com domain name that you want?
You can modify your primary domain and see if that is available.
You can select other popular TLDs like .net, .biz or your country TLD. You can select country level TLD if tou are planning to operate in a specific country. For example, if you want to reach US audience, choose .US. Similarly, if you want to target users in India, choose .IN.
Bonus Tip: How to Find A Domain Name With Good Domain Authority
Before you select the domain name, I suggest you search expired domain names for a good name.
An expired domain is one that someone else had purchased and used in the past but did not renew later. People stop using a domain name for many reasons – their business failed, they move to a new domain or sold the business to another company that did not want the domain.
But what happens once the previous owner does not renew the domain name and lets it expire? The domain or website no longer live and people cannot access it. But other sites that had links to the expired domain don’t know it has expired. So these sites continue to link to the expired domains. If someone clicks the link, he will get a 404 page not found error.
If there are lots of links from good sites with good Domain Authority (DA), the domain will have a high DA, even though it is expired. If you register the domain, you will start your website with a high DA, a boon for SEO. It takes a lot of time to build up DA for a new site so expired domains with good DA are in great demand.
A good place to find expired domains is ExpiredDomains.net. You can search expired domains using keywords. For example, I searched for Web Hosting and got the following result:
After Expired Domain shows you the search result, click on the DP column. DP stands for Domain Popularity which measure the number of different domains that link to the domain name shown in the search result. Usually, a domain with high DP will also have higher DA.
Go through the list after sorting and look for interesting domain names that make sense for your business. You may not always find a domain you like or can use for your business. But it takes only a few minutes to check and I highly recommend you do that.
There is one thing you need to watch out for when buying an expired domain. It’s possible the domain was used for spamming or has backlinks from spam sites. You should always check if the domain is blacklisted by spam directories. You can also use the free Link Explorer Tool from Moz to check domain’s Spam Score.
Since the domain is your business’s address on the web, it is important to have a domain people can easily remember and enter in their browser. Use the tips in this blog post to select the best domain name for your business.