The very first thing you need to do when starting an online business is to choose a domain name for your website. Even before the website’s design, picking a hosting provider, you must decide on a good domain name.
Now, most people like to spread around this notion that the domain name doesn’t matter that much! If you are providing a good product or service, why should the domain name matter – right? But sadly, that’s wrong!
Yes, a good domain name is no substitute for compromised products or services. However, it does play a huge role in establishing and growing your online presence.
Here is a quick look at some important ways your domain name influences your website:
- Your audiences’ first impression of your brand comes from your domain name. If you have a good domain name, it can leave a lasting impression on your visitors.
- The domain name is a brandable asset which can help raise awareness about your business.
- It affects SEO performance. Although Exact Match Domains (EMDs) isn’t a search engine ranking factor, it still has some influence over your SEO score.
As such, you should understand the importance and value of having a good domain name. But how to know whether or not a domain name is good or bad?
Well to help you out, we have put together nine factors to consider when you choose a domain name. This will help you pick the best possible domain name to represent your brand and your website.
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
Is it Brandable?
There is a tendency with webmasters to stuff keywords into their domain names. It makes them think that it will help understand what their site is about, which in turn, will bring in more warm leads.
Sadly, domain names that blatantly state the website’s services appear low-quality and untrustworthy to users. Yes, you can include some keywords associating your business, but keep it subtle.
For example, bestsmartphonereviews.com seems like an amateur website and isn’t brandable at all.
Instead, something like gadgetwatchers.com or even the likes of androidauthority.com is a really brandable name. And look, it even includes an associated keyword – but in style and subtly.
Think in the Long-Term
You might be able to change your website design, include better UI/UX changes, and even add intuitive features, but you won’t be able to change your domain name.
Well, technically you can change your domain name, but that is going to cost you tons of money. You will also lose your established branding, and even suffer losses on the SEO front.
As such, make sure to think in the long term, and make sure the name will still be relevant to your business and websites, for years from today.
Beware of Trademark Infringements
Thinking of a good brandable domain name is not enough, you also have to make sure that it is not taken.
For example, we know that the domain name androidauthority.com is taken. So the domain registrar might suggest using androidauthority.net instead. However, the name androidauthority is trademarked and if you use it, it will get you into legal trouble.
As such, it is important to make sure your domain name isn’t registered under any trademark laws. You can use tools like Knowem to see whether it is protected or not.
Memorable and Pronounceable
It is important to make the domain name memorable, and ergo, easily pronounceable.
Oftentimes, a user might visit your website, find your content really interesting, and decide to visit it later only to find that they can’t seem to remember your domain name.
Also, if your domain name is hard to pronounce, you can forget about any sort of promotion through word of mouth.
The key is to keep it simple!
Short vs. Long
This follows the previous point.
Longer domain names are harder to remember and leave more room for typos, both of which can result in lost traffic.
On the flip side, going with a short and punchy domain name ensures that users will remember it, and it will be easy to type in.
Easy to Type – Avoid Double Letters
Google might notice that you have a typo in your search query and try to fix it.
But when you are typing in a website URL, a typo in the domain name will either bring you to a non-existent page or a different website altogether.
Now, one of the biggest reasons for typos in domain names is the use of double letters.
For example, a domain name like snozzzebra.com will definitely lead to a lot of typos on the part of the visitors. This will result in a loss of potential traffic to your website.
No Numbers and Hyphens
This again goes back to keeping your domains simple and memorable.
Hyphens aren’t pronounceable and users might forget that there was one in your domain name, as punctuations are often overlooked. As such, when trying to visit your site again, they might type in the un-hyphenated version which can lead to a non-existent page or a different website, leading to lost traffic.
Similarly, domains that use numerical digits, can also end up losing traffic. For example, whether it was cloudnine.com or cloud9.com might confuse the user.
Prioritize Dot Com (.Com)
When picking a domain name, you will need to choose an extension of a TLD (Top Level Domain).
Now, in 2020, there are tons of TLDs available in the market starting from .me, to .blog, .fancy, .only, and much more.
However, most internet users tend to prefer and trust websites using the .com extension. As such, if you wish to enter the market with authority and provide confidence to your users, stick with the most trusted .com TLD.
That being said, if you can’t get your hands on a .com domain, you can also consider .net, .org, and .co which are also trusted by internet users.
Don’t Overstress It
Having a great domain really helps with your overall branding. However, that doesn’t mean you should spend countless hours, days, or weeks trying to brainstorm the perfect domain name.
What we are trying to say is that having a good domain name is helpful and it affects your website’s performance.
However, the quality of your content, the website design, and the overall user experience play a much more important role in growing your business and requires more of your attention.
As such, instead of searching for the “perfect” name for your website, choose a domain name that’s “good enough,” and move on with the more crucial stuff.
You may also want to see our step by step guide on how to register a domain name on Godaddy.