There are two things you need to get started on the web: rock solid hosting and a domain name. Hosting is the easy part. Finding a good domain name is a bit more complex. It’s a big commitment and not something you want to mess up. Your entire brand will be built around your domain name, and your customers will rely on it. In this article I’ll give you 5 tips to help you choose a great domain name.
Should I Use A Keyword Domain Name?
There is a lot of debate about whether keyword-based (exact match) domains matter. Pre-2012, this was a no-brainer because of all the ranking bonuses Google gave; but since the Penguin update, Google benefits for keyword domains have been removed. There’s no harm in keyword-based domains and generally they’re easy to remember and brand. In short, it reallly doesn’t matter. Follow the five tips below and you’ll end up with a great domain name.
How To Find A Good Domain Name
1. Be Brandable
Ultimately your domain name will represent your brand to the web. This is how the majority of your clients willl know you. Make sure that your domain name represents your brand fully and stands out from your competitors. This also means keeping it short – which brings us to the next tip:
2. Be Memorable
One of the things that makes a domain name great is how memorable it can be. By memorable, I don’t just mean short. It needs to be easy to remember and easy to spell. Take a look at some examples:
Take Moz for example. Moz is an SEO/Inbound marketing company. Does their name have anything to do with that? Nope. And yet they’re one of the most recognized companies in their industry. That just goes to show how powerful being memorable is.
Pinterest has a very different approach. They’ve mashed two words together, creating something memorable and informative. A very pinteresting approach. (Sorry).
I hope this will get the cogs in your brain turning about all the interesting domain name approaches out there.
3. Be Unique
This one seems a little obvious, right? After all, isn’t it impossible for two domain names with the same name to be registerd?. Yep, but think about this. Say you’ve got awesome.com. But, uh oh, someone else has awesome.org. What if one of your clients tries to find you and ends up at awesome.org? See the problem? Before you register a domain name do your research about domains with similar names and extensions.
4. No Hyphens
While some people advocate the use of hyhpens, I’m on the side that says hyphens shouldn’t be used in domain names. Here’s my reasoning. They’re not used that often and so it’s hard to remember to type them in. This also causes some issues with being unique. Say someone has awesomeblog.com and you register awesome-blog.com. Are your clients going to remember that hyphen? Probably not. Save yourself some trouble and don’t use hyphens.
5. Choose The Proper Extension (.com, etc)
Most people prefer .com as their domain name extension. However, last year a bunch of new industry specific extensions were released. Things like .plumber and .services. There are so many .com extensions registered that it’s nigh impossible to get the one you want. Using one of the new domain extensions opens up a ton of new possibilites.
Choosing a domain name can be a daunting task; but if you follow the tips I just outlined, you’ll come out with a winner. Whether you use a keyword-based domain or not is up to you. I personally like them, but that’s just me. Be memorable, brandable, and unique. Good hunting.
Get started with your hunt: http://www.emwd.com/register-domain-name/