In this day and age, choosing a domain name for your website is as crucial as choosing a company name. Your domain name acts as an address for your website, and a winning domain name will attract visitors to your site and help build your brand.
With millions of domains already existing on all top-level domain extensions, coming up with a unique domain name can be daunting for new online business owners, especially if your name choice is unavailable to register.
Also in case you choose the wrong domain name, changing to another one without hurting your brand and search rankings is very sensitive. That’s why it’s very good to choose the best domain name from the start.
For those of you who have no idea what domain names are, or you are versed with domain names but just need help on how to choose the best domain name, you’re in the right place.
In this post, we learn what domain names are, their importance, all tools and tips you need to get domain name ideas, and how to choose the best domain name.
What is a domain name?
Domain names are website names. A domain name is an address where users access your website on the internet. Domain names were developed to replace IP addresses in identifying entities on the Internet.
Before using a domain name, it must be registered. Every domain name is unique and therefore two websites cannot share a domain name. On average, you will need around $10-15 per year to purchase and hold a domain name.
The structure of a domain name
A domain name is a combination of any letters or numbers and is used in combination with domain name extensions, such as .com, .net, and more.
The domain name structure is of the form “http://www.name.com” where;
Http: (Prefix) is the internet application protocol of your domain
WWW (Subdomain) is the third level domain of your website name
The name is the second-level domain of the website. This is suggested by the individual registering the domain.
The extension (.com) is the top-level domain picked form the available choices
For any business, having a domain name, much as it is important for a website, it is just the beginning of the journey. For you to launch your website, you need content and hosting services to store your files on the internet.
Here is how to choose the best hosting provider for your web site.
Why is the domain name so important?
Adds professional credibility to your brand and separates you from the millions of scam websites out there.
A domain name establishes your territory online whether you actually sell products online or not.
In case you want to change web hosting services or locate to a different country, or shift to using your own in-house server, the domain name is maintained so you don’t have to start over again. This makes your internet mobility easy.
As the domain name becomes more and more recognizable by search engines like google, your search engine ranking increases hence bringing more customers in your direction.
A good domain name provides awareness for your brand, attracts customers, and is easier to market worldwide.
How to choose the best domain name
First, I will be honest with you; that there are no absolute rules on how to choose the best domain name. A brand name is not a theory where there are set principles on which choosing or selection is based. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have come up with a variety.
Thus said, I can’t suggest you the domain name for your specific website. However, I can carefully take you through the process of making a wise selection.
Step 1: Choose one or more keywords that represent your site
Generating ideas for your domain name is simple. You can base on your own name, or on your existing business.
What is important here is using a strong keyword in your domain name. This can help your site rank more highly in search engine results as well as helping visitors better understand your site’s focus and niche.
To search for keywords for your domain name, you can use tools like Google Keyword Planner and KWFinder to search for terms with high search volume and low competition.
Step 2: Use a domain name generator to browse your options
Next, with the few keyword options that we have, we now move on to figure out your domain name. To avoid picking on names that already exist, we can use a domain name generator like DomainWheel to simplify the brainstorming process for you.
You just need to do is visit the website and enter a keyword into the search box and the tool will generate various keywords for you to choose from. Scroll down and come up with a few options that you will narrow down in the next step.
Step 3: Select the best domain name based on some simple criteria
This is where you narrow down the shortlist and finish the process of how to choose the best domain name. Although this step is based on individual perception, personal feelings, tastes, or opinions, there are some simple tips that can make the decision easier. Let’s discuss the tips in our next section.
Step 4: Register your new domain name
After choosing the best keyword-based domain name and TLD, what is next is to buy the domain name. However, this often depends on who is going to host your website. You can either buy a domain separately through a dedicated registrar or hosting company or buy the domain name when signing up for a hosting plan.
What are the tips for choosing the best domain name?
1. Always choose .com
While there are many new domain name extensions including .com, .net, .org, and niche extensions like .pizza, .photography, and .blog, .com is still the most established, most memorable, and credible domain name extension.
2. Use Keyword-based Domain Name
Keyword-based domain names tell search engines what your website is about. This can help you rank higher in Google. Therefore, be creative and play with your keywords to make your domain name stand out.
3. Keep it short
A short domain name is better and memorable. It is better to keep the domain name under 15 characters so that users can easily remember it.
4. Easy to Pronounce and Spell
A good domain name should be easy to pronounce and write while sharing it in person. So, it should be easy to understand and spell for any listener.
5. Keep it Unique and Brandable
By brandable domain names, we mean a unique, catchy, and memorable name. A unique brand name stands out in the readers’ minds.
6. Avoid using Hyphens
Hyphens look to be signs of spam domains and are also prone to typos. Some people choose to use hyphens on the domain name that is already taken. It is unfortunate that your users may end up at your competitor’s site in case they forget to put the hyphen.
7. Avoid Double Letters
Doubled letters increase your chances of losing traffic to typos. For example, a domain like hostt.com will be more prone to typos and result in lost traffic.
8. Leave Room to Expand
Choose a flexible domain name from the start in that in case you want to migrate the site to a new domain, the process becomes easier.
9. Research Your Domain Name
Before you register a domain name, perform a trademark search to check if a similar name is already trademarked. You can also carry out a Google search to check if the name is available on top social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. A matching name has legal implications which may cost you a lot of money.
10. Use Domain Name Generators to brainstorm better Ideas
With more than 360 million registered domain names, searching for a domain name manually is hectic and chances are high that you will land on a name that is already owned by someone. This is where domain name generators become of great importance.
Domain name generators are free tools at your disposal that can automatically search for your defined keywords to get you as many clever domain name ideas as possible. Some of the recommendable domain name generators include; Nameboy, IsItWP’s domain name generators.
11. Be a fast mover
If you have found a domain name that looks unique and brandable, don’t give it a second thought. Go for it or else, someone may register your domain idea. As we all know thousands of people are actively looking for good brandable domain names to register for their businesses
To some people, choosing the best domain name for a website seems cumbersome much as it’s a very important decision. But, with a little research and the right tools, the process is amazingly manageable.
Therefore, to choose the best domain name for your website, just follow the steps below.
- Choose one or more keyword-based ideas
- Using a domain name generator, browse your options.
- Select the best domain name based on the tips discussed above.
- Register your new domain name.