Choosing the right domain name - things to consider:

By Shan Balasuriya Posted Date: 2013-10-17

Choosing a domain name for your business website is an integral part of the success of your future website. It is similar to selecting the name of your company or product, careful thought and consideration must go into choosing the domain name. There are different aspects to consider such as: the specific purpose of your website, the demographics and intended audience, but most importantly you must choose a name that fits your business well and is also easy to market and promote. The domain name is a vital part of creating your online presence and can say a lot about you and your company.


  1. Easy to remember, Easy to type: 
    It is important to select a domain name that is easy to type as well as easy to remember. This way customers or visitors to your website will not have problems with misspelling your domain name. It is important not to use shorthand or slang in your domain name as this can result in confusion (for example do not use ‘u’ instead of ‘you’).

  2. Keep it short and keep it simple:
    Avoid using hard to spell, long and complex domain names. Having things like double letters, numbers, and words that are too clever, creates unnecessary complications and you risk customers mistyping or misspelling the domain name. You definitely don’t want to be the company that has an excellent website but no one remembers the domain name to tell others about it.

  3. Use keywords: 
    It is a good idea to try and include keywords that describe your business or the services offered, in your domain name. Including keywords that people may search for when looking for your service or product can help with improving search engine ranking. Although it is good to include keywords relevant to your business in the domain name, it is also important to make sure the domain name makes sense. A domain name which is crowded with keywords, is too long and doesn’t make sense to the customer is eventually pointless. Remember this not the only thing that decides your search engine ranking, and is just one factor among many others. (refer to our posts on Search Engine Optimization for more info)

  4. Your Target Area:
    If your business is providing a product or services to a certain localized area it is important to try and include this in your domain. It is good to include the locality like the city or state that you cater to, in your domain name as this will help local customers find you easier. Domain name extensions that help identify a location also exist, like .au and .uk
    (example: melbournevehiclerepairs.com.au )

  5. Avoid hyphenated names and numbers:
    Using hyphens in your domain name can cause a lot of confusion and may result in your customer ending up at your competitors website. Sometimes for SEO purposes if a domain name is already taken the same one with hyphens to separate words is chosen, but this is likely to result in your target audience visiting the wrong website as they will most probably not enter the hyphens when typing in the website. Using numbers can also cause confusion as customers may not know if to enter it as a word or as a number. (example: design10.com can be confused with designten.com)

  6. Use something memorable:
    Using a domain name that is catchy and will stick with people is a good idea. Domain names such as this tend to market themselves and since people find it easy to remember and repeat, they are more likely to visit it if they have seen the domain name advertised somewhere or if they have heard of it from someone. 


  7. Check on trademarks and copyright: 
    When selecting domain name it is very important to do research and make sure that your domain name is not infringing on anyone’s copyright or trademark. Visit the official websites (for copyright and trademark) to investigate before using your domain name. It is better to avoid using brand-related keywords like “samsungthemes.com” or “facebooksecrets.com” since some large companies can sue for using their brand in your domain name.  It’s always better to avoid getting into a huge legal mess and costing yourself a fortune.

  8. Use a relevant and suitable domain name extension: 
    The domain name extension (such as .COM or .NET ) is what comes at the end of web addresses. These extensions can be used for specific reasons and can signify the purpose of your website, so it is important to choose one that is suitable for your business. Some of the top extensions and their uses are given below

    > .com : the most popular and commonly used domain name extension
    > .au : available for our Australian customers (a domain extension like this will help with location targeting)
    > .net : technical sites or internet infrastructure sites
    > .org : non-commercial organizations and non-profit organizations
    > .co : an abbreviation for company, community and commerce
    > .info : informational sites
    > .biz : business or commercial use (like ecommerce websites)
    > .me : personal sites or resumes and blogs

  9. Protect your domain: 
    It’s always a good idea to purchase variations of your domain name such as misspellings and other domain name extensions as this will prevent competitors from registering and using other versions of your domain. This will also ensure that customers are re-directed to your website even if they mistype the site domain.

  10. Register your domain for as long as possible:
    It is also good to register your domain name for the maximum possible time allowed (usually about 10 years) especially if you are planning on staying online with your business for a long time. It is said that websites registered for a long time have good benefits with regard to SEO. Most search engines don’t trust websites that have been registered for a short time, and good search engine trust means better chance of a good page rank too.

Conclusion:
Selecting the right domain name for your website must be a carefully thought out and creative process. If you take into consideration some of the above points and select your domain name strategically it can result in you having a memorable and effective domain name that is bound to succeed. 


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