How To Choose A Domain Name That Will Be Remembered
Anyone who has used a computer before has probably typed in a website address. However, there are few people who understand what the phrase domain name refers to. Let alone how to choose a domain name. If you are planning to host a quality website, this is the most important task you need to consider. I decided to look at some tips and tricks that you can use when picking a domain name.
I will start by briefly describing what a domain name is just in case there are some in the midst of us who will do with a reminder. There are a few things that anyone hoping to come out with a good name would want to look at. Among the issues that need to guide you are your branding, looking for something easy to both type and pronounce, things to avoid when choosing a domain name, and the importance of checking the availability of the name you plan to use.
Have Your Blog Up & Running In 20 Minutes or Less!
My Free Step-By-Step Guide Will Get Your Blog Up & Running 20 Minutes Or Less
What Is A Domain Name And Why Is It Important?
I could define a domain name as a simple presentation of an IP address. You could also think of the domain name as the nickname for an Internet Protocol Address. If this sounds rather too technical, do now worry, just remember that the domain name is the location of an organization on the internet and like your email address, only a single entity can have it. For example, my domain name is howtostartablogonline.net
What you do need to understand however is why your domain name is important. If you know how they say first impressions are the most important, you will understand why your domain name matters. In the age of the internet, this may be the only interaction your customer's or associates will ever have with your brand. It can help people recognize your brand. Also, in the age of Search Engine Optimization, the words appearing in your name can help people visit you more.
Understand Who You Are
When you choose a domain name you will need to consider your overall branding strategy first. As I have already indicated, your name is a great branding opportunity. For this reason, you are looking for an identity that people will remember. This is why you will be advised to steer away from something generic. Go for something specific and different.
If you are lucky to be creating a domain name for an organization whose name you are still deciding, the better, as you can get your organization and the domain name to go together. It may be a challenge when you try to get one for an organization that is already running and you may discover someone is already using a name related to your own organization. Remember, the name does not necessarily need to have any meaning; just needs to be catchy and easy to remember.
The Shorter, The Better
You certainly do not want a name that no one will remember. This is the reason why a shorter name works better. Check the most popular websites such as Google and you will realize how short they are. You will notice that the less common domain names are very lengthy. This is an indication that your domain name needs to contain just a few words; unless you are a big organization that people already know.
There is always a challenge when you are looking for a shorter domain name. The good names were taken by those who discovered the internet before most of us did or while we were busy doubting its effectiveness. If you will not get a shorter name, then you are left with only one choice, brand the one you have even if it is longer.
Make It Easy To Type
If there was a course on the subject of how to choose a domain name I think that the first lesson should have been to teach that the name should be easy to type. I really do not like trying to find a name whose spelling is difficult to remember. This means that every time I need to visit the site I should check the spelling first. I do not have to do that when I visit www.cnn.com.
Do you have to explain your domain name? Then it is too complicated. I always advise people who do not know how to choose the domain name that will easily be remembered to try a simple test. Find a few people, and tell them the name you have in mind. If over half of the people struggle to spell the name, it may be an indication that it will not work.
How Easy Is It To Pronounce?
I think this is one of the most important questions you should ask yourself if you have a name in mind. In order for the name of your site to be popular people have to be able to share it with others. People generally find it a bit embarrassing to try and say names they struggle to pronounce. Like I just suggested with the spelling test, try this also with the pronunciation. A domain name which is easy to both say and spell will certainly be easy to pass on.
Stay Away From Complicated Characters
If you have ever attempted to write a website address with a name that is filled with complicated characters, you will understand easily what I am going on about. Complicated characters make it difficult for people as they try to type your address into the address bar. I always struggle when someone is giving me an address and they keep saying, “forward slash and hyphen after between this and that word”.
Marry The Name To A Long Term Strategy
I did earlier advise that the name representing your address should be married to your long term strategy. If you are not using the name for a short time promotion like some winacar.com then you will want to think long term. Remember, changing the name in future will cost you money. You will also have to rebrand it and get your customers to learn the new name afresh.
Keywords Are Key
The importance of keywords is that they can help your name to be search engine optimized. This means that even if a person does not know your domain name they can always get it when using search engines. I will say it now, when doing this you are walking a fine line. If you stuff the name with keywords, you are likely to come out with something generic. Someone else is busy stuffing the same words into their name with the same aim as you have.
Ensure The Name Is Available
Well, this may sound obvious but I have to say it as it has legal ramifications. I know that most sites from which you can reserve a domain name will tell you if a name is available. In the same way, Yahoo or Google will tell you whether a given email address is still available. I also think that it is not a good idea to select a name that is too close to a popular one. You do not want to end up in competition with coca-cola.com by having a name such as coco-cola.com.
.Com Is The Best
A domain name extension is another thing you should approach with care. Research indicates that of all domain names, 75% are with a .com extension. The In second place is .net and then .org is third. The reason why .com is so popular is because it is more familiar. For this reason, I will advise that you go with .com and if it is not available, you are better off working a new name that you can still use with a .com extension.
Tips On How To Choose The Domain Name That Will Work
I am not at all suggesting that your domain name needs to be the same as that of your organization. You can create any catchy word that speaks to your brand. You can take your name and use synonyms, abbreviations or nicknames. For example, a coal company can have the name blackgold.com. This says nothing about coal but it still speaks to the brand. A domain name generator can help you with the necessary tools to create a name using the keywords you already have in mind.
I am sure that by now you understand that your domain name is an extension of your brand and must be treated as such. If you invest the right amount of time when selecting one, you will see the dividends as your brand grows. To get the best name, you need to start by deciding who you want to be known as and the image you want to portray.
It has been proved that the most popular sites have names that are short and easier to remember. Use the tests on spelling and pronunciation we suggested and if people are struggling, do not hesitate to keep looking until you get the name that fits. Remember when selecting your domain name to think with a long-term view. If you are looking to register your domain name check out this video by HostGator: