9 Rules for Choosing the Right Domain Name
We believe that a great domain is extremely important to the success of a business and especially if you are starting a virtual online business or eCommerce web store. This is the only way people will discover, search and remember your website. For majority of the Web Design & Development projects undertaken at Brand DeZign, domain is already part of the equation. However, working with start-ups there are instances were we get asked to suggest a domain name.
Below are the 10 main factors we take into consideration when helping our clients across UK covering London, Aberdeen, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow or any other part of the world to select a great domain name.
- Short & Simple Should be easy to type and spell. Imagine yourself on call with your client trying to spell your domain name, it’s hard to keep it right.Good Example: www.quora.com | www.amazon.comBad Example: www.homesalessandiego.com
- Catchy & Memorable You want your customers to easily remember your website. Few minutes of struggle trying searching your website on Google or any other search engine may help find an alternate option.Good Example: www.plumbing.com | www.apple.comBad Example: www.how-to-save-water.co.uk
- Easy to Pronounce Make sure that the domain name is easy to pronounce. Any three or four syllable term is good as long as it easily rolls off the tongue.Make use of dictionary and a thesaurus to come up with additional words. You can also choose a longer word but shorten it or use acronyms only. When you come-up with a name, try to say it out loud a few times. If it doesn’t sound right, go back to the dictionary and try again.Keep groups of consonants simple and appealing:Good Example: BiznikBad Example: SclipoPreserve the natural syllabic emphasis of words:Good Example: FarecastBad Example: Carticipate
- Use Keywords Where possible use relevant keywords that describe your business and the services you offer. For example; if you’re a glass replacement business, you may want to register GlassRepair.com or GlassReplacement.com. Include the keywords that people enter when searching for your products or services. It gives an organic SEO boost to your domain helping improve your rank on search engines (which increases traffic) thereby making more sense to your customers.
- Avoid Copyright Infringement This sounds obvious enough, but you would be surprised how often this mistake can be made. Check that the domain name you wish to use isn't going to lead you straight to court. Visit the relevant copyright office (for example, copyright.gov in the US and copyrightservice.co.uk in United Kingdom) before you register your domain.
- Avoid Hyphen and Numbers Numbers and hyphens are often misunderstood — people who listen to your website address don't know if you're using a numeral (5) or it's spelled out (five) or they misplace or forget the dash. Too many hyphens can damage the credibility of your domain, not to mention make it difficult for your visitors to capture.
- Be creative Most single-word domains are taken and you might need to create your own word. Try compounding two whole words (YouTube), using a phrase (Six Apart), blending parts of two words together (Microsoft), tweaking a word (Flickr), affixing a word with a prefix or a suffix (Shopify), or making up a completely unique name (Odeo).
- Use an Appropriate Domain Name Extension Extensions are suffixes, such as .COM or .NET, at the end of Web addresses. These can have specific uses, so make sure to choose one that works for your business. .COM is by far the most popular one.
- Useful Resources
- GoSpaces - Free tool that helps you generate a business name. Quick and easy!
- Domainr - Type a work and it will find “domain hacks”
- Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus - Shows words linked to synonyms and other related words in interactive maps made of nodes and links.
- Visuwords - A free visual thesaurus based on Princeton’s WordNet database.
- Name Types - Types of names in more detail, with several examples.
- Domain Pigeon - See what others are looking to register as a source of inspiration
- Visual Dictionary - Online version of the Merriam-Webster Visual Dictionary
- InstantDomainSearch - Checks the availability of domain names in real time as you type, and provides links to popular registrars