Choosing a domain name when you are about to launch your showcase or ecommerce website, is like to define your identity. It is a key milestone, that can be sometimes difficult to overcome because plenty of names are already taken, and thinking out of the box is not as easy as it sounds. So how do you choose a suitable domain name, that people will easily recall and that allows your website to be better positioned on search engines?
Somes questions are to be asked before starting your brainstorming. Even if you company already has a name, it is important to consider the issue from a broader perspective.
Here are a few tips to guide you toward a good selection.
Your website is to be easy to understand, to write down, to pronounce, and possibly to spell, in that respect, you have to avoid to use compounded names, or complicated word combination. Your client should be able to quickly understand you, without having to ask you to repeat. In other words, make it simple. Forget special symbols and characters such as: -, $, & etc… which majority is not allowed (except for “-”), that don’t contribute much to your interlocutor understanding, and that are not practical to type! Sometimes “-” could be useful because it facilitates the reading between words. For instance it is easier to read dog-and-cat than dogandcat.
To do: www.fishandchips.co.uk
To avoid : www.london-fish-and-chips.co.uk
Regarding domain name, size really matters, and contrary to what one can think, the shorter the better. Indeed, choose a short name, that will be easy and quick to type, and supposedly simpler to memorize… Tablet and smartphone users will thank you, because it is quite a challenge to type long and compound name in small screens.
To do : www.befruit.com
To avoid : www.eat-five-portions-of-fruit-and-vegetables-a-day.com
One will be tempted to use as many keywords as possible in its domain name, and obviously it is a good way to reference your website, but watch out and use it sparingly, don’t be excessive!
To do: www.communication-agency.com
To avoid: www.communication-agency-advertisement.com
A whole variety of extensions is now available, but the most frequently used extension remains “.com”, with more than 75% domains that use it. Nevertheless you have also the possibility to use local extensions, if it sticks to your market. For example if you have a little restaurant in Dublin, I would definitely recommend you to use “.ie” (official extension in Ireland), in line with your culture, but also to your market. Also, plan ahead if you want to go global and expand your activity at broader scale, by purchasing various known extensions (.com, .cn, .tk,…) and why not traducing your domain name ?
To do: www.dubliners.ie
To avoid: www.dubliners.cn
If you are based in Ireland, and your customers are mainly locals, it doesn’t make sense to use the chinese extension “.cn”! Target your market area, and address to your clients.
Two important things remain to be done before buying your domain name. The first thing is to check if your domain name is available, and the second thing is to check if somebody already use your name in social media platforms, because it is likely to overshadow your online presence !
Final recommandation :
Buy many extension and related domains, and redirect them to your main domain. This tip solve the problem of having various way to spell your domain name (with or without “-”), it protects you from copy, and gives you more chances to be found on the internet !