When you are about to launch a site, one of the most important decisions you must make is how to name it. A good domain name can make or break a business. Sometimes it’s pretty straightforward to choose the domain name – just go with your business name, if this domain name is available, but more often than not choosing the right domain name does involve quite a lot of brainstorming. Here are some tips to help you with this.
1. Choose a Descriptive and Easy to Remember Name
Rule number one when choosing a domain name is that it must be descriptive and easy to remember. It is a no-brainer that if your site is about tech gadgets, for example, you won’t name it “mycookingtips.com” or “cutestbabes.com,” but “techgadgets.com,” “techgadgetsstore.com,” or something similar.
When you go with a descriptive name, try to keep it short. If it is too long, this makes it harder to remember and easy to confuse with another site. For instance, if you decide to name your tech gadget site “BestAndroidiPhonePCGadgets.com,” this name might be descriptive, but it’s hard to remember, not to mention type.
2. Make It Keyword-Rich
If the name you chose for your domain is descriptive, most likely it already has your keywords. If it doesn’t, think of variations that do. For instance, if Android stuff is your core, you’d better go with a domain name with the word Android in it, such as “Androidtechgadgets.com” (if it is available, of course).
3. Go with a .COM Extension
There are dozens of TLD (Top Level Domains), but still .com is the most popular one. All equal, .com domains are more memorable. Therefore, unless it’s a site for an educational institution or an organization, when .edu or .org instead are best, or when the site is targeted at a particular country only (e.g. .us, co.uk, ru, etc.), go with .com.
4. Don’t Mimic Established Domains or Use Misspellings
It might look like low hanging fruit to choose a domain name that is close to that of an established brand, but usually it is not a good strategy. For instance, if you decide to name your site “amazona.com” because Amazon.com is so popular, you might be thinking you could enjoy more traffic.
While you might get some hits by mistake, the chances of conversions are slim. When a user wants to shop on Amazon with its huge choice, he or she will hardly settle for what you offer simply because he or she landed on your site by mistake.
Misspellings aren’t a good idea either. They might sound similar to the real thing, but they aren’t it. If all the domain names in the previous examples are taken, but let’s say “tecgadget.com” is free (as in tech without the h), you might think this will help. No, it won’t. You’d better think of some other name.
5. Consider Hyphens, Plurals, Pronouns, or Articles
One of the biggest problems when trying to register a domain name is that it looks like all the good ones are already taken (or at least the .com ones). The good news is that with some creativity you can find a descriptive, keyword-rich domain name that isn’t taken yet.
As I already explained, misspellings are not an option. However, hyphens, plurals, pronouns, and articles are. Not all of them are applicable in all cases. For instance, you can try with “tech-gadgets.com” (hyphens), but the other options don’t sound well – it’s already plural, my, your, and the other pronouns make no sense. As for articles, you might try “thetechgadgets.com” or “the-tech-gadgets.com” but I personally don’t like this name very much and wouldn’t go for it. With other domain names adding “THE” might work, so try it.
6. Check to Make Sure It’s Not Blacklisted
You might have found the perfect domain name for your site, but you might not be its first owner. You need to check if the previous owner(s) did wrong and were blacklisted. Being blacklisted can really hurt you – you want a clean start, don’t you? While in theory you can remove your domain name from blacklists, it’s a tedious task, and you’re better off not listing a blacklisted domain, even if it is a top choice.
7. Make Sure the Name Isn’t Ambiguous
When you merge two or more words to form a domain name, sometimes bad things happen. For instance, your domain might have hidden ambiguous meaning, such as the sites on this list. Just think a bit more before you register your domain name, and chances are you will avoid the embarrassment.
There are quite a lot of things to consider when choosing a domain name. Even if you make the perfect choice, there is still no guarantee your site will do well, but the right domain name certainly makes it easier to get better rankings with search engines and enjoy more traffic.