Choosing a Domain Name

Choosing a domain name can be a nightmare. With so many companies on the internet these days, many people can be dismayed that their first choice of domain name is not available. So armed with your company name and a plan to get your company online, how do you choose a domain name thats right for you.

Here are a few simple suggestions to keep in mind when deciding on what domain name to use.

When You Know, You Know – firstly, more important than anything, when you see a domain you really want, you will know it.

Use Keywords – Choose a domain name that is full of keywords that are related to your website. If you sell cakes, then you want a domain that contains the word “cakes”. It may seem obvious, but is often not adhered.

Avoid Hyphens – If possible, avoid using hyphens. Although they can be a recognised fashion of adapting your domain or splitting words, people can easily forget if or where you have hyphens and can end up getting your address wrong. Also important to remember, is if you are having to use hyphens because the domain you want is already registered, you need to be careful not to have your customers accidentally visiting a competitor.

Shorter is Better – The shorter your domain name, the easier it is for your visitors to remember.

Avoid Slang & Numeral Substitutions – Although some slang spellings are obvious, you cannot assume your customers will know what to search. Worst of all, as before, if a competitor has the simplified version, the last thing you want to do is send them traffic!

Use a Thesaurus – If you feel stuck when trying to choose your domain name then it may be a good time to break out the thesaurus and take some time to search for other words relating to your field.

Brainstorm With Friends & Family – people around you will be the perfect testers for your site. Ask them for ideas, suggestions and feedback.

Easily Understood – While it can be good to have a domain name that is fun and different, you need people to remember it. There are some obvious exceptions to the rule, but unless you are the next Google or Yahoo, simple is sometimes better.

One Possible Spelling – Try to find a domain name that only has one spelling. You want it to be as easy as possible for people to spell your name.

Singular vs. Plural – In the same way you need to choose with your company name, domain names will sometimes have a preference in the singular or plural. Sometimes it may be worth looking to register both variations to cover all bases. Remember, your host will easily be able to re-direct one address to another.

Other Extensions – It is always worth thinking about if you want to register sister domains of your chosen address. If you have the .co.uk, do you want to register .com? You may wish to expand your business in the future, or a customer may use a different extension.

Don’t Wait – domain names come a go every second, so if you stumble across the perfect address, don’t leave it too long. So many people end up losing out on the address they want.