Rules for Choosing Your Domain Name

Rules for Choosing Your Domain Name

1. Give it a Brandable Title

Your domain name should roll off your tongue and call to mind your business specifically. If you choose a generic domain name and extension, then people won’t be able to easily recall it. It should be simple and succinct. If you put in numbers or hyphens, you risk over-complicating the message.

As part of this, you should also stay away from strings of keywords in your domain. Keywords are okay, so long as they work together with a unique element to give your domain a brandable look and feel.

2. Keep it Short

A long and complicated domain name will never work well for you. It should be something people can quickly and easily type into their address bar. If people have to Google your brand to find the website, then you know your domain is too complicated.

In general, it should be as short as possible without sacrificing the pronounceability of the name. You should be able to say it out loud as if in conversation with someone else, but it shouldn’t be so long that it becomes its own sentence.

A few words is usually a good length. Remember, something that rolls off the tongue.

3. Easy to Interpret

The ideal scenario with your domain is that someone can look at it, and easily guess what your company does. There’s a balance to be found here between clever and informative. It should be a generally recognized term that also implies your website’s purpose.

An example would be a website that sells retro video games and accessories. You wouldn’t want to do something too specific and alienate people who aren’t gamers, so instead you would focus on something that’s more generally understandable.

“NostalgiaGaming.com” sounds good, and it’s brandable. The nostalgia term calls to mind fond memories of games when we were younger. Focus on achieving something that immediately calls to mind the purpose of your business.

4. Target Broad Keywords

Implementing keywords in your domain can help with SEO, but you shouldn’t be obsessed with the pursuit of these terms. Exact or even partial matches are something Google is slowly moving away from.

That being said, if you can incorporate a relevant keyword and use it as part of your interpretation and branding, then by all means, go for it. Don’t be afraid to be creative with it as well. Remember that Amazon and Google have names that have nothing to do with their services.

Instead, their names have become brands that are immediately associated with them.

5. It’s Okay to Modify Your Name

If your name is taken, it’s not the end of the world. You have options like choosing another TLD extension, or you can modify the name slightly. You can change the name by adding a prefix or suffix, or even get creative with how you present it.

While it can be frustrating to have your primary choice taken, it’s also an opportunity to flex your creativity by pursuing other options.

Final Thoughts

Your domain extension, and by extension your domain (pun intended), are some of the most important choices you’ll make for your site’s future.

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