How to Choose a Domain Name
The first step in web design, and one of the most important, is choosing the best name for your website. However, deciding on the right domain name for your website can be difficult – these days there are thousands of new website URLs registered every day.
Finding a good domain name is an important part of optimizing your website’s visibility to search engines.
The website domain name (the website address or URL) is the first indicator to search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo etc) what a particular web site is about. So it’s important to choose a name that reflects the subject of your website or identify your brand, products or service. Fully descriptive names (keyword rich) rank highly, and finding an exact match between the search and the domain name can leapfrog you above your competitors.
Some Tips To Give You The Competitive Edge
It takes time to come up with the right name, don’t be in a rush and register the first thing that comes to mind. Instead, spend some time brainstorming similar words related to your topic and write them down then you can see which words look good, try to choose a domain name that is easy to remember and simple to spell. Try saying it out loud to see if it sounds good.
Go for a dot com name first
When looking for a web address most internet users tend to end a domain name with .com. Choosing a dot com should therefore be your first choice if it is available as this will give your website more credibility. Other extensions may be appropriate if they target your key market, for example, if you only sell your products or services in Australia, .com.au will rank highly in the search engines in Australia, or for the Uk a .co.uk extension shows the search engines you are UK-centred. If you have a site dedicated to videos, choose a .tv extension, and .org is fine if the site is for a charity or non-profit making organization.
Choose a domain that includes your keyword
Google say that having a keyword rich domain does not affect ranking in the same way as it used to. Whilst there may be some truth to that Google still tends to rank exact match domain names higher in the search engines. Choosing a domain name that includes your keyword is still an important part of search engine optimization (SEO) . It will also help increase the number of visitors to your site.
Make it relevant to the website topic
Visitors should be able to tell what your website is about just by looking at the domain name.
Find a short name
Short names are easy to remember and easy to type.
Use name suggestion tools
Creating a unique domain name can be difficult these days. It’s a good idea to use a domain name suggestion tool such as this one at domainit.com and brainstorm different website names. This can help you uncover some ideas for names based on your keywords that you might not have thought about. Who.is will show you which domain extensions are available for your site name, and give some alternative options.
Choose a unique name
Try to choose a name that’s not too similar to competing websites in your niche. Choosing a unique domain name establishes your web presence. You can do a simple search of your chosen name to find out how many sites have similar names, and whether they are competitors in your market.
Other Things to Consider
Try to find an aged domain
An aged domain is a domain name that has been on the web for a number of years and has a certain number of back links pointing to it. Therefore the search engines will rank an aged domain higher than a brand new domain name; you can search for aged domains by typing into a search engine “aged domains for sale” or at sites like this one.
Check to see if a domain name has been blacklisted by the search engines
It’s best to do a quality check on your new domain name to see if it has been used for spam purposes in the past – if it has, then this will result in a Google penalty. Use a blacklist monitoring site like blacklistmaster to test the url against blacklists.
Check the copyright
You need to be sure you’re not infringing on anyone’s copyright with your new domain name. Go to copyright.gov to check it before you buy.