Your website’s domain name is a visitor’s first impression, meaning your domain name definitely matters! It’s a key element to your website.
Domain names are not only a visitor’s first impression. They also affect your search engine optimization (SEO) and help define your brand. But with over 1,200 options for the TLD (top level domain, sometimes called the domain extension), it can be overwhelming!
So, how do you decide which one is the right domain name for you? Let’s talk about it!
To better help guide you, here is a list of 6 helpful tips to keep in mind when picking your website’s domain name.
1. Use “.com” as the domain extension
First thing’s first: if at all possible, use “.com” as your domain extension. Why? Because it’s the best.
But, seriously, “.com” is more familiar and easy to remember, although “.org” is acceptable for certain organizations, specifically nonprofits. Use it only if it makes sense for your organization.
The last thing you want is for people to think your business isn’t trustworthy, so using “.com” is more reliable. I understand if you want to get creative with it, but let’s save that creativity for something else!
That said, a “.com” is not always possible. After all, there are already over 100 million domains registered in the US alone. If you can’t find the domain you want, your best bet is to consult with a professional so they can help you find an appropriate alternative.
2. Don’t be generic
Your domain name is how people search and remember you. Choosing generic words will make that a little difficult. Think of your domain name as the foundation of your website.
Can you remember the difference between carinsurance.net and carinsurance.com? Probably not (and also, me either)! This is why you should choose a domain name that helps you stand out from your competition.
Ideally, you’ll want to pick your organization’s name as your domain name. If not, use words that fit your brand and make sense in your industry. You can even use a name generator if you are stuck.
3. Avoid a long domain name
A long domain name is hard to remember and honestly kind of frustrating to type in. For kicks and as an example, I looked up who has the longest domain name:
Too much is happening in there!
I recommend keeping the length of the name between 6 to 15 characters to be safe. Please, please, please do not overdo it.
4. Don’t use hyphens or numbers
Just like before, your domain name should be easy to remember and pronounce. Stick to letters, not numbers or other characters. It will make it confusing and choppy.
If you absolutely must have a domain with numbers, but all the variations of how it could be spelled as well. If your domain has “2” in it, make sure you get the same domain with “two,” “to,” and even “too.”
I would also avoid double letters if possible. Please refer to the longest domain name as an example. It’s hard to type in! Make things as easy as possible for your website visitors.
5. Leave room to expand
You don’t want to overcomplicate your domain name. I know it’s easy to overthink, but keep it relatively simple. Choosing a name that fits in your industry is smart because it gives visitors an idea of what you do or what your business is.
However, you don’t want to limit your long-term options. For instance, if you were to change something in your services that were once in your domain name, you may have an issue attracting visitors. Again, relevancy is important!
6. Act fast!
Thousands of new domain names are registered every day. When you decide on a domain name that you like, move quickly before someone else takes it.
Domain names are fairly affordable, and if you change your mind after registering, you can let that one expire if you’re genuinely okay with the loss.
Best domain registrars
It’s not about shopping for the lowest price. You want a good online experience with affordable pricing, nothing complicated.
Just like with domain names, options for domain registration are basically endless. Some reputable options to consider include:
Many hosts offer coupon codes and even free domain registrations for the first year, which we encourage people to take advantage of. However, you will need to remember to keep paying for the domain after that first year or else it will expire.
Domain name generators
Sometimes, minds go blank, and creativity can be hard. Thankfully, domain name generators exist! They are easy, free, and convenient, so here’s a list of name generators to get you started:
If the name generator comes up with something you like, hurray! Just make sure you look it up to see if it’s been taken.
Deciding on a domain name can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. If your company name is taken, be sure to think of words that fit both your industry and your brand. How do you want people to remember your website and name? What’s the first impression you want to give to visitors? It all matters.
These tips and tricks should help you get started on choosing your domain name. If you need a website host or website help, we would be happy to help!