One of the reasons the Internet is so broad and powerful is that it gives almost everyone the possibility to share their voice and knowledge. Anyone can get themselves recognized by setting up their own website.
Millions of people are browsing the Internet every day and they type domain names to identify the website they intend to browse. A domain name is a structured label used to identify one or multiple IP addresses (a numeric identification). This friendly naming system makes it much easier to refer to specific servers and the webpages stored within them. These names are typed into the browser’s URL bar, and thus grant access to the server where the webpage is hosted.
Domain names can be found within a webpage’s URL to identify a specific webpage, like so: https://www.facebook.com/webhostmedia.
This URL can be divided into four parts:
https:// – It refers to the HyperText Transfer Protocol
www – Which refers to the World Wide Web
Facebook.com – is the domain name
webhostmedia – is the individual page within the website
Every domain name has an extension (.com, .net, .gov, .mil) which shows which top level domain it belongs to. There are thousands of domain name extensions you can use, but the most highly recommended ones are .com, .net and .org.
Once a domain name is typed into the browser bar, it is quickly translated into IP addresses. If we wouldn’t have this simple naming system, we would have to log onto Facebook by typing 184.108.40.206. Imagine that!
Why Is Choosing a Domain Name an Important Decision?
Choosing a domain name is like choosing a name for your company. You want your domain name to say what your website is about in a single word. Thus it requires a lot of thought.
Your domain name will represent and identify your brand on the Internet. You’ll have to stick with it for a while, so it’s best to give it the thought and consideration it requires in order to find yourself the best possible domain name.
There are about 80,000 domain names registered each day, so you’ll have to be extra fast to register yours once you’ve found the right one.
If you take the following tips into consideration, you’ll be able to create a domain name that users will remember and one that represents your brand perfectly.
How To Choose The Perfect Domain Name?
Your domain name has a major impact on your brand and your marketing. It influences how much traffic your website is getting, your social media results, referral links and all of your online marketing endeavors. This is a fact that you can’t and shouldn’t ignore so why not make the best of it? Use the following tips to ensure that you get yourself the best possible domain name.
Make It Easy To Type and Pronounce
You want to use the least complex domain name, to avoid the risk of users mistyping it. This is critical to your website’s success. You also don’t want to use slangs like xpand instead of expand.
What you do want to use is a simple, pronounceable and comprehensive domain name. One that is easy to associate with the things you want your visitors to think about when they hear about your website. If it is easy for them to pronounce in their own mind and say it out loud, it will be much likely to stick in their memory. You’ll also get a lot of word to mouth exposure this way.
If your website is about selling sharpened knives or custom knives for example, you don’t want to name it something like Renewedknives.com, because you’ll break your tongue as you try to pronounce it. So it’s a better choice to go with something like BladeEmpire.
It’s simple, comprehensive, and pronounceable and there is less chance that the user will mistype it because we’re using simple words.
Good domain names are spelled intuitively and fluidly by the users who are typing them. This makes them brandable and a lot easier to market.
Make It As Short As Possible
The shorter your domain name is the better.
Shorter words are easier to process for anyone and they are easier to type too. The shorter it is, the less likely it will be that it will be shortened in search results or social media sites. Keeping your domain name short will naturally enable it to get more exposure.
Use Some Keywords As Well
Having keywords in your domain name is important from a SEO perspective of course but it does a lot more. As I mentioned earlier, a user should have the right association on what your website is about. The closer your domain name is to your websites subject, the better it will work for both SEO and your users. Use the keywords that best describe your brand, business and the services or products.
But don’t be too obsessed with SEO. If you can come up with a creative name that is an integral part of your branding and interpretation, than use it! Names like Twitter, Google, Amazon and Facebook don’t say anything about their services yet have become immensely powerful.
Also, make sure that you’re not using niche-specific keywords that anyone outside of your niche isn’t familiar with.
Do Some Research
Before you can buy ‘your’ domain name, you have to make sure that it isn’t used by someone else on the Internet, or that it isn’t trademarked or copyrighted. You can use DomainsBot (http://www.domainsbot.com/) to type in your chosen domain name and see if it is available or if similar domain names are accessible. KnowEM is a similar service that you can use to enter your preferred username and do a search for it on 500 social networks.
Don’t Be Shy To Change It If The Domain Name Is Already Taken
It’s very much possible that you’ll conjure the perfect domain name only to find that it has already been taken by someone else. Don’t be afraid to redesign your name, use another TLD extension or to add a suffix or prefix.
Choosing An Extension For Your Domain
Most people say that you should stick with .com and for a good reason. If you think about any website, chances are good that it has the .com extension.
It’s no wonder, 52% percent of all websites on the Internet are .com sites. And having a .com extension also helps your marketing by a great deal, or even you if you tell someone about your website’s address. To a lot of people, .com means the entire Internet.
But if your chosen .com domain is already taken, you still change the extension to other popular ones as well. You can run a very successful website by using any other TLD. But be sure to avoid spam indicator TLDs, such as .cc, .ws, .info and any other ones that look unusual, like .pizza. A lot of people still don’t have too much trust invested in the Internet and you want them to visit your site too.
So your best choices right now are the top three TLDs such as:
This extension rules every other one both in people’s minds and on the Internet. It stood for commercial websites but it’s used for all sorts of websites today.
To explain it more bluntly, choosing a .com extension is good for business because it’s easier to recall.
Originally intended to be used for networked websites but it is used for all sorts of different websites today. It’s your second best choice if your domain name with the .com extension was taken.
So if you must have the domain name you’ve chosen and the .com version isn’t available, go for the .net extension.
This was intended for various organizations and nonprofit companies. It isn’t the best choice if you’re building a website for your business as it sends mixed messages.
If you’re a nonprofit organization and especially a well-known organization, use .org by all means. It adds the extra message that it’s a website for a nonprofit organization.
The spectrum for domain names is huge. There are other popular domain names that you probably won’t use like these for example:
.mil – which stands for military
.gov – which stands for governments
.edu – which stands for educational websites
What About New TLDs?
The .com extension is the most used TLD on the Internet and that’s hard to change. Although there are new gTLDs (Generic top-level domains) that have hit the Internet which could make your domain name a bit confusing and don’t really offer any SEO advantages, but these could be a natural fit also. For example a domain extension like .sh for a website like Whisper.sh, works perfectly.
But there are other ones like .bid, .bike, .academy, .cab, .camera, .training, you name it! You can have a domain extension that can say directly what your website is built around, so it’s easy to find a natural fit among the new gTLDs.
Think About Using Local TLDs As Well
You can also use ccTLDs which could really be good for your business. The Internet is a global marketplace by its inherent design, so your website can be seen by anyone around the world, no matter where it is hosted. But businesses like restaurants and cafes or any kind of local business doesn’t need to reach a global audience and could benefit from using a ccTLD.
You can use country specific ccTLDs like .ca for Canada or even city specific TLDs like .NYC, .PARIS or .LONDON. This will give you a SEO advantage, by leveraging Google’s geo targeting system and make it really easy for people searching on your area to find your site.
Does The Extension Of The Domain Really Matter?
This is a tricky question. Even a domain with an extension like .PIZZA can work if you commit to it. Sure, having a domain name that’s easy to recognize, type and remember will make your website more powerful, but the mediums for content discovery are rapidly changing.
With the spreading and development of smartphones, people spend more time in apps than browsing the Internet through desktop computers and web browsers. Think about how many articles, videos and images you look at on a day to day basis simply because you’ve discovered it on a platform like Facebook or Twitter. You don’t even have to know the URL or domain name you’re on and you still interact with the website.
The way we discover content and websites rapidly change so there are numerous ways to make your website popular and a smashing success!
Registering Your Domain Name
Once you’ve worked through the beautiful creative chaos of choosing your own domain name, you’re on your way to the next step, which is registering said domain name.
Your domain name registration involves an organization called ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), they are a non-profit organization responsible for maintaining and coordinating unique identifiers all across the globe.
You can register your domain name through a domain name registrar. So, if you’ve come up with AwesomeName.com, you’ll have to pay around $10 to $15 to register that name. Some a rare domain name or domain names that have existed for 5+ years can cost thousands of dollars. Some can even go up to millions like sex.com, which got sold for $13 million. Registering domains like these could propel your website’s success and you might be purchasing a lot of traffic along with it, but a decision like this requires a lot more thought and the consideration of different variables.
After the registration is done, you’ll have the rights for that domain name for a year and you’ll have to renew the registration every year for the same amount of money.
Some reliable web hosts like BlueHost and InMotion offer to register the domain name for you for free, which is a pretty solid deal. But you can also use a domain registrar to register your domain name directly with a service like NameCheap. One thing you should always be absolutely sure of is that you and only you are the owner of the domain name that you registered.
If someone else is named the owner, they can charge you with large fees later for keeping your domain name. So be careful and double check that you are the sole owner of your domain name.
Having the right domain name can be a huge deal when it comes to your websites success both from a general and a SEO standpoint. You want to make it as powerful as possible so that people will remember it and that it will be the first website that pops into their head when they think about your particular subject.
Once you decide with your domain name you’ll have to stick with it for a while, so make sure you take every detail into consideration. Yet just about any domain name can work if you have the necessary know how and if you are committed to it.
I hope that this article helped you in finding the perfect domain name for yourself and that you’ve enjoyed reading through it!