7 Tips to Remember When Buying a New Domain Name
One of the first and most important steps in launching a new website is getting a domain name for it. On the Internet, your domain is the face and identity of your brand. Once you pick one, you’ll probably have to stick with it for good because it won’t be easy to change it later. That’s why you should take the time to carefully consider all aspects of your decision.
It is ultimately your job to find the perfect domain name for your future website. Depending on the type of site you are looking to build, different factors can come into play and no one can really tell you which name is best for your site.
There are, however, several general guidelines and tips that should be considered during the domain name brainstorming process, and the following seven are some of the most notable.
1. Make it unique and customizable
Customizable domain names that look and sound unique are much more powerful and likely to become something big. Just look at the most popular tech companies; they all have unique brand names that are widely recognized.
Now, it’s not easy to get a domain like apple.com or amazon.com, but with a bit of effort, you can find plenty of two-word domains available that are highly customizable. You don’t have to use dictionary words, so feel free to let your creativity run wild and come up with your own words!
2. “.com” is still the king of TLDs
The top-level domain (TLD) is the extension of the domain that comes after the “dot”. Every internet user is familiar with the .com TLD, which is generally considered the default domain extension. It was originally intended for commercial websites, but it is freely used for any type of website.
Given its unparalleled popularity and value, it only makes sense that you do your best to opt for a .com domain. If you’re out of options and can’t find a suitable name with the .com extension, you can explore other popular extensions, such as .net, .co, .io, .site, .store, and others.
3. Keep it as short as possible
Don’t give in to the temptation to stuff your domain name with long keywords in hopes of making it more relevant or SEO friendly. Long, keyword-stuffed domains may have worked well in the early days of the web, but today they’re less appealing and less valuable.
The idea that having certain keywords in your domain name helps it rank faster in search engines for those keywords is totally wrong. Yes, that was the case many years ago when search engine algorithms were much simpler than they are today, but that no longer has significant SEO value.
It’s no surprise that the majority of successful websites have a short domain name that’s easy to type, remember, and share. It may not be possible to find a one-word name available, but try not to exceed two words.
4. Make it memorable
Shorter domains are generally more memorable, but length isn’t the only factor that determines how easily others can remember/forget the name. You should avoid using hyphens or numbers, as they can be confusing and make the name harder to remember. It should also be easy to spell and type with little effort.
5. Avoid brand terms
Violating the trademarks of other people or businesses can have devastating consequences and you could end up losing money, your business, and your domain. It is crucial that you perform a trademark search for all domain names on your consideration list and exclude those that may violate the rights of others.
It is also recommended to steer clear of names that are already in use by other websites or social media accounts, even if they are not registered trademarks. You don’t want users to confuse your brand with someone else’s because the names are the same, which can lead to lost traffic and revenue.
6. Plan ahead
You’ve probably heard the advice to choose a domain name that matches the topic or niche you plan to use it for, and that’s usually good advice. However, if the name is too specific, it may be more difficult to grow and grow in the future.
For example, let’s say you’re planning to start a blog about poetry books. You might be inclined to pick a field that contains the word “poetry,” but doing so would limit your ability to cover other book genres in the future while still being relevant. An article about science fiction books posted on a website clearly dedicated to poetry books may seem less relevant to potential visitors, resulting in lower click-through rates.
The same goes for a business site that decides to add other product lines or services later. You should keep in mind the possibilities for future growth and expansion when choosing the domain name for your site.
7. Find a reputable registrar
Once you have decided on the domain name, another search begins for a decent registrar to save it to. You should opt for a registrar that offers Whois privacy, reliable DNS services, fast customer support, and reasonable prices.
If you’re buying a domain from someone else, be sure to use a third-party escrow service that verifies domain ownership and keeps your money safe until the transfer is successful.
Some people spend days and weeks looking for the right domain name for their new website, and for good reason. You’re more likely to regret a rushed choice, so look at it from different angles, remember the points we discussed above, and sleep on it.