Domain names are essential. They represent your business or brand and, most importantly, direct customers to your website. So it's no wonder domain name selection is often daunting. How do you choose the perfect domain name for your business? What if someone else already has the domain name you want? And what about all those new top-level domains (TLDs)?
It is estimated that there are over 1.5 billion websites on the internet today, which is only growing. With so much competition, having a domain name that stands out from the rest is more important than ever. This article will help you answer those questions and more. We'll provide ten tips for choosing a domain name, plus a few resources to help you get started.
The Importance of Choosing a Good Domain Name
Domain names are essential for a variety of reasons. First, they represent your business, brand, and website worldwide. In addition, domain names are critical for directing customers to your website. But, the importance of choosing a good domain name does not end there. So, let's explore a few more reasons why domain names are essential to your business or your brand.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
According to recent studies, over 50% of online traffic begins with a search engine, and domain names play a significant role in search engine optimization (SEO). Domain names are one of the ranking factors that Google considers when determining where to place your website in its search results. So it's essential to choose a domain name that's relevant to your business and easy to find in a search engine.
Domain Names are The First Impression
Domain names are the first impression of your website. They are the first thing customers see when searching for you online and the first thing that pops up in their browser window. A study by Moz found that domain authority (a domain's ability to rank higher in search engine results)is one of the top three factors influencing a website's click-through rate(CTR).
A domain name is a significant factor in CTR because it's the first thing customers see. If your domain name is irrelevant to your business or brand, customers are less likely to click through to your website.
A Domain Name Defines Your Brand or Business Online
Domain names play a significant role in branding your business online. Your domain name is the first impression of your website, and customers will remember it long after they've left your site. Therefore, to create a strong brand, it's essential to choose a domain name that's relevant to your business and easy to remember.
In a study by Verisign, 60% of respondents said that a domain name is significant when deciding whether or not to do business with a website. So, it's essential to choose a domain name that accurately represents your brand and is easy for customers to remember.
10 Tips for How to Choose a Domain Name
Now that you know the importance of choosing a domain name, you might wonder how to choose the right one. Here are ten tips to help you select a perfect domain name for your business.
Use a Popular Domain Extension (.com or .inc)
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a domain name is the extension. The extension is the domain name part that comes after the dot (e.g., .com, .inc, .org). While over 1,000 different domain extensions are available today, the most popular ones are .com, .inc, and .org.
According to a study by Pew Research Center, over 80%of websites use the .com extension. This is because it's the most recognizable and most popular domain extension.
However, with the popularity of .com domain name extensions, finding an available .com domain name that's relevant to your business can be challenging. If you're having trouble locating a public .com domain, consider using a different extension, such as .inc, or a country-specific extension such as .co.uk, or .ca.
Tips for Choosing a Domain Name Extension
- Use a .com domain name if possible. It's the most popular and most recognizable domain extension.
- If you can't find an available .com domain name, consider using a different extension, such as .inc. By choosing a domain name extension like ".inc," you can have an exact match domain name for your company.
- To target a specific country, use a country-specific domain extension like ".co.uk" or ".ca".
- Consider using a domain name checker tool to see what domain names are available across multiple extensions.
Choose a Brandable Domain Name
A brandable domain name is a domain name that's easy to remember and accurately represents your brand or business. Most brandable domain names incorporate the company or product name into the domain - for example, apple.com, nike.com, or facebook.com. Domain name registrars report that brandable domain names are the most popular type of domain name. This is because they are easy to remember and accurately represent your brand or business.
But it can be challenging to develop a brandable domain name that's available and related to your brand. So, if you're having trouble finding a brandable domain name, consider domain name extensions that are more geared towards brands and businesses like .inc.
Tips for Choosing a Brandable Domain Name
- Choose a domain name that accurately represents the brand or service offered.
- Consider using different domain name generators to help generate brandable domain name ideas.
- Keep an open mind to using other domain name extensions more tailored to brands and businesses like ".inc" and ".org."
Keep Your Domain Name Short
Choosing a domain name that's short and easy to remember is essential. A study conducted by Domain Name Registration showed that the average length of a domain name is 12 characters. The study also found that shorter domain names are easier to remember and are more likely to be typed correctly. So, when choosing a domain name, try to keep it short - under 14 characters is ideal.
Choosing a domain name that's easy to spell is also essential. A domain name that's easy to spell is more likely to be typed correctly and remembered. So, with a shorter domain name, you're more likely to get customers typing in your domain name correctly.
Tips for Choosing a Short Domain Name
- Choose a domain name that's no longer than 14 characters.
- When choosing a domain name, try to use common words that are easy to spell.
- If you're having trouble finding a short and available domain name, try using a domain name checker tool to help locate one.
- Include your brand or business name in the domain name.
- Take a look and see what your competitors are doing.
Make Sure Your Domain Name is Easy to Type
Your domain name should be easy to type, so customer can easily find your website. In addition, it's estimated that over 13% of web traffic comes from people who type in a domain name directly into their browser by discovering the domain name offline. This means that if your domain name is easy to type, it's more likely to be remembered and typed correctly when people see it offline - on a business card, for example.
To make sure your domain name is easy to type, avoid using hyphens or symbols in your domain name. Also, try to use it. So, if your domain name is easy to order, you're more likely to get customers typing in your domain name correctly and finding your website.
Tips for Ensuring Your Domain Name is Easy to Type
- Avoid using hyphens or symbols in your domain name.
- Instead, try to use common words that are easy to spell.
- Stick to a single language when choosing a domain name.
- Make sure your domain name is easy to pronounce.
Make Sure Your Domain Name is Easy to Pronounce
Your domain name should also be easy to pronounce, so people can easily find your website when they hear it. In addition, a study by Moz found that over 45% of people surveyed said they were more likely to remember a website if it had a domain name that was easy to say.
It may not seem like it, but how your domain name sounds can significantly impact whether or not people remember it. So, when choosing a domain name, try to choose one that's easy to pronounce and remember.
Tips for Choosing a Domain Name that is Easy to Pronounce
- Avoid using abbreviations or acronyms in your domain name.
- Instead, choose a domain name that's easy to say and spell.
- Keep your domain name short - no more than 14 characters.
- Use a thesaurus to help find alternative words that are easy to pronounce.
Avoid Using Numbers and Hyphens
When choosing a domain name, avoid using numbers and hyphens. While numbers and hyphens can be used in domain names, they can make it more difficult for people to remember and type your domain name correctly. In addition, numbers and hyphens can be easily confused with other characters -which can lead to people typing in the wrong domain name.
In addition, having special characters, hyphens, and numbers may impact your SEO - as it can be more difficult for people to find your website in search engines. So, avoid using these characters in your domain name if you want to optimize your website for SEO.
Important Points to Remember
- Numbers in a domain name can be awkward to say and spell.
- Hyphens can be easily confused with other special characters such as underscore (_) or period (.).
- Special characters may impact your SEO.
- Special characters and numbers in a domain name can reduce brand authority as people relate to spammy domains when they see a number or a special character in an URL.
Use Niche Keywords Related to Your Brand or Business
If you want your domain name to be easily found by potential customers, consider using niche keywords related to your brand or business in your domain name. For example, if you're a plumber, you may want to include keywords like "plumbing," "plumber," or "pipes" in your domain name.
Including keywords in your domain name can help people easily find your website when searching for businesses or products like yours. It can also help improve your SEO, as search engines can index and rank your website more easily.
Tips for Using Niche-Related Keywords
- Do some research to find out what keywords people are searching for when looking for businesses or products like yours.
- Include only one crucial keyword in your domain name, and remember not to stuff your domain name with too many keywords.
- Make sure the keywords you choose are relevant to your brand or business.
Consider Long-Terms Implications of Your Domain Name
When choosing a domain name, it's essential to consider the long-term implications of your domain name. For example, if you're starting a new business, you may want to choose a domain name that can be easily expanded as your business grows.
Another example would be the internationalization of your brand. If you begin with a country-specific domain name - like ".co.uk" or ".ca" - you may eventually want to expand your business to other countries. If so, you'll need to choose a domain name that can be easily recognized in other countries, such as .inc or .com.
Similarly, if you're rebranding an existing business, you'll want to ensure your new domain name doesn't conflict with your current brand. Choosing a domain name that's too similar to an existing brand can confuse customers and damage your brand.
Tips for Long-Term Domain Name Planning
- Consider how your domain name will be used in the future. For example, will you need to expand your business to other countries?
- Do you want to avoid potential trademark issues?
- Ensure your domain name can be easily expanded to different niches if required. For example, if you sell pet food, your domain name should be able to expand to other types of products if you eventually decide to sell different kinds of products, such as pet toys.
- Make sure your domain name won't be associated with an existing brand that could damage your brand.
- Choose an extension that is easily recognized in other countries.
- Consider registering multiple domain names under different extensions to protect your brand and domain name.
Check for Trademark Conflicts
Before registering a domain name, it's essential to check for trademark conflicts. If you choose a domain name similar to an existing trademark, you could be subject to legal action from the trademark owner.
To avoid trademark conflicts, you can use a tool like the USPTO's Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) to search for similar trademarks. If you find a conflicting trademark, you may want to choose a different domain name.
Tips to Avoid Trademark Conflicts
- Use a tool like the USPTO's Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) to check for similar trademarks before registering your domain name.
- Choose a domain name that is distinctly different from any existing brands.
- Check social media sites and search engines to see if your desired domain name is already being used.
- Ensure the domain name isn't too similar to an existing brand or trademark.
Your Domain Name Should be Consistent with Social Media Accounts
Social media plays a significant role in branding and marketing today - so it's essential to ensure your domain name is consistent with your social media accounts.
For example, if your business name is "Acme Plumbing," you'll want to ensure your Twitter account username is"@acmeplumbing." People may have difficulty finding you on social media if it's not. In addition, in a recent survey conducted by Pew Research, 29% of people said they instinctively add ".com" to the end of a business name when trying to find it online after viewing their social media accounts.
Similarly, if you're rebranding an existing business, you'll want to ensure your new domain name is consistent with your existing social media accounts. Customers may have difficulty finding you online if it's not.
Tips for Choosing a Domain Name that is Cohesive with Your Social Media Accounts
- Check if your desired domain name is available as a username on popular social media sites by using a social media name checker tool.
- If your desired domain name is unavailable as a social media username, consider whether adding a dash, hyphen or adding the word "real" would work on social media.
- Ensure your domain name is consistent with your existing social media accounts if you're rebranding your business.
Choosing the right domain name is essential to the success of your online business. Following the tips in this article, you can choose a domain name that is distinct, brandable, and cohesive with your social media accounts. Then, with some planning, you can ensure your domain name will help you grow your business for years to come.
Domain Name FAQs
What is a Domain Name?
A domain name is a unique address that specifies a location on the internet. Just as you use a street address to find a specific house or building, you use a domain name to find a particular website. Every domain name corresponds to a numerical IP address used by computers to locate websites. However, IP addresses are difficult for people to remember, so domain names were introduced as a more user-friendly way of accessing sites.
Domain names can be registered with any of the many registrars worldwide. Once registered, a domain name can be used to create a professional-looking email address or to set up a complete website. Most domain names are registered for one or two years at a time and can be renewed as needed.
What is a Domain Name Extension?
A domain name extension is a set of letters added to the end of a domain name. For example, the most common domain name extension is ".com." However, there are also other popular domain name extensions, such as ".net," ".org," and ".inc." The choice of a domain name extension can be important for businesses as it can help indicate the nature of the business or the country in which it is based. For example, a ".ca" domain name extension is used for Canadian websites, and a ".co.uk" domain name extension is used for websites in the United Kingdom.
Domain name extensions can also create unique or memorable web addresses. For example, the ".name" extension can be used for personal websites, and the ".io" extension can be used for tech-related websites. Ultimately, the choice of domain name extension is up to the webmaster. Still, choosing an extension that will be easy for users to remember and accurately represents the website's content is essential.
What are the Most Popular Domain Name Extensions?
Most people are familiar with the .com domain name extension, but did you know that there are over 1,000 different domain extensions to choose from? While ".com" is still the most popular choice for businesses, there is a growing trend toward using unique and personal domain names. Here are some of the most popular domain name extensions:
- .com: As the original top-level domain,.com is still the most popular choice for businesses and website owners looking for a memorable and easy-to-remember address.
- .inc: An excellent choice for businesses looking to set themselves apart from the competition.
- .net: Originally intended for network infrastructure providers, .net has become a popular choice for tech-related businesses and blogs.
- .org: TLDs were previously restricted to non-profit organizations, but they are now commonly utilized by schools, charities, and neighborhood groups.
With so many different domain name extensions to choose from, selecting one that reflects the type of website or business you're running is essential. By doing so, you'll make it easier for customers and clients to find your site and give
Does a .com Perform Better Than a .inc Domain Name Extension for SEO?
When it comes to domain names, there are many different options to choose from. For example, one question often arises whether a .com domain name is better for SEO than a .inc domain name. The short answer is that your domain name extension does not make a difference for your SEO. In fact, including your brand name or keyword is more important, which is challenging to do with a ".com" extension due to the popularity of this extension. This gives more business and brand-related domain name extensions like ".inc" an upper hand when it comes to SEO.
Ultimately, the best domain name for SEO is the one that is most relevant to your business and audience. However, if you're not sure which one will work better for you, it's always a good idea to consult with an SEO expert.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Domain Name?
Domain names are essential to every website, but how long does it take to get one? The answer depends on a few factors, including the availability of the domain name and the registrar you use. Most domain name registrars will allow you to search for available domain names and purchase the one you want immediately.
Buying a domain name is usually pretty quick, and you can generally have your new domain up and running within a day or two. However, some registrars may place a temporary hold on new domain purchases, which can extend the timeframe by a few days.
In general, though, getting a new domain name registered and working shouldn't take more than 24hrs.
For How Long Can I Register a Domain Name?
When registering a domain name, the sky's the limit. You can register a domain for anywhere from one to ten years, and there's no need to renew it all at once. Instead, you can renew your domain annually, biennially, or even monthly if you prefer.
The length of time you register a domain is entirely up to you. However, there are a few things to remember when deciding how long to register your domain:
- The longer you register, the better your chances of maintaining domain ownership.
- More extended registration periods often come with discounts.
- If you ever decide to sell your domain, a more extended registration period will likely result in a higher sales price.
So when it comes to choosing a registration period, there's no right or wrong answer - it all depends on your individual needs and preferences.
Do I Need a Domain Name for My Website?
The short answer is yes - but there are some exceptions. For example, if you're creating a personal website or blog, you may be able to get by by using a free platform like WordPress.com or Blogger.com. These sites will provide you with a subdomain (e.g., yourname.wordpress.com oryourname.blogspot.com), which can be used to access your site.
However, if you're planning on creating a more professional website - or if you want more control over your site's design and functionality - you'll need to register your domain name. You can usually do this through your web hosting provider, which will cost you around $10-15 per year. Once you have your domain name, you'll be able to create the website of your dreams!
Is it Necessary to Have a Domain Name Email Address?
With the proliferation of free email providers, many people question whether having a domain name or email address is still necessary. After all, free providers like Gmail and Yahoo! Mail offer plenty of storage and robust spam filters. So what are the benefits of having a domain name email address? The most obvious benefit is that it makes your business look more professional. Customers are more likely to trust a business with a professional email address than one with a generic Gmail address.
Finally, having a domain name email address allows you to take advantage of other features like customizing your website and setting up alerts. While free email providers offer some great features, there are still plenty of reasons to invest in a domain name email address.
Can I Get a Free Domain Name?
Anyone who has ever tried to set up a website knows that securing a domain name can be a challenge. With so many companies and individuals vying for the same virtual real estate piece, finding an available domain that suits your needs can be challenging. And once you do find a public domain, the cost of registration can be prohibitively expensive. So the natural question is: can you get a free domain name?
The answer is complicated. While some companies will allow you to register a domain name for free, there is usually a catch. For example, the company may require you to set up your website with their hosting service or use their advertisement-based system. In other words, while you may not have to pay anything upfront, you may end up paying more in the long run.
Of course, there are ways to get around the registration cost altogether. For example, you could use a subdomain (e.g., yourname.example.com) or a free web-based service (e.g., WordPress.com).However, these options come with their trade-offs and may not be suitable for everyone.
Does the Length of My Domain Name Matter?
Yes, the length of your domain name can impact your website's success. A shorter domain name is easier to remember and type, which can help reduce typos and misspellings. In addition, a shorter domain name is less likely to be confused with another site or brand.
However, there are some downsides to having a short domain name. For example, shorter domain names are more likely to be already taken by another company or individual. In addition, shorter domain names may be less effective at helping your website rank in search engines.
So what's the perfect length for a domain name? The average domain name is under 14 characters, but no magic number exists. The best domain name is the one that makes the most sense for your business or website.
How Much Does a Domain Name Cost?
The cost of a domain name depends on a few factors, including the registration length, the domain's popularity, and whether or not you can find a coupon or discount. Generally, you can expect to pay around $10-15 per year for a standard .com domain name. However, if you're looking for something more unique or stylish, you may have to pay more. Or on the other hand, if you're willing to settle for something less popular, you may be able to get it for a lower price.
Ultimately, the cost of a domain name is up to you and what you're willing to pay. There are plenty of deals out there if you're ready to look for them. But at the end of the day, remember that your domain name is an integral part of your brand, and it's worth investing in something that you'll be happy with for years to come.
Do I Need to Register My Domain Name with the U.S. Copyright Office?
You may have heard that you must register your domain name with the U.S. Copyright Office to protect your intellectual property rights fully. However, this is not strictly true. While registering your domain name with the copyright Office can provide some additional legal protections, it is not required to maintain ownership of your domain name. Instead, U.S. trademark law automatically protects your domain name as soon as you use it in commerce. This means you can sue someone for infringement even if you haven't registered your domain name with the Copyright Office. However, there are a few registration benefits.
- First, it allows you to file a federal lawsuit, which can be more expensive and time-consuming than a state-level lawsuit.
- Second, registration creates a public record of your ownership, which can be helpful if you need to prove your rights in court.
- Finally, registering your domain name with the Copyright Office can help to deter would-be infringers from trying to use your domain name without permission.
Ultimately, whether or not you register your domain name is up to you and depends on various factors. Consulting with an experienced intellectual property attorney can help you make the best decision for your business.
Should I Trademark My Domain Name?
If you have a unique domain name closely associated with your brand, you may want to consider trademarking it. Trademarks can help protect your investment in your domain name and deter others from using a similar name for their own website. To trademark your domain name, you must prove that it is distinctive and used in connection with your business. The process of applying for a trademark can be complex, so it is essential to consult with an experienced attorney before taking action.
However, the process may be worth the effort if you have a strong case for trademarking your domain name.
What is an Internationalized Domain Name (IDN)?
An Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) is a domain name that uses characters from non-Latin languages, such as Arabic, Chinese, or Cyrillic. IDNs were introduced to allow people to use their own language when registering a domain name. For example, someone from China might want to register a domain name in Mandarin rather than using the Latin alphabet.
IDNs are particularly useful for businesses that want to target a specific country or region. By using an IDN, businesses can ensure that their website will be accessible to everyone in their target market.
However, it is worth noting that IDNs are only compatible with certain browsers and operating systems. As such, businesses should ensure that their target market can access their website before registering an IDN.
What is a Country Code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD)?
A country code top-level domain (ccTLD) is an Internet domain designated for a country, sovereign state, or dependent territory. Most ccTLDs are two-letter domains, like .us for the United States, .ca for Canada, and .uk for the United Kingdom. However, there are also a few two-letter ccTLDs, like .tv for Tuvalu and .lv for Latvia. In addition to providing a convenient way to indicate a website's country of origin, ccTLDs can also help visitors know what language the site will be in.
For example, websites with a .de ccTLD are German-language sites, while those with a .fr ccTLD are French-language sites. In addition, while most ccTLDs are open to anyone wishing to register a domain, a few have restrictions. For example, the .ly ccTLD is reserved for websites affiliated with Libya, and the .jp ccTLD is reserved for websites affiliated with Japan.
What is a Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD)?
A generic top-level domain (gTLD) is a domain name not associated with any specific country or region. These domains are managed by ICANN, which oversees the internet's naming system. While a handful of gTLDs exist, the most commonly used is .com. Other examples include .net and .org. gTLDs offer several benefits, chief among them being that they are not subject to the same restrictions as country-specific domains.
This makes them ideal for businesses with a global reach. In addition, gTLDs are less likely to be censored by governments than other domains. As a result, they have become increasingly popular in recent years.
How Do I Protect My Domain Name from Cybersquatters?
A domain name is your unique identity on the internet. It's how customers find your website, and it's how you build brand recognition online. So it's no surprise that cybersquatters – people who register domain names to sell them to the highest bidder – constantly look for valuable domains. Fortunately, you can take a few steps to protect your domain name from these unsavory characters.
First, make sure you register your domain name with a reputable company. This will help to ensure that your domain is adequately protected from squatters.
Second, keep your contact information up to date. If a squatter does manage to register your domain, you'll need to be able to get in touch with them to resolve the issue quickly.
Finally, consider registering your domain name under different extensions like ".inc" or ".io." This will make it more difficult for squatters to register your domain name and give you more options if your primary domain name is unavailable.
By taking these precautions, you can help to protect your domain name from cybersquatters.
What is Whois Privacy Protection?
Whois Privacy Protection is a service that allows domain name owners to keep their personal contact information private. When registering a domain name, you must provide your name, address, phone number, and email address. This information is then publicly available through a Whois lookup.
Whois Privacy Protection replaces your personal contact information with the contact information for a proxy service. This way, your privacy is protected, and you can still be reached if someone needs to contact you about your domain name. While Whois Privacy Protection is not required, it is an essential tool for anyone who wants to keep their personal information private.
How Do I Renew My Domain Name?
Before your domain name expires, you will receive multiple email notices from the registrar to remind you to renew. You can also check the expiration date of your domain name by doing a WHOIS search. If you do not renew your domain name before it expires, you will lose control, and someone else may register it. To continue your domain name, you must log in to your account with the registrar and pay the renewal fee.
Once the renewal is processed, the new expiration date will be reflected in the WHOIS record. Depending on the registrar, you may also have the option to renew your domain name for multiple years. If you cannot renew your domain name, you can contact the registrar directly, who will help you with the process.
What Happens if I Don't Renew My Domain Name?
Domain names are registered for a certain amount of time, typically one year. The domain name becomes available to the general public during the registration period. However, many people choose to renew their domain name so that they can continue to use it. However, a few things can happen if you don't renew your domain name.
- First, someone else may register the domain name, and you will no longer be able to use it. This could be problematic if you have built up a website or online business under that domain name.
- In addition, your website will go offline, and anyone visiting your site will see an error message.
- Finally, you may also lose any email addresses associated with the domain name.
For these reasons, it's essential to renew your domain name before it expires.