07 May How to Choose a Domain Name
Helpful tips for choosing your domain name:
- Shorter is better. Its easier to remember a short domain name versus along one.
- Use keywords in your domain name. It’s best to use the name of your company, combined with keywords. Keywords are words that someone might type in to search for your product or services. For example, if you sell widgets and you’re located in Kirkland, Washington, consider using your company name, AcmeWidgets.com. If that’s already taken, try AcmeWidgetsKirkland.com.
- Make two side by side lists, one listing several words that describe your product or service or include your company name. So your first list will be something like Big Widget Company, humongous widgets, ginormous widgets, blue widgets. The second list might be geographical in nature, like kirkland, bellevue, redmond, seattle, king county, pacific northwest. Then, try various combinations from the two lists.
- Use .com as opposed to using other extensions like .biz or .net. Dot coms are more memorable.
- Avoid domain names that have two or three of the same letter in a row. For example, mattressseattle.com has three S’s in the middle. Instead, consider using seattlemattress.com to break them up.
- Avoid using another company’s trademark name in your domain name. For example, if you use the domain name HondaExperts.com, Honda will most likely send you a cease and desist order.
- Consider using a domain name generator website like nameboy.com. Here’s a big list of them provided by Mashable.
- Once you selected several possible domain names, check them for availability. I like to use whois.com or betterwhois.com. Betterwhois.com looks seriously dated, but they have a built-in system to foil cyber squatters. Cyber squatters are programmers who have figured out how to see what you’re typing in as a possible domain name, buy it before you do and then try to sell it back to you. Read more about cyber squatters.
- Select your domain name and make the purchase. Don’t delay. Once you’ve made your decision, secure it right away. I like to use godaddy.com or bluehost.com. Godaddy has decent pricing, about $12 per domain name. But watch out for the up-sell. Just continue to click “No Thanks” until you get to the screen where you can pay. We only use Godaddy for domain registration. We rarely use them for hosting. Bluehost currently offers a free domain name with hosting purchase. Bluehost is our hosting company of choice and we only use a different company if a client requests it.
I hope these tips have helped you reach your decision. Happy domain selecting!