If you want to build a large number of niche sites, you will soon realize that your domain name takes the most substantial chunk of the cost, or virtually the largest if you prefer to outsource your work. Choosing a domain name is a vital step in building a website. First, you wouldn’t like to waste money on inappropriate domain names that are not in tandem with your goal of building a website. This article seeks to guide you through the steps to take in choosing the right domain name for your sites.
First of all, it is pertinent to define what a domain name is. An introduction on domain names will prepare beginners for the root of this tutorial. Domain simply means the web address of your site. For example, goal.com is a domain name. A domain name is one of the essential elements of a website. Your domain name is what people type to visit your site. It is the first thing visitors see on your site. As you probably know, the first impression counts. Thus, you can make the first impression by choosing a great domain that is not only suitable for your venture but also attractive to visitors. Your name will be visible to your customers in so many places, including:
- Natural Search results like Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft
- Video Marketing
- Your Pay Per Click adverts
- Your E-zines or Newsletters that you publish
- Forum and Email Signatures
- Offline advertising like direct mail, newspapers, magazines, and business cards.
There are many things you should look out for when you want to buy a domain name. Here are some hints that you can follow.
Important Domain Name Don’ts
- Don’t use too many dashes in a domain name.
- Don’t use irrelevant phrases in a domain name.
- Avoid using too many keywords in a domain name.
- Never repeat the primary keyword in a domain name.
Important Domain Dos
- Include the primary keyword phrase in your domain name.
- Be specific with your long-tail keyword phrases.
- Insert the primary keyword phrase at the beginning of the domain name.
- Use commonly used related phrases, such as “tip,”, “new,” etc.
- Use action keywords, such as “buy”, “deals”, “get”, “cheap”, “discount”, etc.
- Use top level domain such as .com, .org, .net, .info.
1. Make use of a specific keyword. Alternatively, use a long-tail keyword phrase. Do not use multiple keywords or repeat the same keyword in a domain name.
2. Insert your primary keyword at the beginning of the domain name. Let’s illustrate this point with an example: For instance, if you are selling football kits, not just any kits but low-cost, high-quality football kits. Your company name is Football Kits World. Using the hint above, you are going to buy the domain name for your company. Now, what about the product?
The secret here is to discover names for your product domain that people are searching for. Research the name that potential customers will look for when they visit a search engine. Will they search for “low-cost, high-quality football kits”? or “cheap football kits”? From our earlier discovery, it is easy to determine what people are searching for. Hence, if they are searching for “cheap football kits,” your domain might have something similar to cheapfootballkits.com.
Selecting a domain name is an integral part of the overall marketing strategy and therefore should be taken seriously. Ensure that your domain name represents your company, image, and product to build a solid foundation for future sales.
3. If you still find it challenging to get your desired domain name, you can opt for action words that end your domain name.
Try words like discount, for sale, deals, etc. on eBay. Other options are info, blog, or tips. For example, if you have created a site using videos to train swimmers, try using “swimmervideos.com.” Alternatively, you can insert a number at the end of your keyword, e.g., cheapfootballkits123.com. This will work too. Note that you are starting the domain name with your keyword phrase, which is “cheap.”
4. Use attention-grabbing keywords. Try keywords that will be attractive and catchy when heard or read. See words like alert, cure, warning, and similar memorable words. By no means should you use words that do not relate to the message or content of your site?
5. Use popular and commonly used domains like .com, .org, .info, .us. Shun domains like .tv, or .biz. Credibility is crucial. Sticking to popular domain names will assist you in that aspect. If you can secure a .com domain name, that is the best for your site. But if your desired name is unavailable in .com, attempt other popular names. If, however, you still have difficulty in getting your desired domain name, check Nameboy.com to generate numerous domain name suggestions, using the keywords that you enter. Alternatively, use Instant Domain Search to get a quick response on your desired domain name.
7. Shun hyphenated domain names. That is, keep away from domain names with hyphens. In the past, using hyphen with domain names was a common practice. However, it is now out of fashion. A domain name with hyphens can slow down your chance of ranking high in search engines.
8. Keep it short and simple. Although you may come across some sites that allow you to register up to 60 characters for a domain name, do not be deceived by the offer. Remember that people prefer a domain name that they can easily remember and type into their browser. Try opting for the simplest and shortest name that your potential customers and visitors can easily associate with your site. The general rule is to make it less than seven characters, if possible (excluding the suffix). Though most of your potential customers will probably reach your site by clicking on a link, some will prefer to type your domain name to visit your website.
9. Choose .com domain name if possible.
There are different suffixes available at the moment. If you are registering your domain name for a business, the .com suffix is the best. The majority of people try the .com extension first when searching for a website. Besides, since .com has been in existence for long, associating with it could indicate that your business has been in existence for a long period and that your presence is well established on the web.
10. It is time to register your domain.
If you fail to register your domain name as quickly as possible, it risks being grabbed by others. People snatch hot domain names more than you could imagine. Ensure you register it immediately to avoid getting stuck with “http://the-domain-name-that-no-one-wanted.net.”
Registering your domain does not require a webmaster or website design expert or an e-commerce department. It does not even require a web page. All you need is to pay your hosting company and register before you lose your desired name to another person.
11. Seek opinions. After picking your preferred name from the pool of options that you have considered, seek the views of your friends and customers. A name that sounds simple to you may be difficult for others to recall. Is your domain simple to pronounce? Do you have any explanation for choosing the name?
12. Spend less.
In the past, companies were able to make a lot of money by charging reservation fees, including a compulsory $70 InterNIC fee. Recently, other ones sprang up by competing with the pioneer companies. This lead to a dramatic fall in prices of domain name registration. Right now, a private.com domain can go for as low as $6.99 at 1&1, which is the lowest price in the market at present. 1&1 remains the only top-ranking registrar that offers private registrations at no extra cost.
13. A critical element of your domain name:
Verify if someone else has ever used your domain name. It will be tough for your domain name to be indexed in the popular search engines if it has ever been used for fraud, spam, or dubious deals. The reason is that it might have been blacklisted. I am sure you will not want to experience such a situation. To check if someone has owned your domain, visit http://www.archive.org, and search for the name.
If someone has owned it, search the archives to know if someone has used the domain for any illegal activity. I am sure you will be happy if you find out someone has used it for a fraudulent act. Such a discovery will safe your time and effort that would have been used for fruitless search engine optimization. If you are sure that you have found out the right domain name after checking the previous use, but you are still unsure if it is the exact one, you can quickly register it before it is grabbed from you.