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How to Choose a Domain Name

domainnameChoosing a domain name is no easy task. It's likely that your first, second, and third choices have already been taken. Your domain name is very important, but maybe not for the reasons you are thinking.

In the past people would choose a domain name that was keyword rich in an effort to help them rank in search engines. After those domain names were taken people started using hyphens and lower quality TLDs (.net, .biz, .info, etc.) just to get that domain name with important keywords in it. But things have changed. Your domain name has much less of an impact on SEO than it ever has in the past. Search engines are now so "intelligent" there are so many other factors that they use in ranking.

That doesn't mean that your domain name should be just anything...there are still things that make a good and bad domain name. Here's how to choose a good one for your business or organization.

  1. Your domain name should be short. It's much easier to explain to people especially over the phone.
  2. Your domain name should be memorable.
  3. Include descriptive keywords...for people, not search engines.
  4. Don't use odd spelling of words.
  5. Avoid using the same letter multiple times in a row...it makes it too easy to get wrong. Example: thissite.com
  6. Choose a relevant tld. If your a business, a .me wouldn't be a good choice. Nonprofits will probably lean towards .org. Don't settle on a crummy TLD just because.
  7. Don't over-abbreviate. This might make sense to you, but it will be confusing to others.
  8. Brainstorm using GoDaddy. Their recommendations will help you think of alternatives.
  9. Don't overpay. Some domain names may be worth high dollars, but you can probably find one just as good for an acceptable price.
  10. Test. See how it looks, determine if it is memorable, is it easy to mistake, etc.

My final recommendation isn't in regards to choosing it, just an important tip. Buy your own domain name so you have control of it. You may want your developer, friend, or cousin to buy it for you because it's easier but it's not worth the risk.

Good luck in your domain name search!