One of the keys to having a successful web page is getting the right domain name. Anyone can have a slick looking site, but without the right name you will be difficult to find and even harder for clients to remember. Choosing a domain isn’t quite as simple as it seems, and the choice you make can save you hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars.
Before we get any further into this, here are some general guidelines that everyone should follow when choosing their domain name. The average domain name is around 11 characters, so shoot for something in that ballpark and always remember, shorter is usually better. Spell things normally, if you play around with the language too much people will have a hard time remembering how to find your page. Make sure your domain choice is unique enough to be differentiated from anything similar that is already online. Finally, make it memorable. A bland domain name can really limit your branding and marketable potential.
Before choosing a name, you need to decide on how much you are willing to spend. If you want a single word .com address, be ready to pay for it – and that’s assuming it is even available. If you do not have a stack of money in your budget for your domain name, you can get creative and use some of the newer extensions like .app, .info or even some of the country coded domain names which open up some very creative doors.
How Will Traffic Find you?
The next item on your list should be deciding how you want traffic to find your website, and yes you do have a lot of say in how this works. You essentially have two options, the first being a descriptive domain using real words that describe what your site is about. This lets people stumble across your domain just by entering in those descriptive words in their address bar.
The next option is what some refer to as brandable. Google.com is a brandable domain name. Brandable names carry more of a personality, some may even carry an identity that clients can relate to. Having a unique, brandable name can help boost your relevance on search engines as well. If no one else has a name similar to yours, a quick search will yield mostly results related directly to your site which builds a sense of credibility online.
Both options have their merits, but which should you go with? If you expect most of your traffic to be of the type-in variety, discoverable domains are a fine way to go. The problem is finding an available name for a good price. You don’t need to be witty with these types of domains; instead think how your customers think and come up with a phrase that they would enter looking for the type of content that you offer. Simple is best.
Brandable domains give you a higher ceiling and are great for creating online buzz. They are more memorable and unique than a bland phrase. People remember Yahoo and Twitter – not necessarily something like cheapflooringoptions.com/net/org etc.
You may even get lucky and be able to land a brandable domain for next to nothing, or better yet, check out 1and1 free domain names and see if yours is available.
Building your Name
Since most of you will not be choosing a single word domain, you will have to come up with a brandable name that combines two words or just parts of a couple words. Your name should be creative and evoke curiosity and excitement – it should relate to the best and coolest aspects of your content. There are few easy tips to help you brainstorm up a great domain. A very helpful list can be found here.