7 Proven Ways to Choose the Correct Site Domain Name
Your domain name is a crucial digital success factor. It can either make or break your brand’s online happy days.
So, how do you make it practically impossible for users not to find you? In this article, we’ll help you figure out domains and share the best advice on choosing a killer domain name.
How to Choose the Correct Site Domain?
Before we jump to choosing your domain name, let’s first cover the basics.
Basically, the internet is a giant network of computers linked together with cables. For communication and identification purposes, each computer is assigned a unique IP address.
A typical IP includes four blocks of digits separated by a period, like so 220.127.116.11.
Now, imagine that you’d have to memorize dozens of IP addresses to access your favorite websites? Doesn’t sound easy, right? Domain names were created to solve this problem. Instead of memorizing a set of random digits, you can just type in an easy-to-remember website name.
By definition, a domain name is a unique address where internet users can identify, locate, and access a website. Here’s a visual representation of a Uniform Resource Locator (URL or simply a “link”).
Some people confuse URLs and domains. The key difference is that a URL is a string that provides information on how to locate your website.
Whereas, a domain is a part of URL which represents a simpler form of your computer’s IP address.
What Happens When You Type in a Url in the Browser?
When you type in a link in your browser, you’re signaling to the global network system of servers (that’s called Domain Name System or DNS) that you want to access a certain website.
Then, DNS locates the name server associated with the website you’re looking for. The name servers are typically managed by hosting providers.Once the name server receives the HTTP request, the hosting company forwards the request to the IP of a computer where the website you’re looking for is stored. A computer that stores a website is called a web server.
The final step is when the web server fetches all elements of the web pages for you to access them. It’s amazing to think that all of this happens in just a few seconds when you wait for the website to open!
Why is the Choice of Your Domain Name So Important?
In today’s modern connected world, it’s not enough to have a great product.
If you want people to buy from you, they must see your brand as reliable and trustworthy.
And in order to build trust, you must have a website.
“Long story short, digital success is a must if you want to operate a successful (and profitable) business.
While aspects like website design and content plan are extremely important, the first thing you want to do is to create a killer domain name.”- says Liam Hayes, a digital marketing manager at Essay Tigers.
Your domain is the first impression you make online.
Domain names have the power to show your credibility or oppositely put distrust in your brand.
Also, your domain is a great branding opportunity.
If chosen correctly, your domain can increase brand recognition and help your SEO efforts.
With that in mind, let’s now take a look at the top seven proven ways to choose the right domain name.
Choose the Right Tld
A top-level domain (TDL) is the last part of the root domain.
TLDs are located in the root zone of the Domain Name System.
Generic top-level domains (gTLD) are a type of TDL with three or more characters.
Now, let’s take a look at the top-level domains you see every day.
- .com – short for ‘commercial’
- .net – short for ‘network’
- .org – short for ‘organization’
- .edu – short for ‘education’
- .gov – short for ‘government’
- .info – short for ‘information’
- .us – short for ‘United States of America’
- .nyc – short for ‘New York City’
Being a gTDL, .com is the most reliable and popular domain name extension.
In fact, 48% of websites use .com as their top-level domain. So, how do you choose the right domain name extension? A common mistake is omitting TLD names in favor of cheaper or more available options.
For example, some websites use domain extensions, like .pizza or .buy, failing to realize that they hold customers back. In reality, users perceive websites with top-level domains as reliable and trustworthy sources.
If you’re launching an international website that is predicted to grow fast, make sure you go with the safest option .com.
However, if you’re a startup or a small/medium local business, you've got other options. If the .com domain isn’t available, you can choose between .org or .net .
Either one works well for non-large organizations.
Follow the Best Domain Name Practices
When choosing your domain name, it’s important to remember that this is how your visitors will find you on the web.
As mentioned before, your domain is a great branding opportunity.
Come up with something simple yet memorable.
Choosing a generic domain name is a common mistake.
Generic domains don’t stand out from the competition, are easy to confuse, and hard to remember.
Choose a word or a phrase that is catchy and easy to remember.
You can even create new words.
The trick here is to stay consistent with your brand’s tone of voice while inspiring your creative self.
Don’t Try to Look Cool or Trendy
Being creative doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to follow trends.
In fact, when you try to look trendy or cool, you end up with another buzzword domain.
The problem with this approach is that time passes by and so do the buzzwords.
Most of them will be forgotten and replaced with other newer words.
Instead of looking for something popular, use dictionaries to find words that resonate with your brand and its values.
There are many free online dictionaries and thesauruses you can use to find your domain name.
Short Domains Vs. Long Domains
The general rule of thumb is that the shorter your domain name is, the better.
Using long and complex domain names increases the chances of typos and misspellings.
Whereas, short domains are memorable and less confusing.
The maximum number of characters you can have in your domain is 63.
However, if you used all of them, that would be an awfully long domain.
The best advice here is keeping your domain name anywhere between 3 and 14 characters.
Choose a Name That's Easy to Type and Pronounce
While you can’t control occasional typos, what you can do is avoid confusion around what exactly users have to type when they want to access your website.
That's why it’s so important to choose a readable and pronounceable domain.
When choosing your domain name, avoid using any of the following.
- Numbers (w3bnus.net)
- Hyphens (web-n-us.net)
- Homonyms (right-web-n-us.net)
- Slang (web4us.net)
Check for Copyright Violations
Some websites make their domain names sound like well-established brands in hopes of increasing their traffic.
However, this approach can backfire and do more harm to your website traffic and user engagement.
Instead of sounding like someone else, be original and create a domain name that will help you build a large fan base.
Researching your domain name before registration is always a good idea.
You can perform a trademark search to find if there are other companies associated with the chosen domain name.
Additionally, you can perform a classic Google search and check social media for companies using the name.
Use a Domain Name Generator
Currently, the internet has almost 360 million domain names.
So, it’s understandable if you’re struggling to come up with something unique and available. If this is the case, domain name generators can be helpful.
Domain name generators are (typically) free tools that offer available domain names options based on the keywords you enter.
What Do You Do if the Domain is Already Taken?
Let’s say you came up with a killer domain name.
Yet, there is one final challenge you may face. Your domain name may already be taken.
So, what do you do if this happens?
If the name you’ve chosen is taken, but the website looks inactive, check who owns the domain.
You can use free online tools to find out the owner and expiration date of the domain. If the expiration date is close, you may consider waiting until the domain becomes available.
Alternatively, you can contact the owner to ask whether they’d like to sell their domain. Another option is using an alternative TLD. As we’ve mentioned before, .com should be your first choice, especially if you’re launching a solid international website.
However, if you’re not willing to give your idea and want to stick to the wording that’s already taken, you can choose another extension to see which one doesn’t violate any copyright policies.
We hope this article helped you understand better how domains work and how to choose one. Today you’ve learned that domain names put a friendly face on hard-to-remember numerical computer addresses.
Make sure to put some effort and time in choosing your domain name. Choose a suitable domain name extension based on your business‘s size and purpose. Make sure to pick a brandable, easy to understand, and memorable domain.
Avoid using confusing language and characters. Finally, always research your domain name before rushing to register it.
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