How to Choose a Domain Name

Domain Names

Choosing the right domain name seems like it would be a fast and easy task. However, there are many factors you have to take into account before doing it.

Your domain name can play a crucial role in your website’s optimization for search engines so you have to take care to make it work not only for people but for search engines as well.

I’ll give you a few tips on choosing a proper domain name for your website to make this task easier for you.

1. What Should be Included in a Domain Name to Make Your SEO Efforts Easier?

Keywords.

Yeah, you probably knew that. But what about them? So, here’s a short explanation:

It’s best to choose a domain name which includes your primary keyword. It would be even better if your domain name WAS your main keyword. Yup, that’s it.

But…it may be hard to find such a name still available.

That’s why you have to brainstorm your ideas and think of something that includes your keyword, isn’t too long, but is catchy, easy to remember, spell, pronounce, etc…

It’s not easy but not impossible!

Just remember a few things.

If you can’t find a domain name that would match your primary keyword, try to get a domain name with your other keywords or add a complementary word to your primary keyword (for example, a name of the city placed before or after your keyword). This should give you more options and better chances to find a domain name (including your keyword) still available.

Try to choose a short and an easy to remember name. People like domain names they can easily remember.

But if a domain name you want to have is too short to include a keyword in it or you choose to have a catchy name with no keywords, you’ll have to build a brand around it in order to capture people’s attention.

You should also avoid too-long domain names as well as using hyphens/dashes. Having a domain name that includes hyphens can be disadvantageous for your search engine rankings. Moreover, it is harder to remember and may easily be written with a mistake which will redirect your visitors to someone else’s website…oops.

However, there’s a solution for this as well. You can register many variations of your domain name to prevent it from being bought by others (your competitors) and make redirections to your website.

Hopefully, these tips will simplify your search for the right domain name for your website.

But there’s also another important issue:

2. What extension should a domain name have?

The most popular and the best-to-have domain name extension is .com.

The extensions .com, .org, and .net are of the same value for search engines. However, .com is a popular choice for most people. That’s why when you choose .org or .net you may be losing some traffic just because when people don’t remember what extension you have, they presumably write .com.

If you’re afraid you may be losing some traffic because you have already registered your .org or .net domain name extension, register the .com version as well (if it’s still available).

For search engines all of the following are equal: .com, .org, or .net.

If your business is outside the US, also obtain a country-specific domain name extension (but register .com as well if you can).

Avoid .info and .biz. At one point, they were mostly used by spammers and are not a good choice for a domain name extension. Search engines do NOT like them.

.edu and .gov domain name extensions are highly respected by search engines but are not available to most people. They are only available for educational and government institutions.

Now that you have an overview of what’s important in a domain name, you can start your search for the ideal domain name for your website!

About Magda Gawlik Tomal

Magda is the Founder of WPSEOshop.com which offers Search Engine Optimization services for WordPress. She helps small businesses to promote online.

Comments

  1. Keith Davis says:

    Love the article – short and non techie.
    Just sent this to a potential client who is trying to choose a domain name.
    I think you have covered all the things that I told him.

    This will be my “send to clients” article for choosing domain names.
    Save me repeating myself. LOL

  2. Keith Davis says:

    Sorry for second comment guys.
    Thought that I recognised the theme, but couldn’t quite remember.

    Just come to me… Genesis Balance theme.
    Fabulous theme – big text, great colours and lots of white space.

  3. wpseoshop says:

    Thank you so much!
    I’m glad you like the article.
    Yes, the Balance theme is awesome :-)

  4. Thoughts on the .me extension?

  5. Abhishek says:

    I like your article. Is informative about just the right things and doesn’t seem to go on and on. Short, crisp and precise. Good read.

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