Yourdreamdomainname.com is taken – now what do you do? A lot of businesses are facing this issue now that there are something like six million sites on the internet.
If you don’t know what else to do about that except be jealous of the people ten years ago that had the whole keyboard at their fingertips – don’t worry.
We’ve put together this guide on how to choose a domain name, even if you’re out of ideas.
Start learning below.
While we’re sure you could come up with some clever pun or spelling to put in your URL – it’s not a good idea. If you expect people to ever type it in, not just click it, it needs to be easy to type and to remember.
That means it’s short and spelled the way most people would think it’s spelled.
In the past few years, we’ve been seeing more sites go with a .me or .co – and we don’t necessarily advise that. While it depends on what server you use (for your options) most people don’t pay attention to small details like that.
While we’re on a kick about spelling, make sure you keep your audience’s language in mind. For example, the US spells color without the u.
So if you’re making some sort of URL with color in the title and you want to target Americans, then you need to leave the U out. Or you can buy both URLs and have one re-direct, but that’s a hassle (and it’s expensive).
If you’re going to use some sort of slang in your URL – make sure it’s relevant to your audience. And make sure it’ll stand the test of time.
The word legit was big in the mid-20-teens, but we’re hearing it less and less. Yes, people still know what legit means as a phrase, but there’s probably a better choice of word.
Let’s say you own a business where you help people with productivity. You want to help people do more. But the URL youdomore.com is already taken.
So you try something else, like do do more. Now your website sounds like you’re saying “doo doo” even though you’re just trying to find an available URL.
And we know that’s a silly example – but the sillier we make it, the better the concept will stick in your head.
If you use abbreviations or acronyms in your brand name, make sure those don’t cause alarm. If you’re an established business and you had a funny name or set of initials, you’d know by now.
But if you’re just starting a site up, something like Goodmans’ Old Details would break down to GOD – which will definitely give site visitors the wrong idea.
Enough with the silly (but memorable) examples. Let’s get back to business.
Let’s say you’re opening up a brick and mortar store in a certain city. At the point you’re at now, you can’t see yourself opening another location.
But five years down the road, maybe you have the capital to expand to the city fifteen minutes down the road. If you chose a domain like citynamebusiness.com, you’ll have to buy another URL for your other location.
Now you’ve painted yourself into a corner. Instead go a little bit more general, like using the county name or general area. For example, businesses near mountains use something general like “foothills” or “mountain” which can easily apply to a large area.
With a more general domain name, you can make separate pages for each location on your site – not recreate another one when it comes time to expand.
Most people do the classic domain name check when it comes to picking a domain name. But just because yourbusiness.com isn’t taken on the web server, it doesn’t mean it’s not taken on Facebook.
Or Instagram, or Snapchat – you get the idea. You want to have continuity of your brand name – so check this site to make sure what you want is available on social networks.
A lot of the time we see people make the mistake of picking a cheaper web page because they’re trying to cut costs. Cutting costs is good – but it’s more important to have a relevant domain name.
If you choose something like .co because .com was more than you wanted to spend, down the line that .com site will go up in price. Some of your customers will type .com and those (accidental) hits will up the price of the .com domain.
Just bite the bullet and pay for the best domain name you can find. Your business will do better for it and when you look back at this decision five years down the line, you won’t regret it.
This is something a lot of entrepreneurs forget about. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in creating our “own” business, that we forget to run it by other people. Even if those other people have no decision-making power.
If you’re picking something as permanent as a domain name, run it by your wife and your kids – or your coworker and their partner before you choose it.
That way if you did spell something funny or it’s not straight forward to them, you’ll get that perspective.
If they don’t know about your business yet, ask them what they think it is, based on the name you’ve chosen. If they’re close – great!
But if they guess something completely out there – it may be time to go back to the drawing board.
It’s not always possible to get a domain with the highest ranking and lowest competition keyword – but if you can swing it – do it! That’ll make your SEO just a little bit easier – though you’ll still have to work at it.
Sites that have keywords in the name make more sense to consumers when they see your URL under the page title in a search listing.
Did the tips above cross out all the domain names you had in mind? If so, we’re sorry – but we’re glad you’re taking the time to avoid making mistakes that can hurt your business.
Pick the right domain name on the right server (like ours) and you’ll be set – for life!
Start working on how to choose a domain name, now!