Just like your brand name, the domain name is a serious investment as it establishes your online identity and allows you to enjoy a distinct reputation on the net. So you need to be very careful while choosing the ideal domain name for your website. Here are a number of technical and commonsense questions you should ask yourself before you choose a particular domain name of your website:
Avoid similar sounding domain names
Choosing the relevant and impressive domain name is not enough. You should also make sure that it should not sound similar to already existing domains or any popular brand of the industry. Instead of offering you any benefits, it will sabotage your identity. Even if it is purely by co-incidence, having a Doman name similar to already existing brand can harm your reputation.
Before final purchase, it is important to search your desired domain name on the major search engines to confirm that the name shouldn’t be similar to any existing site of the industry.
Depending upon your budget and requirements you can choose to buy different versions of your domain name in order to prevent others from buying them.
Choose most relevant domain names
Write a list of adjectives that best describe your services. Then create a list of words closely related to your industry. Next, choose the words that are close to your USP or target audience. Mix the three lists to make another collection of appealing domain name for your site.
Avoid Shakespearean English while choosing the domain name. Keep them simple yet impactful.
Avoid unnecessary haste and plan your domain name wisely. If possible, it is better to take the advice from your acquaintances as everyone likes his own baby but the third person is in a better condition to give unbiased reviews.
Use easy to spell domain names
Avoid choosing the name that may invite spelling mistakes. Even omitting a single letter or adding an extra one may have the serious implications. Flickr had to buy Flicker.com at an astronomical price due to spelling dilemma. Always stick to the most popular version of spellings that will facilitate the typing. Using uncommon spellings can act as a hurdle in your way to appeal a large community of audience.
Region also plays a vital role in deciding the spelling of your domain name. For example if you want to impact American audience then “colorsoflife.com” would be an ideal option but for attracting British Clients you need to spell it “Coloursoflife.com”
Some spellings could interfere with the very meaning of your site’s name as many times the domain name is entered as a continuous series letters without punctuation or space. Be considerate about the same while creating domain name.
TLD or Top Level Domain
The next thing to focus is the top level domain or TLD extension. At one point of time there were very limited choices- .com, .org, .net and a few more. Currently the domain market is flooded with numerous TLDs that make it difficult to choose the right one for you.
Though specific TLDs do have their own sets of benefits, none can compete with .com when it comes to the popularity. Secondly there are country code top level domains also known as ccTLDs that helps you in establishing strong regional identity. Some such names include .au, .cn, .in etc.
You can also opt for generic top level domains (gTLDs) like .medical, .media, .Accountant etc.
If you are targeting only a particular geographical location then choosing a relevant ccTLD could be the best option as that can affect your local SEO exercises
Use topic specific gTLDs if you want to highlight your profession or industry. Apart from being relevant they also sound unique. However they are still far from being popular
If unable to decide, it is always better to stick to the all time classic .com
Domain names can be a game-changer
In a digital arena, your domain name is not just a nametag but a strong tool that plays a vital role in branding exercise. It not only helps your audience to get acquainted with you but also allows them to form an opinion about your brand. In fact it would not be an exaggeration to say that domain name can also affect the ultimate outcome of your overall SEO success. Suppose after spending a huge amount on SEO exercise your site started appearing in the top 5 results (Voila!). Audience searched for the keywords and your site appeared in the top 5 results. S/he is now just a click away from your website. Now let’s see the key role played by domain name on this crucial juncture:
Your Business: Hospitality Marketing Solutions
Audience: CEO of worldwide hotel chain looking for hospitality marketing companies to outsource their marketing exercise
Now, let’s see the snapshot of search results:
Now, even if we assume that your site appeared on the first position (after spending a huge amount and many efforts)- would you think that this particular audience- the CEO of hotel brand with worldwide chains- will click on your website? Don’t just look at the position of your site but the name as well. He is ready to spend a good amount and the last thing he would need is the Cheap Services (whether it is price or quality).
It should sound familiar to your targeted audience (budget, industry or requirements)
It should have some strong element for an instant impact (Relevant Adjective, Top Brand distinct characteristics)