Your domain name is the way to start your business on the Internet. So picking a good one, it’s critical!
1. Prefer a short domain name.
A short domain name is easier to remember. It narrows the chances of confusion and mistakes that can drive clients to a wrong destination. With a long name, it’s enough to forget a word or to place it in the wrong order not to reach the domain. You can go up to 63 characters for building your domain name. However, the recommendation is not to exceed 15.
2. Avoid complexity.
Many domains already exist, and many catchy names have been taken. A creative effort to build a great domain name is required. Just keep it easy to be pronounced and typed! Created words, a mixture of languages, consecutive repetition of vowels or consonants, alternative orthography, and symbols (a dash, hyphen, number sign, etc.) can lead to typos. Besides, recommending your domain can be harsh for users if they can’t pronounce it or spell it correctly. Don’t lose the word-of-mouth promotion!
3. Pick a convenient TLD (top-level domain).
There are many TLDs, but users already trust some, the most popular. Their use has become a habit. Just think how many times you have typed automatically “.com” or “.org”?
TLDs provide trustability and important information about your domain. It can point out that your domain is local, international, from a specific industry, profitable, non-profitable, etc. A TLD can make a difference about feeling safe enough to enter card details or not.
4. Consider the scope you want to reach.
Know perfectly your target market and how big you plan to expand. Based on this, decide the language for your domain name. If you own a Japanese domain but plan to grow international, using Japanese words and letters can be an obstacle. Prefer Latin letters and avoid including words in the domain name that makes people think you only operate in a region or country.
5. Include keywords if it makes sense.
Everybody knows the SEO benefits of using keywords. If you can include them or combine them on your domain name, it can be a push to rank better. But depending on the industry and objectives, keywords could be too generic. The recommendation is not to sacrifice brandability. Too generic can make you invisible on the Internet sea of choices.
6. Check the legal aspect before registering.
No matter you dedicate weeks defining a creative name, there are chances it is already taken. Availability and legal rights must be checked before registering it to avoid legal issues later. If you lose a law sue, migrating to a different domain name is a hard move that risks your traffic.
7. Be sure about registration prices now and later.
There are really attractive promotions and prices for registering domain names. The TLD and the whole registration can be cheap the first year, but what about the renewal price? Remember, you have to pay for it every year to own a domain name. Sometimes renewal prices go double, triple, or more. So, don’t be surprised. Check it from the beginning and decide.
8. Check the status of already existing or expired domain names.
If the results of your research show the ideal domain name you picked is already taken, or you find a good existent choice, check its status! Maybe the owner wants to sell it, or it can be expired, which means you can get it. Already used domain names can have some traffic, and that’s a bonus!