Now that you are an internet marketer having embarked on an online business, you may be beginning to think of establishing an online presence; you probably have run into the question of “what is the process for picking a perfect domain name”.
Picking a domain name is something a lot of people who are just starting out in the online space worry about and most often may feel stuck in the process, because it’s really one of the first “official” things that you do. Doing this right is also super important as this is something that will be around for a very long time, since as entrepreneurs we obviously want our business’ to flourish and grow.
The process to pick a domain name really depends on the kind of website you are intending to build. In this article we will talk about several scenarios to help you get an understanding on how to pick your perfect domain name. We recommend NameCheap to buy your domain and BlueHost for hosting.
Brand Yourself :
Make your name the domain name. This is most frequently seen when people are initially starting out. What better way to connect with your ideal customer than putting your own face to your business. This is for those people who want to build a website where THEY will become the brand e.g. Mari Smith, Eben Pagen, JohnChow.com.
Few things to consider when using your name as a domain name.
- Site will be YOU : If you are using your name as a domain, the site is going to be about you and you’re going to have to be somewhat transparent about what you do in your business if you want to succeed and connect with your visitors. That would mean giving your audience content delivered by you e.g. video’s, images etc. For those who are not quite comfortable putting themselves out there, you may want to take a different route.
- Resale : A brand or company built around a person is almost impossible to sell e.g. It would be very hard for Amy Porterfield to sell her website to anyone because, well – SHE IS her website, her COMPANY and all.
Niche Site :
This is a site that is very specific for a smaller section of a larger market. With niche sites its best to pick a market and a keyword related to that market that people are searching for. This keyword should not be competitive. The objective of such a site would be to get to the top spot in Google – typically the top 3 is where you want to be e.g. Hotels.com
Typically the process to pick a name for a niche site involves the following :
- Keyword: Once you have chosen your keyword, you want a domain name that matches the keyword exactly e.g. “doityourself.com” or “CarParts.com”. This is called an exact match domain, and holds a lot of weight in Google. What this means is such sites easily can make it to page 1 or 2 of Google with minimal backlinks or links to other sites.
- Extension: Once you have your perfect name pick one of the popular extensions e.g. “.com”, “.net” or “.org”. There are many other extensions, but it is recommended to stick to the popular ones if possible.
- Use of modifier: If you are not able to get the domain you want with the extension of your choice try variations of the name by using a modifier. That is to add a letter to your preferred name e.g. “eCarParts.com”. This is a great work around. As mentioned before you have still the option of considering the extensions “.net” or “.org” if “.com” is taken.
An authoritative site is a site you are planning to build a brand around. The process in this case is slightly different. Here is where some creative thinking is required depending on your ultimate objective and plan for this site.
In an ideal scenario, sites with this objective usually have a domain name that tells you what the site is all about. There is no guess work for anyone visiting the site, on what to expect or find when they get to the site. This also helps with Search Engine Optimization and some great examples are My Own Business Education, Problogger etc.
Now there are some companies that have names that do not necessarily mean anything but have become huge in the online space and created an identity for themselves. These companies have such established brands that they have acquired a spot in the English dictionary e.g. Google, Facebook, Udemy to name a few.
Memorable Name :
Another option is to just pick something that really isn’t going to explain what the site is about, but is memorable and unique enough to be remembered. Should one day this brand gain great exposure, it will create a space for itself e.g. Google.com, Yahoo.com and Amazon.com to name a few.
5 things you should consider when choosing such a domain name:
- Keep it Short : If you pick a name that does not mean anything, it is best remembered when it is short. The more the letters in the name the higher is the probability of it being mistyped.
- Stay away from numbers: This is very essential as numbers can be misspelt. Depending on how they are communicated there may be confusion around how certain words are spelt e.g. Telling someone your site is “4Profit.com” could leave the listener wondering how the “4” is spelt. As a number or as a word e.g. 4, F-o-r or F-o-u-r. This can turn a ton of visitors away and do you a disservice.
- Avoid dashes : Stay away from using dashes in your domain name. People add dashes to get an “almost” exact match domain. This can really be annoying and awkward while causing confusion when communicating to someone verbally your domain name. Not to mention the listener may get confused as to where the dashes are to go e.g. digital-photography-school.com. In this case saying this domain is a mouthful and fairly cumbersome.
- Extensions: Stick to the common extensions as they hold more weight in Google e.g. “.com”, “.net” and “.org”.
- Common Sense: If you write it out and feel the name you have chosen is either hard to spell or has the probability of being misspelt, stay away from it.
Generally speaking, the rule to follow is : Should your site became hugely popular, you would want a domain name that makes people remember who you are or what your brand is about – something that is easy to remember, not mis-type-able, catchy and purposeful.
As always there are exceptions to the rule. If you adhere to all of the above and have a site that ranks high in searches but is not interesting, is slow to load with too many ads, then people are going to leave your site soon. So while you want your site to rank high on Google and searches, you also want to make it such that people visit it and want to spend time on it giving you an opportunity to market to them.
Go to NameCheap to find YOUR Perfect Domain Name!!
Remember your site is a virtual store front for your business and so besides “curb appeal” you also want to offer a “quality product”.
Good Luck !