Choosing a domain name is the first step to your online business.
And boy, it pays to get it right from the onset.
So I recommend that spend a good deal of time thinking through the name choice, as a good name can have a great positive impact in your online business success.
This is why we have to begin this online blogging course by talking about choosing a domain name
Remember to access the other parts of these tutorials HERE
Helpful Domain Name Tools
I have found the following domain name tools to be very helpful in researching a domain name for any of my projects.
Try them yourself, they’ll help you in coming up with great name ideas on your niche.
Why Pick a Good Domain Name?
Apart from many other reasons, you want to pick a good domain name for your blog site from the start because most likely you will be stuck with that domain name for the rest of the blog’s life.
You may easily change the domain hosting provider from time to time depending on how reliable your current domain hosting provider is but the domain name will remain the same.
The reason I say that you will be stuck with that name is mainly because changing the domain name is kind of like starting all over again from the start and you don’t want to do that once your site is established and getting regular traffic.
You will start with ’0′ Google Page rank and will have to work your way up again if you do change the domain name in the middle.
The Alexa rank and other ranking metrics will drop too because all these rankings are associated with the domain name. So the bottom line is that you want to pick a good domain name that you can live with from the start. Now, the question is how?
21 Tips to Follow in Choosing a Domain Name – Source . Edited by Us
Some of these rules are more important than others and a lot will depend on whether your domain name is being purchased for business use or personal use but generally speaking these are domain buying rules to follow in almost every scenario.
1. Chose a “.com” – The .com TLD (top-level domain) is by far the most widely accepted extension for a domain name. If you are looking for a domain name that is professional and for a business then it is even more important to choose a .com for your domain name because of the credibility boost that a .com domain name brings.
I cannot tell you how many times I have wanted to visit a website and just typed the.com forgetting that the extension was supposed to be either a .org or .net.
Yes, there are still some very successful businesses that have domain names ending in .net or .org but just think, as a new business do you really want to chance having a lot of your customers forget that your domain name ends in .net and instead type in your domain name + .com when they go to find your website? There are some exceptions to this rule of course. If you run a business that is based in a country outside of the United States then it can be smart to use a local TLD (.uk for the United Kingdom, .au for Australia, .ca for Canada, .de for Germany, .cn for China, etc.).
2. Easy to spell – Try to find a domain name that only has one possible spelling. Most people cannot spell so make it easy for your website visitors to remember by choosing a domain name without a confusing spelling.
3. Shorter is Better – The shorter your domain name is then the easier it is for your visitors to remember, the easier it is for your visitors to type, and the easier it is for your visitors to tell others about your domain name. All of these are good things.
4. Commercial Value and Appeal – A quick way to test if your domain has commercial appeal or marketability is if you think that the domain name will look good up on a billboard or in a commercial. This is especially important if you are looking for a business domain name but it is of course important for personal domain names as well.
5. No Hyphens – If at all possible then avoid using a hyphenated domain name. A hyphenated domain name can often seem like a cheap substitute for the same domain name without the hyphen in the eyes of many visitors. You don’t want to send the message to your website visitors that you are settling for second best and could only register www.dan-dollars.com and not the better domain choice of www.dandollars.com.
6. Block the Other Extensions – If you find the perfect domain name ending in .com then it usually makes sense to try and grab as many of the other common extensions that are available as well and then redirect those other extensions to your domain name that ends in .com. For example, if you are able to purchase the domain name dandollars.com and you definitely have long term plans for the website then it is probably a smart thing to go ahead and register www.dandollars.net, .org..us, .co.uk. biz, .info, etc
7. Singular vs. Plural – Make sure that you set up a website on the domain name that makes the most sense when choosing between the singular and plural of the words in your domain name. One thing that you definitely should do is purchase both the singular and plural variation of your domain name if applicable and then redirect the not as good sounding domain to the best sounding domain. Keep in mind that for some domain names the singular will sound better than the plural while with others the plural will sound better than the singular. For example, if you have a site that is devoted to health insurance plans then healthinsuranceplans.com sounds better than healthinsuranceplan.com but to avoid confusion and keep the singular domain away from your competitors then it would be best to buy both of the domain names and then redirect healthinsuranceplan.com to healthinsuranceplans.com.
8. Price – To register a brand new domain name you will pay approximately $10 a year. To purchase domain name at an auction from someone looking to sell one of their existing domain names then you could pay anywhere from $5 to hundreds of thousands of dollars or even more plus the annual registration fees.
9. If Possible Chose Keyword Rich Domains– Choose a domain name that is full of keywords that are related to your website. If your site sells vitamins then try and choose a domain name that contains the word “vitamins” in the domain name. But I said if possible because you can actually choose any short and memorable name and it becomes a brand of its own
10. Avoid Numeral Substitutions – Numerals in a domain can work ok but avoid substituting common words with numerals as they can often be confusing and hard to remember. For example, try not to use the numeral “4″ instead of “for”, “2″ instead of “to”, etc.
11. Avoid Slang – Stay away from slang spellings of words for the same reasons that you should stay away from numeral substitutions. It is one thing to think up a great brandable name that is easy to remember and quite another to buy a domain name with “u” instead of “you”.
12. Watch Out for the Numeral “0″ – The numeral “0″ is often mistaken for the letter “O” and vice versa. Make sure that there is no confusion between the 2 in your domain name.
13. Brandable – 15 years ago know no one knew who or what a “Google” was but now Google.com is an extremely valuable and very brandable domain name. Don’t get too carried away with being clever but a brandable domain name can go a long way in making your site successful.
14. Easy to Type – The easier the domain is to type then the better the domain will be.
15. Easily Understood – When someone reads or hears your domain name for the first time then they should be able to easily understand what your website is all about. Of course, there is often a give and take between trying to find a domain that is easily understood and one that is brandable as well.
16. Copyright Issues – Steer clear of domain names that are infringing on an existing copyright. You can use the online search function of the US Copyright Office if you have doubts about copyright issues for a particular domain name.
Don’t try to use yahoo, google, facebook, etc on your domain names. These are copyright domains and if your site gets popular tomorrow, they can just close it in one minute
17. Unique – The more unique a domain name is then the easier it is to remember. Stay within the constraints of the other rules when searching for a unique domain name but if you can be clever and pull it off then finding a unique domain name can pay off handsomely for years to come.
18. Search Dropped Domains – Dropped domains are domains that have just recently changed from registered status to unregistered status. Many times a company will go out of business, someone is not able to afford the domain registration renewal fee, or someone will just forget to renew their domain name. When this happens a domain is dropped and available for anyone to snap up and register for themselves. Try www.justdropped.com for a search of dropped names to consider
19. Memorable – If you can easily remember a domain name after hearing it just once then there is a good chance that you have found a memorable domain name.
20. Brainstorm – If you have a business partner or a friend then use them to bounce some ideas around. Start by thinking of your ideal domain name and then throw out as many words and combinations of words related to that ideal domain name as possible. Sooner or later you are bound to have a flash of genius and find a great domain name.
Should You Use YourName.com or YourBusinessName.com?
If the main commodity of your business is YOU then use yourname.com as your domain name. This works out good if you are an author, speaker, coach etc.
If your business is based around a product or a service then use yourbusinessname.com or your productname.com.
Some General things to be aware of
- Legal conflicts: Spend a bit of time searching around to make sure you are not choosing a domain name that is similar to an already established rival. You don’t want to spend time building your blog only to find out that someone else has a similar website and wants to sue you.
- Be aware of the scammers: There are a lot of scammers around so try to make sure you buy your domain name from a registrar who is in the ICANN’s (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) accredited registrar’s list. Never use fiver or other cheap services sites to register a domain name.
Recommended Domain Registrars
Here are places we think you should register your domains
We recommend that you use any of the above registrars. If you have issues they have support that can help you or if you can contact us, we can also help you.
Feel free to drop your comments below.