Professional WordPress Themes

Feb 6, 2013

9 Hot Tips For Choosing The Perfect Domain Name For Your Site

Enthusiastic about my first website launch, I spend a lot of time thinking about the content, the design and the marketing tools to use in the future. Overwhelmed by the process, I didn’t think to create a domain name.

Or rather, I did think about it, but it was really hard to decide – and so I kept putting it off. There were so many questions to answer. Should it be short or descriptive? Can I go for something witty and funny or should I make it descriptive? The domain name is the first aspect of a website that people will come across. It has to be memorable and connected to something positive.

It also has to be available to purchase!

So, how do you come up with the perfect domain name? Eight simple rules will help you make it happen.

scrabble-domain

1. Make It Unique

Uniqueness is the first and the most important prerequisite for successful domain name selection. See what the competition is doing. Avoid domain names that sound anything like theirs. Take some time to think outside the box, to brainstorm and to create the perfect, original domain name.

2. Think about the Best Keywords

Keywords in the domain name will affect your website’s search engine optimization (SEO). Think about the keywords and phrases that people will use to find information about your niche. Including one or two of these phrases in the domain name will have positive effects on optimization.

3. Memorable and Fun

A good domain name is memorable and fun. People will be willing to come back to your website, if they find it easy to remember your URL.

4. Easy to Read, Easy to Type

Good domain names are easy to read and to type. Leave the dictionary alone, when trying to come up with a good URL. Pick simple words that all people know and understand. Nobody likes to feel stupid and if people are incapable of spelling the domain name, they will probably be unwilling to type it.

5. The KISS Rule

Keep it simple, stupid! The rule applies to design and web development. It is just as important for domain name creation. The shorter it is, the better.

6. Should You Use a Company or a Brand Name?

Is the website or blog dedicated to your company? Include the company name or the name of the brand in the URL. The company name combined with a keyword will deliver the best possible SEO.

7. Avoid Slang Terms

Slang may sound cool and it will probably appeal to a small target audience but many people will have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Slang phrases and street language are best left for another purpose, possibly a creative marketing campaign.

8. Clever Spelling is a Big No-No

Do you think that creative or unusual spelling is a good idea for your domain name? It may sound fun but it will get your website visitors confused. Avoid any variations of the terms and the words that you want for the URL. Standard spelling will deliver the best results.

9. No punctuation

My first domain name had hyphens in it. This is not a good idea. When you say the domain name out loud people don’t hear the hyphens – which means you have to spell it out. Every. Single. Time!

A good domain name will drive traffic to your website and it will affect SEO, as well. Spending some time thinking about it and doing research will deliver the best possible results. Your URL is your public representation, make it a memorable one.

Next week I am going to look at how to actually select a domain name, and then how to buy it.

Does anyone have any other tips for selecting the best domain name?

3 Comments Leave a comment ›

  1. What a great list, thank you. I’d also recommend checking to see if the social media accounts are available. It’s not uncommon to find that someone is squatting on the Twitter handle, etc that you want.

    And if your looking to buy a domain name, I’d recommend checking out http://domainbark.com. I built this as a quick and easy way to find domain names. Enjoy :)

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Pro Theme Design began in 2007 as a collaboration between two web designers...

Darren Hoyt
Darren Hoyt

Charlottesville, VA, USA

Established in the WordPress community for projects like Mimbo and Agregado, Darren also has 14 years experience designing websites for businesses and startups. His role at Pro Theme is taking what Ben builds and making it beautiful and simple to use.

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Ben Gillbanks

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Ben is a WordPress ninja, best known for creating Regulus. More recently he took over the development of the image-resize script TimThumb. He spends his time at Pro Theme Design turning Darren's ideas into reality.

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