7 Tips for Choosing a Domain Name for a Website

May 4, 2021

Choosing the right domain name for a new website can make or break the success of that website in a number of ways. For some businesses, there’s often a feeling that if they knew how their website domain name was going to impact their business, they would have done some things differently to prevent the headache. 

With the proper preparation, future domain name obstacles can be avoided to ensure your business’ website has the best foot forward online. 

The Components Of Website Domain Names

Before diving into the best tips for choosing a domain name, let’s take a look at the main components of a website domain. There are 4 key elements of any domain name:

  • Protocol/Scheme: 
  • Sub-Domain
  • Domain Name
  • TLD (top-level domain)/domain ending

The two website components we will be focusing on the most when choosing a domain name for your new website are the domain name and the TLD, or Top-level domain. These two pieces of a website URL play a pivotal role in choosing a domain name with the potential for success.

7 Tips for Choosing a Domain Name

There are a few key steps to choosing a domain name that are important to follow to ensure that your website domain name is successful. We’ve laid them out to make things a little easier on your voyage to find the best domain name for your new website.

1. Choose A Website Domain Name That Is Easy To Remember And Recognize

The most important aspect of a domain name is that it’s easy to remember and recall. Choosing a domain name using unique spelling for a word, unusual syntax, or a name that is very similar to another well-known website or brand is a bad idea. All of those scenarios have a result of users being less likely to actually end of on your website because they spelled the URL incorrectly, they couldn’t remember part of the domain name, or they went to another prominent website they could recognize.

Google Domains puts it really well, “An average domain name is better than no domain name.” So don’t feel like you’re settling by choosing an “average domain name” because if people can remember it and find it, it’s a perfectly good domain name.

2. Make Sure You’re Choosing A Domain Name For SEO Success

Some people look back on the domain name they chose and wish they would have decided on a name that mirrored the products or services their business offered. The importance of choosing a domain name in relation to the products or services available on the website has to do with how it impacts the website’s SEO potential.

If you’re selling custom throw blankets and pillows on your new website, choosing a domain name like https://www.kittyrockets.com will likely make it more difficult for your new website to rank for keywords like “throw pillow” and “fleece blanket” because, in Google’s eyes, your domain name doesn’t have anything to do with pillows or blankets.

There’s another way your website can be off to a rocky start with your SEO potential and it has to do with purchasing existing website domain names. You should always be wary when purchasing existing domain names because some existing names have had a poor track record and could be banned from Google search results. If the previous owners of the domain names tanked the reputation of the site, it could be so bad that it’s impossible to fix. So always look into the history of previously owned domain names to make sure the website doesn’t have any skeletons in its closet.

3. TLD or Top-level Domain 

If you’re unfamiliar with TLDs (top-level domains) it’s actually pretty simple. TLDs are just the end of a domain name, for example, .com or .net. Choosing which TLD your domain name will have is a key step on your journey to create your domain name. It’s recommended that unless you have a specific reason for doing otherwise, all new domains should use .com as the TLD for their new domain name. It’s the most commonly used TLD for domain names and it’s recognized and trusted by consumers.

That being said, there are certain situations where using a different TLD can be justified. If you’re an organization, you should use a .org TLD. And if you’re an accredited educational institution, you should use .edu as your TLD. There are other TLDs that are country-specific (such as .co.uk and .de) that you may consider using, especially if your business is primarily focused on targeting a local or regional audience.  

It may seem like the trendy thing to do to pick a unique TLD that makes your website URL name look like the TLD finishes the rest of the word from the domain name. While that is really cool, it can also hinder your website SEO and make it difficult for people to find your website. 

4. Make Sure The Website Domain Name Is Available

And if you’re still having trouble honing in on exactly what you want your domain name to be, try using a domain name generator like one of these:

5. Make Sure The Website Domain Name Is Available

Once you’re decided on your website domain name and TLD, you should make sure they are actually available to purchase. There are lots of websites you can use to figure out the availability of a domain name such as:

6. Consider Snagging Other Similar Domain Names and TLDs

Once you have decided on your domain name and TLD, it’s worth considering potentially also claiming URLs using similar domain names and TLDs to prevent other people from purchasing them and trying to siphon your site visitors. For example, if you bought https://www.kittyrockets.com you might also want to buy a URL with a similar TLD like https://www.kittyrockets.net and a URL with a potential misspelling like https://www.kityrockets.com. 

You will not only be able to prevent other people from taking advantage of misplaced website traffic but you will also have the option to direct any traffic visiting those other sites to your main website. 

7. Start Creating Complementary Social Media Accounts After You Have Your Domain Name

After you have purchased your shiny new domain name(s) it’s a good idea to also claim any social media account names you plan to use for your new website that mirror your domain name. You maybe even want to check the availability of the social media handles before purchasing your domain name because slight tweaks could make it easier to claim an entire set of domain names and social media handles that match beautifully.

While there are many steps along the path of choosing a website domain name, it can be a very exciting and fun process to experiment and explore the different possibilities for your new website. We hope this guide helps you on your journey to find the best possible domain name for your new website.

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