Five tips for choosing a domain name

Written on 07 December, 2013 by Verity Meagher
Categories DomainsTags branddomain names

While it's not impossible to change your domain name, it can be costly for your business as well as your clients. Getting your domain name right the first time can often be the difference between a good site and a great one.

1. Make it easy to remember

To make your website as easy to remember as possible, it's recommended to keep it short, avoid misspellings (or hard-to-spell words) and not use hyphens or numbers. The only exception for hyphen use is with websites that could be ambiguous without them and benefit from dashes.

2. Make it unique

Before you register your domain name, do a search for the URL you intend to use (without a .com or .com.au net ending). Here you'll be able to see sites with similar names, ones that you might get confused with or have to compete with for Google rankings.

3. Choose .com or .com.au

If your preferred domain name has been taken for .com or .com.au, it's advised that you look for another name – one that is unique. While .net and .org can have their uses, they're normally not trusted as much and are not the first thought for most internet users. Domain names ending with .info should be avoided altogether.

4. Don't follow trends

Domain names often go through trends, and it's best to avoid them. Whether it's odd spellings of common words, keyword-packed URLs or adding -ly to anything to make it cutesy, it's best not to get sucked in. These domains often look strange or outdated very quickly and, in some cases, can actually be punished by search engines and given poorer rankings.

5. Create a brand

The words you choose for your domain, most likely your company name, can help give your brand a boost. If you're an online-only store it can be tempting to go with something very descriptive, but in those cases it's likely that you'll be seen as a cheap alternative rather than the real deal. Look for a name that hints at what you do but also gives an indication that you're not just there for a cheap run.

A domain name that sticks in people’s minds is a great tool to have for your business, so it’s worth spending a bit of time to get it right.