Clear The Legalities Before You Purchase A Domain Name To Avoid Litigation Later
Imagine shelling out a few thousand bucks for a domain, building a website and brand upon it, only to receive a lawyers cease and desist letter demanding you take the domain offline.
Its not a pretty picture, but its not an uncommon one, either.
Making sure your potential domain name isnt trademarked is essential if you want to avoid litigation.
Lets face it, none of us want lawyers on our back.
Fortunately, its really easy to check for trademark status.
For websites that will operate in the US, you can check for registered trademarks by searching the United States Patent and Trademark Offices website.
Even so, its a very good idea to check secondary sources.
Here are two further sources to check:
Aside from making sure your desired domain is trademark-free, another thing to keep in mind when considering trademarks is consumer confusion.
If your domain name could reasonably be confused with another domain it competes with then you could have a losing arbitration on your hands.
Not only that, youll go head to head with them in search engines.Its for this reason, that brands like WordPress can offer up a friendly warning on their website concerning trademarks:
Simply put, if there is any risk of litigation by choosing a domain now or in the future:
How To Choose A Domain Name: The Complete Guide
This is the most comprehensive guide to buying a domain name that exists online.
It includes a complete introduction to domain names and domain extensions, plus 17 domain name tips that will help you choose the perfect website name for your business or brand.
If youre stuck on how to pick a domain name, this guide is for you.
- How to choose the right domain extension.
- Brandable Vs Keyword-Rich domains and which you should choose.
- How to acquire the domain you want and what to do when you cant.
- Five mistakes to avoid when choosing a domain name.
- The seventeen attributes to a KILLER domain.
- Four actions you must take after purchasing a domain.
Plus lots more.
If you want to choose a domain that can dominate search engines and win the hearts and minds of your potential customers, then youll love the tips in todays domain buying guide.
Lets dive right in.
that contains the seventeen must-follow best practices for choosing a domain name.
Reserve Several Domain Names
Should you buy several domain names? This is a question that often comes to the center of the table. To answer this question, consider that:
- You can buy the other popular and relevant extensions for you .
- You can also buy the variations with hyphens and typos, if available: wp-marmite.com and wpmarmitte.com. Try typing facebbook.com or ffacebook.com or even faceook.com on your browser. You will be redirected to facebook.com because they have bought various DNs to avoid direct competition on their domain name. This is called Cybersquatting or Typosquatting.
Congratulations, you are now in possession of one or more domain names.
Remember to make redirections to your main domain name to avoid visitors arriving on a blank page.
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Does Seo Affect Domain Length
Short domains are easier to remember, but this doesnt matter as much as you think. Sometimes domain length helps if you focus on a specific topic.
So, is a short domain better?
It depends. We can say that its something relative. Here, having a longer domain is offset by other things. It gives the impression that its a website with a lot of content, with many links, and so on. Therefore, choosing a longer domain will depend on the brand image you want to convey to your audience.
Acquire An Aged Domain To Jump Ahead
No doubt this sounds contradictory to my previous recommendation.
But wait, hear me out.
As I shared above, domain age is not a ranking signal, but factors like backlinks and page rank most definitely are.
You can accelerate your rankings and traffic by acquiring an old domain or website. It may already have some of these factors in place:
- Relevant backlinks.
Even a little boost in each of these areas can jump-start your domain.
These sites will show you how each expired domain measures up for metrics like Domain Authority, Trust Flow, referring domains, and traffic, which can help you narrow down to a domain you like.
But before putting in a bid, its essential to dig deeper.
Firstly, its important to check for traffic trends.
Basically you want a domain with a consistent or growing volume of organic traffic and ranking keywords:
If traffic is in decline, then that could be a sign the website is impacted by negative SEO, or worse still has gotten penalized.
If you find an organic traffic graph like so, then its probably a domain to be avoided.
Secondly, you should ensure the websites backlinks are relevant and clean.
For checking the relevance of links, I like to use Majestic.com.
Im interested in the anchor text. This should be related to the business you are in.
As well, as the topical trust flow which should be passed from categories similar to your line of trade.
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Ensure Your Domain Passes The Pronounceable Test
For the most part:
People are going to be typing your domain name into their browser or clicking on it in a link.
Why then does a domain name need to be pronounceable?
It matters because of processing fluency:
As Rand Fishkin points out, processing fluency is a cognitive bias that human beings have where we remember things we can easily say and think about.
That includes pronounceability out-loud and in our own minds.
In short, if people cant easily say the domain name, youre going to lose memorability and the benefits of the brand-ability youve created.
This is especially important if your business relies upon word-of-mouth marketing.
To test pronounceability I suggest you share your domain name ideas with a test group and have them repeat each name .
You want everyone to say the name in the exact same way.
Beware Of Over Optimization
So, beware: do not overoptimize. Even if, in some cases, it can improve your , you risk being caught by the Google patrol . So its better to play it safe.
Here are two good practices in this regard:
- You can include your main keyword in your DN, but without keyword stuffing. Not like this site, for example: beachfrontcondosforsaleinsandiego.com
- Do not add too many keywords to avoid your DN being too long or containing too many dashes.
Still hesitating? To help you decide, SEO specialist Moz recommends the following:
If you can include a keyword that helps make it obvious what your business does while keeping your domain name catchy, unique, and brand-friendly, go for it.
If not, or not relevant to your situation, dont. Moz states that having a keyword in your domain can still be beneficial, but it can also lead to closer scrutiny and a possible negative ranking effect from search engines.
In the end, while the domain name was an important SEO criteria in the past, thats not really the case anymore. Google gives less and less importance to the domain name to rank a page in its search results.
Rather than thinking about it when deciding on a domain name, think also and especially about the users who will land on your site.
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Things To Do Before Buying Your Domain Name
Attention, please. If you think youve found the perfect domain name, wait a little longer before purchasing it.
Dont rush! And check 4 important things. Lets see what they are right away.
Try to pronounce your DN out loud. Do you quickly get what it is? If so, you are on the right track. If not, read the following .
How To Choose A Domain Name: Summary
Domain names are your digital street address. They can significantly shape a visitors perception of your brand.
Unfortunately, most of the one-hit names like Dogs.com were taken up in the early days of the internet. But that doesnt mean you cant find a great domain name for your new website.
Just use these eight tips when youre creating a new domain:
- Make it memorable.
- Keep it mobile-typing friendly.
- Add keywords but only if it makes sense.
- Go for a brandable domain name theyre valuable and easier to land than broad terms.
- Make sure you dont step on anyones registered trademark in the process.
- Choose the appropriate extension. While .com is still at the forefront, the newer and far cheaper extensions are becoming more popular by the day, so they may be worth considering, too.
- Use a domain name tool generator if youre stuck racking your brain for a name.
- Think about jump-starting the process by acquiring an expired or existing domain.
Finding the perfect domain name is a lot like finding the perfect song. What works best for your business and resonates most with users will inevitably change. But following these eight tips, youre sure to have a domain name that stands the test of time.
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Lock The Domain So It Cant Be Stolen
Even though it may seem odd at first, domain hijacking actually happens more often than youd imagine.
Not going into the boring technical details, your domain can be stolen via several means. Most commonly, this involves either hacking your password or convincing you to give out your password via a phishing attack, plus some other fun things.
Basically, if someone gains access to your registrars user account, they can do whatever they wish with your domains.
Some domain registrars offer a feature in which they keep your domain in Registrar-lock status, which prevents unauthorized attempts at domain transfers. In this state, your registration information and DNS configuration cannot be changed until you unlock your domain name.
Luckily, enabling this option is often very easy and only requires you to select a specific box in your registrars user panel. Heres what it looks like at SiteGround:
Choose A Brandable Domain Name
In the early years of the internet, exact match domains ruled the day:
Jacking up their value was an unfair advantage afforded to domains with well-matched keywords in them.
Back then, Google, Yahoo, and Bings primitive algorithms weighed information contained within the domain heavily.
If youd typed buy cheap viagra into Google in the early-ish 2000s it was very likely that a website like buy-cheap-viagra.info would appear up top.
And, often without links, or recognizably good content.
In 2012, all that changed:
Following an announcement by Matt Cutts, Googles then head of webspam, the search engine giant turned the dial down on the ranking influence of keywords in domains.
Overnight, Exact Match Domains ranking advantage nose dived:
From then on, the importance of keyword-rich domains has been negligible.
And, brandable domains have led the way.
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Keep It Short Memorable And On
Bigger is not always better, especially when it comes to domain names. Shorter names are simpler to remember and type for your visitors.
Also, its easier to stand out when theres less to read. So try to keep it a maximum of two to three words, hovering around 6-14 characters.
Unfortunately, the short, catchy domain name you want was taken a time ago and sold for thousands of dollars. Try these domain hacks if your domain name isnt available while focusing on keeping the name in sync with your brand.
3. Avoid hyphens, numbers, and doubled letters
Hyphens, numbers, and doubled letters all serve as snags for people trying to reach your website directly. Its not exactly instinctive to keep these characters in mind, is it? Neither is it mobile-typing friendly.
Having these elements means inviting typos and user frustration. Especially if youre hoping to rely on word-of-mouth, it could be harder to convey the domain name when its made up of hyphens, numbers, or doubled letters for no good reason.
How To Pick The Right Domain Name For Your Business Or Personal Site
So, whats the best way to pick an effective domain name? Get ready to discover professional domain name ideas and suggestions to help you decide!
The easiest way to start is to grab a pen and some paper and start jotting down any words that relate to the product or service you provide. Its possible the domain you want is already taken, so you may need to get creative, but more on that later
If youre wondering how to select a domain for a company then this section has your name on it. In reality, a business domain name isnt so different from a non-business name. It should be interesting, short, and memorable.
The best domain name for your business is out there! Lets continue with some useful tips on choosing the perfect domain name.
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Stay Unique Specific And On
With all of these things to keep in mind, it can be hard to brainstorm a domain name that is clear and concise while also remaining unique and true to your business.
But it’s certainly doable. Keep your business name and what you sell at the front of your mind, and dig into your niche to make sure your domain name is also attracting the online audience you want.
How To Choose A Domain Name For Your Business
How do you choose the best domain name for your business?
Website domain names and other URLs are some of the most important assets a business can acquire and own. In some cases, they alone can be more valuable than anything else. They can definitely make or break your business. A terrible or flawed domain name can become a huge roadblock for an otherwise great business and idea. The opposite can also be true. A great domain name can have a lot of power to make a business.
So, what makes a great domain name?
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Subdomain: What Is A Subdomain
Subdomains are the third level of a domains hierarchy.
They are added in front of the root domain and are separated from the domain name with a period.
The use of subdomains is entirely optional and generally best avoided for optimum SEO results.
While dividing your website into subsections can be useful sometimes, like when you need to install a separate CMS :
Numerous studies highlight how using subdomains is less effective than a single root domain with subfolders when it comes to SEO.
The two most common subdomain choices are:
Theyre also the versions that mostly commonly result in canonicalization issues.
I recommend against using subdomains, unless you absolutely have to.
With that said:
Well focus the rest of this post on choosing the optimum root domain for SEO.