Think Long Term When Picking A Domain Name
Businesses evolve over time.
Nokia started as a paper mill.
Netflix began as a DVD by mail service.
When choosing a domain its important to think to the future and leave room for expansion.
Had it chosen a domain focussed upon its launch service it could have closed the door on streaming and Netflix wouldnt be what it is today.
As we already covered in step #5, a great domain should be intuitive.
It should give you a sense of what to expect when you visit the website.
But, it should not be explicit.
A clear cut description of your current business will limit innovation, or force your domain into redundancy in a matter of years.
But the keyword should be broad.
In other words it should focus on the short head of the search demand curve:
If the focus of the keyword is too narrow, youll restrict the opportunity for your business to grow, evolve and expand.
Some great examples of domains that incorporate broad keywords, are intuitive, but leave room for reinvention include netflix.com, filofax.com and paypal.com.
The simple point Im trying to make is to think about the future.
Choose a domain that will allow you to evolve in your industry and become something different in the time ahead.
How To Create A Business Name
A fitting business name will incorporate the following aspects:
- Longer names are more likely to be forgotten than shorter ones. Seven or fewer letters are preferred.
- It should be easily pronounceable and spelled in significant customer countries.
- Two-syllable names such as Facebook, Nike, and Apple are easy to recall.
- Your business name should convey a message of optimism.
- Inside jokes make poor business names.
Nevertheless, you do not have to think of a name on your own. Create one-of-a-kind and memorable business names using our free brand name generator.
You can employ a business name generator to create an appealing brand name that includes an available domain. Here are 25 truly remarkable online name generators:
Net Domains History And Ranking
This domain is .coms ugly brother. The .NET extension is an abbreviated version of the word network. The .NET domain was created in 1985 and originally intended to be used by network providers such as Internet service providers. Unfortunately, this domain name never really took off. Yes, companies like Comcast.net used itbut consumers didnt care much for it. As a result, .NET became the default 2nd choice if a .COM wasnt available.
It is difficult to rank a .NET domain. Youll need much more time and incoming links to start ranking properly. If youre planning on building out a large business with lots of great content, .NET is a good choice. If youre building small niche sites and are hungry for fast rankings.stay far away.
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Do Your Domain Name Research
Once youve narrowed your search down to a few candidates, you can use a research tool to determine if its available.
However, just because the domain name is available doesnt mean someone else doesnt have a valid claim to it. To be safe, youll want to perform a trademark search before making your choice.
Its also best to make sure you can secure appropriate social media handles. If you cant get an exact match, try finding something that makes sense with your domain name.
Secure Your Domain Name Fast
Domain names sell quickly. Thankfully, theyre also inexpensive, so register a domain name as soon as possible. If youre having trouble finding an available name, domain registrars like GoDaddy will suggest alternative names during your domain search to help you find the perfect domain name. This is probably the most important of our domain name tips if youve found one you like, get it as soon as you can or someone else might snap it up!
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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.
Domain Name Is Hard To Sell Later
This is the only reason why I recommend to my students not to use their own name as a domain name. Although you may have simple plans for your website, many people start, but it could be the next big thing, and if you plan to sell the business you might have in a few years, it would be difficult to sell. Buyers prefer a tradeable domain name that is not associated with a name.
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What Happens If I Dont Have A Good Business Name
If you do not choose an appropriate business name, your brand will be at risk of being lost in the crowd of other brands.
The real kicker is that business name generators are available that can help you generate unique business names. Read the complete list of brand name generator tools that focus exclusively on generating appealing company names.
Dont Sweat It Too Much If Your Perfect Domain Name Is Taken
If the domain name you really desire is already taken, this is not the end of the world. Sometimes, you can actually still get your hands on it.
Heres what you can do:
- If the domain name is not in use , then theres a very good chance the owner only bought it to sell it later on. Youll likely find some contact information on that parked website. If theres no info, use who.is and get the owners email.
- If theres a website on the domain, you can still try your luck and contact the owner asking if theyre willing to sell the domain off. Low chance of success here, but still worth a try.
- If the domain is completely empty and theres no contact info to be found, try looking through known domain-flipping marketplaces, such as GoDaddys marketplace , Sedo, SnapNames, or Flippa.
Buying an existing domain name is a different process from buying a new one, so it requires some additional caution. We talk about that in No. 13.
One more note, domains you buy from someones hands cost MONEY . Sometimes good money! A safe estimate here would be a minimum of $250, but more like $1,000 or more.
If you cant afford that, dont worry too much either Which brings me to:
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Tips For Choosing A Business Domain Name
If youâve never started a business and had to come up with a business domain name before, you have a few unknowns ahead of you.
You might be tempted to dive right in and choose any domain name that comes to you first. But whether youâre registering a domain name for your brand-new business or launching an ecommerce platform for your business, choosing the right business domain name takes thought and consideration.
Thereâs a variety of different ways that your domain name affects how your business doesâfrom your brand authority to your presence in the search engines, online marketing efforts, and traffic to your website. Its the reason certain business domain names are worth millions of dollars.
Put simply, itâs an important step to making your business succeed.
Here are the 12 things to think through when choosing your business domain name.
Research The Seller And Domain
Does the seller have a documented history of previous sales? Does he have a blog or social media profiles that could give you insight to his standing, views, and opinions? What is his favorite breakfast cereal? Every tidbit of information you can gather on the seller could help you in negotiations.
Before you purchase an already used domain, you will want to see what has been published on that domain in the past to ensure it has a good reputation. You dont want to purchase a domain that has hosted adult content or has a bad backlink history that you may have to clean up. Use Archive.org to see what content has been on a website in the past and use Cognitive SEO Site Explorer to check backlinks. If something looks suspicious dont buy it.
Your new domain is going to be your branded business name. You need to ensure that future social media profiles are available. Use Knowem.com to quickly check profile availability for your new brand and instantly reserve handles from services like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and others. Its probably not a good idea to buy a brandable domain if its corresponding social profiles that are already taken.
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Avoid Hyphens And Numbers
Remember how your domain name should be easy to spell and pronounce? Hyphens and numbers make it more difficult.
Imagine explaining Facebook if it had a hyphen in there
Have you seen this new site Face-Book? Theres a hyphen in there by the way, between the Face and the Book.
Facebook might not have spread so quickly if that was the case.
The bottom line? Your domain name should be smooth and punchy hyphens and numbers get in the way of that.
Stick to the letters!
Stay Clear Of Copyright Issues
If youre pretty much settled on a domain name, then you need to spend some time looking into the past of your domain.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Have there been any associated domain names that have a negative public opinion?
- Does your domain name contain any words that have a double meaning?
- Are there any existing trademark issues with the words used in your domain?
The last thing you want is to find and register the perfect domain name, only to realize that your domain is creating brand confusion, or that youre accidentally stepping on someones trademark.
Double-check social media, too. You want to make sure any relevant social media handles are still available. This will help you build brand consistency and make it that much easier for your visitors to find your business on social media.
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Ive Heard That Using New Gtlds Can Increase Seo Rankings Is That True
Its not quite that easy. Search engines use various methods to determine the relevance and authority of web content, and how to rank it for their users. While there are many variables that go into determining search rankings including content quality, inbound links, website structure, and download speed one of the most important factors is site traffic. The more people visit and engage with your website, the more relevant it becomes to search engines. So, a big marketing campaign focused on driving traffic to your website can help increase its search rankings, but it doesnt mean all domains that share your extension will see the same benefits.
Also, new concerns have been raised about vulnerabilities resulting from the availability of new gTLDs, and scammers are taking advantage of consumer confusion by using some to launch phishing attacks and other malicious cyber activities. Cybersecurity organizations monitoring this trend have recommended that people block the most abused TLDs from their networks, and individuals are already reporting doing so due to high levels of spam. At this time, it is unknown how many businesses and individuals have blocked new gTLDs from their networks for this or other reasons, or what the SEO affects are.
Hyphens Are A Close Call
If a domain name uses two words, it might be tempting to add a hyphen for readability. The problem is people might not remember the hyphen and wind up at someone elses site.
It used to be a common belief that hyphenated domains were easier for search engines to parse, so they had better SEO value. However, today its understood that search engines actually associate hyphenated domains with spammy behaviour and could penalize them.
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Consider Experimenting With Non
As mentioned in No. 1, these days you can get yourself a multitude of different TLDs that werent available just a couple of years ago.
For example, you can get domain extensions such as: .shop, .club, .store, .blog, .design, .xyz, and so on. Also, you can experiment with some of the TLDs that were originally intended to be local TLDs, but, because of their unique appearance, can be used for various other purposes as well. These are domain extensions such as .is, .io, .fm, .it, .ly, .cc and others.
Just to give you an example of the latter, if it makes sense for your brand and intended name, you can try making it seem as though the whole domain, including the TLD, is one complete expression. You can achieve that by choosing your TLD creatively. For example, Microsoft Translator is available under translate.it thats the whole domain name and quite a creative use of the Italian TLD, .it.
However, the thing with these TLDs is that not every domain registrar offers them. Currently, GoDaddy gives you access to the largest catalogue.
Nevertheless, if youre after some specific TLD, its still smart to shop around with other registrars, too. Heres our other resource, where we talk about the top registrars in the market, plus some of the TLDs they offer.
Consider Buying The Other Main Tlds As Well
Having your main domain name extension secured be it a .com or a local TLD is only step one. Step two is getting all of the other popular TLDs, and then setting them to redirect to your main TLD.
For example, if your desired address is SeeMeBloggin.com, also consider getting the likes of:
- SeeMeBloggin.co.uk, etc.
While this will contribute to your overall domain name bill at the end of the year, youre also preventing possible trouble further down the line. Mainly, you wouldnt want to end up competing with another site with the same domain name but ending in a different TLD.
Some other things you dont want:
- People creating imposter sites sites that look like yours but arent .
- People registering some of those missing TLDs and then trying to sell them back to you at a much higher rate.
- Genuine visitors mixing up your TLD and not being able to access your website.
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