Picking the best domain name:
Your domain name can make or break your company. I have seen more than a few names that I would consider horrible, when someone thought they were being clever. Here are my golden rules of helping someone select a domain.
Follow these guidelines to pick a better domain name:
- Short: Make it as short as possible – obviously a lot of the best two-word domain names are taken but do your best to find a two-word or three-word name. Consider using shorter words if you use a three-word name.
- Keywords: Consider including one or more important industry keywords (or even a two word phrase) in the domain name. This doesn’t help SEO as much as it used to, but it does help in telling your audience what you do easily.
- Unambiguous: Make sure the name is easy to pronounce and remember
- Radio Test: Does it pass the “Radio Test” – if someone heard it on the radio can they spell it? Remember it?
- Avoid Homonyms: Avoid names that include words that can be spelled multiple ways like “C”, “See” and “Sea”
- Compelling: Does is have some meaning that is relevant to your company’s business?
- Google Test: Do a search for your name in Google. What do you find? Is it competitive? Does the domain you come up with have any negative connotations online?
- Descriptive: Does it have elements that help people understand what you do?
- “Dot com”: For most business Websites, using “.com” is the best Top Level Domain (TLD). A secondary choice is “.net”. Consider “.org” for organizations. The rules are different for non-US sites where the TLD may be .de (Germany) or .au (Australia)
- Avoid Dashes: If possible, avoid dashes. Google treats a dash “-” as a space so won’t penalize you for search engine optimization, but many people consider dashed domain names (e.g. www.my-company-name.com) as inferior to the non-dashed versions.
- Sleep On It: Don’t fall in love with the first name you find. Sleep on it or consider a few alternatives before you make a final decision. That doesn’t mean you can’t “buy and hold” (see the next point)
- Snatch it up: If you find a potentially valuable name, consider buying it right away, even if completely unrelated to your business. Don’t forget that you can try to sell it as a premium domain in GoDaddy
If you need help selecting a good name, Paperboat Media can run through a branding exercise with you and find you the best domain available. Contact us today for more info.