How to pick the best domain name

Oct

24

October 24 , 2014 | Posted by Robert Urban |  |

How to pick the best domain name

Domain Name

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Unambiguous: Make sure the name is easy to pronounce and remember
  4. Radio Test: Does it pass the “Radio Test” – if someone heard it on the radio can they spell it? Remember it?
  5. Avoid Homonyms: Avoid names that include words that can be spelled multiple ways like “C”, “See” and “Sea”
  6. Compelling: Does is have some meaning that is relevant to your company’s business?
  7. 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?
  8. Descriptive: Does it have elements that help people understand what you do?
  9. “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)
  10. 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.
  11. 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)
  12. 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.