When starting a website, choosing a domain name can be stressful because you don’t want to make a mistake. To make the process easier, we have a 8 step framework that you can use to pick the best domain for your website.
1. Stick with .com
There are plenty of new domain name extensions available today, from the original .com, .net and .org to niche extensions like .pizza, .photography, and even .blog.
We always recommend choosing a .com domain. While it can be tempting to come up with clever blog names using new extensions, a .com domain is still the most established and credible domain extension. Newer domain extensions like .ninja or .photography can be untrustworthy.
Dot-com domains are also the most memorable. Many users, especially those who aren’t as tech-savvy, will automatically type “.com” on the end of every domain without thinking about it.
If your website is something like jane.photography, and your users accidentally type in jane.photography.com, they will end up on an error page on photography.com. It’s smart to avoid that risk by sticking with .com.
Not to mention, most smart phone keyboards automatically have a .com button.
2. Use keywords
Keywords play an important role in a domain. By using keywords in your domain name, you tell the search engines what your website is about. Together with quality content and good user experience, keywords in your domain can help you rank higher in Google.
It is very hard to find a good domain with your target keywords that’s not already taken. You will need to be creative and combine your keywords with other words to make your domain stand out.
3. Keep it short
While keywords are important, don’t go overboard with domain length. It’s better to have a domain name that’s short and memorable.
It’s a good idea to keep your domain name under 15 characters. Longer domains are harder for your users to remember.
Not to mention, users will also be more prone to entering typos with longer domain names, and you’ll lose out on that traffic.
That’s why it’s a good idea to keep your domain length short.
4. Make it easy to pronounce and spell
You should be able to easily share your domain when speaking as well as writing. You never know when you’ll be asked to share your domain name in person.
It should be easy to understand and spell for any listener.
5. Keep it unique and brandable
Your blog domain name must be unique, so you’ll stand out in your readers’ minds. It’s smart to research other blogs in your niche and find out what domain names they’re using.
You don’t want to accidentally use a trademarked name, or get accused of copying another blogger.
You can also choose to pick a domain name that’s more brandable. Brandable domain names are unique, catchy, and memorable. For example, “Amazon.com” is a much more brandable name than “BuyBooksOnline.com.”
6. Avoid hyphens
Never create a domain name with hyphens. Hyphens can be a sign of spam domains, which you do not want to be associated with. You don’t want to give the wrong impression to potential visitors.
Hyphenated domains are also prone to typos. If you choose a domain name with hyphens because the domain you want is already taken, your users will end up at your competitor’s site if they forget to type in the hyphens.
7. Avoid doubled letters
It’s a good idea to avoid domains with doubled letters, because it increases your chances of losing traffic to typos. For example, a domain like WordPresssetup.com will be more prone to typos, and result in lost traffic.
8. Leave room to expand
It’s smart to choose a domain name that’s related to your niche because it gives users some idea of what your site is about. But you don’t want to limit your options too much.
For example, a florist might choose a domain name like orchidblog.com, but then want to start blogging about other flowers besides orchids. In that case, the domain might prevent you from attracting readers interested in other flowers.