Choosing a Domain Name: Recommendations & Tips
Hazel Pan

Domain names are a big part of any website. It’s what people type in to visit your site and it becomes closely associated with your brand. This is why it’s essential that you take the time to choose a domain name that is just right for your website. Below are a few tips and recommendations you can use when selecting a domain name that will hopefully lead you to the perfect address for your website.

Visit a Domain Registrar
The first thing you should do is look up a domain registrar. A domain registrar is where you will buy the domain name. Using its search feature, you can find which domain names are taken and which ones are still available. There are plenty of options to choose from so try to find a registrar that offers cheap domain names. You’ll want to have this site open when brainstorming domain name ideas, as you don’t want to come up with something great only to realize it’s already taken.

Start with Your Name
The simplest domain names are the ones that are exact copies of your name. Whether you’re building a website for your business or for personal use, your name is a good place to start your search. For example, you could go with something like ‘RedwoodIndustries.com’ or ‘MarkSmith.com.’

Going with just your name is a good choice for two reasons. First, it is instantly connected to your brand and visitors will know exactly where they are heading. The other reason is that these domain names are more likely to be available. If you have a unique business name, for example, it’s less likely that someone else has already registered this name. Play around with different variations of your name and see which ones are currently available in the registrar.

Try Using Keywords
Besides your name, you can also get a domain name that uses keywords related to your site. To do this, you’ll first need to conduct some keyword research. Your goal is to find keywords that are not only closely related to your brand but are commonly searched for on search engines. To learn a little more about keyword research, you can check out this guide.

Once you have an idea of which keywords are best suited to represent your brand, you can then try working them into a domain name. For example, you could try something like ‘OnlineMarketingNJ.com’ or ‘IndustrialEquipmentRental.com.’ Using keywords is another great way to let visitors know what to expect from your site and it can even help in some search rankings.

Come up with a list of about 10 keywords that match your brand, then try them out in the registrar. Use different combinations and see what works best. If the keywords are too common, you may find that a lot of the domain names are already taken. In this case, you may want to explore lesser-used keywords.

Keep It Short and Simple
The key to any good domain name is keeping it short and simple. If your domain name is too long and complicated, your visitors will have a hard time remembering it. This will also make it harder to print on marketing materials, such as business cards or print ads. Ideally, you should keep your domain name to around 6-14 characters. If you have to go a little longer to get in the rest of a keyword or your business name, that’s fine. Just remember that generally speaking, the shorter the domain name, the better.

Try Different Extensions
Your domain name’s extension is another essential component. All domain names must end with an extension, and the one you choose could decide whether your domain is available and how much it costs.

The most common domain name extension is “.com”. Going with a “.com” extension is always a strong decision, but you may also have a harder time finding domain names that are available with it and it may be more expensive. If you’ve settled on a great domain name, and “.com” isn’t available, there are some other options to choose from.

Another good choice is “.co”, which works for either business or personal websites. Other choices include “.net”, “.org” and even extensions like “.info”. Going with a lesser-used extension is often a lot cheaper, but it can appear less professional. You’ll have to decide how much the appearance of your domain name is worth to you before proceeding.

Get Feedback from Others
By now, you should have a good idea as to what you want your domain name to be. Maybe you have narrowed down your list to a few top choices, but you can’t decide which one is best. A good practice is to get feedback from others.

Run your top choice domain names by your co-workers, family members, and friends. See which one they think best represents your brand and which ones are easiest to remember. They may even have suggestions for domain names that you hadn’t considered and you can head back to the registrar to see if they’re available.

Choosing a Domain Name That’s Right for You
After all this, it’s time to decide on a name. Choosing the right domain name from the start can make marketing your website a lot easier down the road. We hope this guide was able to offer you some solid suggestions and you’ll be able to choose a domain name that perfectly fits your website.