Creating a website should be your very first step into business life. And since every website needs a domain in order to be found, here is your guide to finding the perfect domain name.
In case you have never bought a domain before: Domain names are a website’s address. They are like street addresses in offline life. The domain name of my website is www.ceekaiser.com.
Domain names are important for several reasons – mainly because this is where people find you and your business. Hence you should consider a few points when deciding on your perfect domain name.
The Perfect Domain Is Easy To Remember
If people can’t remember your domain name, there certainly is something wrong with it. Visitors may still find you via Google or because someone shared a link on Social Media. But what if they visit your site, like it, want to come back two weeks later, but cannot remember how to find you? Fail. Choose a domain name that is easy to remember, and easy to spell (see point 4).
Note: Wherever possible, this also includes avoiding numbers, hyphens and similar unusual characters in your domain. It will confuse people – and you don’t want to confuse people.
The Perfect Domain Gives An Indication Of What To Expect
Yes, agreed, nobody had any idea what ‘Google’ meant when google.com got registered. But unless you are the next Google, a domain name that hints at the website’s content is never wrong.
‘LongDistanceRelationshipsForDigitalNomads.com’ is a lot of typing to do (yes, shorter is generally better – at least with domain names), but people can remember the name, and know what to expect from it (wild Skype sex, that is). Why do you think I chose ceekaiser.com?
Note: There were times when Google put a very high value on domain names. If someone searched for ‘Long Distance Relationships for Digital Nomads’, the above domain would have shown up on rank 1 for sure. These times are over. Nowadays Google much rather values the content of your site. So don’t worry about your domain name too much, and rather get started!
The Perfect Domain Ends On .com
Unless you are aiming at a country-specific niche market like e.g. Germany, you should opt for a .com domain. Other TLDs ( = Top Level Domains, basically the ending of your domain, the part behind the dot) like .to, .co, .io, .xyz etc. have gained some popularity over the past years, since .com domains have become harder to get by, but .com is still the standard to look for. (And .com is easier to remember – see point 1.)
There also are TLDs like .marketing, .shop, .world etc., but if you do a quick Google search, the vast majority of top-ranking domains are still .com’s. And after all, that’s where you want to get with your website – into the top spots of Google.
Update November 2017: Since .com’s are increasingly harder to obtain, a lot of location independent entrepreneurs are now settling for .io or .co domains. However, a quick domain search reveals that these domains are about two to six times more expensive than an old-fashioned .com. Since I love starting new entrepreneurs out on the cheap, I recommend getting a .com to kick off with – you can always buy additional domains later.
The Perfect Domain Is Orthographically Clear
If you buy ‘thenomadictraveler.com’, people will always get confused whether to spell ‘traveler’ with one or two ‘l’ – simply, because it is spelled differently in UK & US English (you knew that, right?).
In case you already own above domain: You can either buy ‘thenomadictraveller.com’ as well, pray nobody else will ever buy it, or hope the other guy gets so famous that actually you profit from visitors who misspelled his domain name, not the other way around.
Also, give it a quick thought whether your domain name could be confused with its own singular/plural (flightticket.com vs flighttickets.com). As stated above already – you don’t want to confuse people. And you also don’t want people who want to visit your site to end up on someone else’s site.
The Perfect Domain Doesn’t Infringe Copyrights
Make sure people cannot confuse your domain cannot with registered brands or copyrighted names. Even if you’re trying to promote another brand or product, most companies won’t appreciate your effort.
Don’t buy ‘EverybodyLovesSingaporeAirlines.com’, unless you’ve spoken with their brand manager and got a written confirmation that they won’t sue every single last dollar out of you.
Researching And Registering Your Perfect Domain Name
To find your perfect domain, simply use a domain registrar search tool such as the Site Ground domain name service to check availability. Once you find a domain that you love and is available, you can move right on to registering it. This usually costs as little as 10-20 USD for a full year, so you can’t do anything wrong here.
Domain Name Inspiration
In case you are completely clueless what your perfect domain name is, or your perfect domain name is already taken, feel free to try tools like NameMesh or Impossibility to come up with fun (and sometimes even useful) domain name ideas.
Once you have found your perfect domain name, go right ahead with creating your website. And then check out these 10 completely free marketing strategies for startups and SMEs – surely you’ll love them!
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Choosing a domain name is similar to choosing a company name — it requires a lot of thought and consideration. Your domain name is your identity on the web; you want to make sure you choose a domain name that not only fits your business, but is also easy to find and promote.
Thanks Jeffrey, fully agree with you here.