6 Tips for Selecting a Domain Name

6 Tips for Selecting a Domain Name

One of the first things you’ll need to purchase before setting up your own website is a domain name.

What is a domain name? Click To Tweet

What is a domain name?

A domain name is the address of your website. For example, the domain name for this address is ThoughtsandDesigns.com. The most common domains, or TLDs (Top Level Domains) end with .com, .org, or .net. There are other, less common ones including .biz, .me, .info, and .us.

1 of the 1st things to purchase before setting up your own website is a domain name. Click To Tweet

Because most people are more familiar with .com, if at all possible you should purchase the .com version of your domain name to avoid any confusion. If you look up a domain name, and all of the TLD’s are taken (that is, someone has registered that exact name in .com, .net, and .org), you probably should consider changing the name.

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Here are some other Tips for Selecting Your Domain Name

1. Try to incorporate one of your keywords if possible

I discussed keywords in another post on this site. By using at least one of your keywords in your domain name, you’ll help your search engine ranking for that keyword.

2. Make Your Domain Something Easy to Remember

When it comes to selecting your domain name, you want something that will stick with people, which they can easily type into their web browsers. For this reason, try to avoid anything too long or too complicated.

3. Try to Avoid Domain Names with Multiple Possible Spellings

This was a mistake I made with my first domain name. Back in 2004, when I started this website, the domain name was joyfulmomma.org. I was mostly catering to moms, though I’ve been changing that now that my kids are adults. When I bought joyfulmomma.org, I assumed that was a fairly easy domain to remember and to spell, but I was wrong. Twice I was featured in two different articles about my business, potentially leading to a great increase in traffic. Both times, they spelled my domain wrong and led people to someone else’s website. Sure, there was a retraction and correction, but the damage was done.

Be careful of anything that could be spelled more than one way.

4. Watch for Potentially Bad Misreadings

What do I mean? Well, since a domain name is one or more words all written together without spaces, sometimes others might unintentionally see other, undesirable words in your domain name.

For example, an early tech discussion site had the domain name expertsexchange.com (Experts Exchange). Instead, it became a sort of joke among programmers and developers who also saw Expert S*x Exchange. Whoopsy. The site now goes by experts-exchange.com.

We may all get a little smirk out of that, but in reality, if you’re building a business, you don’t want a customer to (1) see something like that when they look at your domain and (2) potentially forget to put in a hyphen and land at a site that is definitely NOT what they were looking for.

Although the hyphen helps avoid that issue in that domain, keep in mind Tip #3, about potential misspellings. Will everyone remember the hyphen? If they don’t, guess what kind of business bought that other domain? It’s best to just avoid that kind of confusion altogether.

5. Google the Name without the .com on it

Along with that same theme, try to see what that domain name or those words might already be associated with on the internet. Google that name (without the .com on it), and see what comes up.

6. Think of Your Business Name

If you’re getting a domain name for a business, you should try to match your business and your domain name. If you’re a blogger, the domain name should be the same as the website name.

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