5 Steps for Choosing the Perfect Domain Name
Picking the right domain name for a web project is by no means a simple task. Although domain names are, in most cases, cheap and easy to acquire, finding the perfect name can be a real hassle – especially when you take into consideration that over 311 million of them are already taken.
While finding the perfect combination of characters is indeed difficult, it’s not impossible. In fact, there are several tools and strategies that can help you do it.
If you’re currently considering buying a new domain, then take a few minutes to walk through these five simple steps. They should make your search a whole lot easier.
Step 1: Use Relevant Keywords
One of the best indicators of a domain’s effectiveness is whether it gives you a clue to the kind of content you can expect to find inside. Keywords are your best friend in this regard.For example, if you were in the wigs business, a bit of research would reveal that there is some real demand for wigs for children. A savvy businessperson would then consider buying a related domain, such as wigsforkids.com.
Despite the effectiveness of this strategy, there’s no rule that says that you must use related keywords in your domain. Plenty of large companies, such as Google and Twitter, get away with creating brands and growing them despite their silly names. This is entirely possible, as long as you’re committed to expanding your reach over an extended period of time.
Step 2: Keep it Concise
Ideally, your domain name should be short and simple. Short domains are easy to remember and easy to type making it less likely that visitors will end up somewhere else by mistake.
An interesting bit of research which, to be fair, is a bit dated – found that the most popular sites on the web tend to have domain names of up to 6 characters. Think Google, Amazon, Reddit, Ebay, etc. They’re all easy to remember and hard to mistype.
Step 3: Look Into Alternative Top-Level Domains
By now, you should have a decent list of domain possibilities. However, the chances are that as far as suffixes go, you’re thinking about .com. We can’t blame you for that – after all, .com domains are highly desirable, but they’re far from the only domain name game in town anymore.
The process of looking for alternative Top-level domains (TLD) is pretty simple. When you check the availability of your domain name candidates, most domain registers will list alternative TLDs alongside regular suffixes and provide you with up-to-date pricing information.
Step 4: Consider Not Buying a Domain Right Away
This piece of advice might seem counterintuitive, but bear with us. Nowadays, most web hosts will provide a way to create and access your websites using a temporary subdomain even if you haven’t purchased a domain name yet.
Sticking with a host-provided temporary URL for the long haul, is, of course, a terrible idea. They’re usually complicated and impossible to remember. But the option does remove some of the pressure to settle on a domain name right away.
This way, you can begin working on your site’s design and content right away – a process that will sometimes lead to a burst of naming inspiration that you might not have had otherwise.
So, if you’re still feeling undecided after the first three steps, take a little time to mull things over.
Step 5: Take Social Network Availability Into Account
Before you make a final decision on your domain name. You need to take the time to consider which social media networks you will want to use alongside it. Then visit each network to find out whether the name you want to use is available, and snap it up if it is.
If the account name you want to use is already taken, you could always choose to alter your account name slightly until you locate an acceptable alternative that is available.