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How To Choose A Domain Name For A Website

Jun
07

If you’re wondering how to choose a domain name for a website, you’ll be happy to know that it’s not all that complicated. A few common sense rules will however make a big difference in a good domain and a bad one. I’ve purchased tons of domain names in the course of my internet marketing career, and I’ve learned a thing or two along the way. I’ve come up with 5 basic steps for finding a great domain name. So let’s get started.

Basic Rule #1: Make It Short
Short domain names are easy to type. and easy to remember. It’s as basic as it gets, but which do you think is easier to get to: shoes.com, or buygreatshoes.com? It’s a matter of simplicity. With that said, many if not most of the super short domain names are taken by now, so you might have to go for a slightly longer domain name than you would like. This brings me to the next rule.

Basic Rule #2: Make it Memorable
If your domain name is a little bit longer than you’d like, the next step is to make it easy to remember. Going with our shoe example in my first rule, shoestore.com is probably a little easier to remember than buygreatshoeshere.com. Choose a domain name that will stick in the minds of your customers or readers. The easier it is to remember, the more likely you’ll keep people coming back to your website.

Basic Rule #3: Make it Topical
If you’re running a shoe store, in most cases, it’s best to have a domain name that represents what you are selling. In this case, shoes. You’ll want to use the word shoes in your domain name if at all possible. A cryptic domain, like xyz.com won’t let your customers know that you’re selling footwear, so they might not click on your website if they see the link.

Basic Rule #4: Make it Brandable
If you choose a domain name that doesn’t represent what the website is about, it’s still possible to succeed. It might be a little bit harder, but it can be done. Let’s go with amazon.com. The word amazon really doesn’t relate to the actual content of the website, yet I’d say most of the world has heard of Amazon by now. They were successful in branding the name. If your domain name is catchy enough, it just might be enough to get your customers or readers to your website.

Basic Rule #5: Make it a .com (If Possible)
Back in the early days of internet marketing, there were .com domains to choose from. After a while, .net became a second fashionable TLD extension. Now there are tons to choose from, but by and large, people’s preferences haven’t really changed. Most people identify with .com, and if you can find a good one, grab it and hold on to it as long as you can. It’s true, there are fewer to choose from than there used to be, but use your brainstorming skills to find good domains, there are still some left!

I hope this sheds some light how to choose a domain name for a website. I you have any questions, or even suggestions on great ways to find a stellar domain name, just send me a comment below.

Once you’ve got a domain name, you’ll want to choose a hosting provider if you don’t have one. Click here for my post on choosing a good hosting company.

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