Choosing the right domain name is critical for your website to be noticed, drive visitors and most importantly, lets your visitors remember you and make recurring visits to your site, preferably on a regular basis. While the content and design of your site are also crucial in ensuring all the above, your domain name no doubt plays the very first role in catching the attention of your potential website visitors, needless to say that once your domain name is chosen, it is seldom viable to change it, except in truly inevitable circumstances.
So to make your website a sure hit before you even think about the design, you will have to choose a domain name which shows in your URL, and certainly a domain name which allows people use to search your website easily. Now how exactly, can we choose a killer domain name?
1) Don’t use hyphens in your domain name
Hyphenated domain names are often easy to forget. Many people choose to use hyphens to separate the keywords or replace space between domain names without realizing that it has in fact made the domain become more confusing. For instance, if one chooses www.exabytes-for-you.com, when he recommends the website to his friend by saying, “Hey, check out this site called Exabytes for you dot com.”, chance are high that the friend might just omit the hyphens and type www.exabytesforyou.com instead. You will never want your visitors to end up on your competitor’s site, right? Avoid hyphenated domain names, avoid being confusing and easily forgotten.
2) Your domain name should be short and easy to spell so that it’s easily remembered
A good domain name should consist of 3 keywords or below, or preferably less than 15 characters. Let’s face it, the shorter the domain name is, the easier it is for the human brain to notice and remember it. Besides, a short domain name is easier to remember when people try to recommend it to their friends in a conversation. Technically, a domain name with more than 3 keywords will usually show as spam to readers and popular search engines such as Google. Lastly, the shorter your domain name is, the less possible it is for people to mistype it, right?
3) Use the correct domain extensions ( .com or TLD)
Previously, .com is used to signify company; .org for nonprofit organization; .net for network and .biz for business. However, there is no restriction now on thoseTLD(top level domains) anymore because of limited number of .com domain names left unregistered.
Go for .com domain names by all means, unless it’s really impossible. This is because people who try to surf around looking for a website will mostly try .com before any other domain extensions as it is the commonest and easiest to remember. Technically, .com domain names are more preferred in the market and by search engines. With it, you can also target global traffic better and more easily.
4) Choose country domain extensions such as .SG or .COM.SG if you wish to target local customers
Country domain extensions show that you are a local company focusing your effort serving local customers. Not only does it speak for the personality of your company, it adds credibility to your establishment. Technically, country domain extensions help greatly in local search results and directories.
5) Your domain keywords should be your brand name or your product name
More often than not, when an Internet user searches for a product or service on the Internet, he or she usually remembers the brand of the product or the name of the product rather than the company name. Thus it would be wise to choose your brand name or your product name as the keywords of your domain.
6) Descriptiveness – You domain name should describe exactly what your website is all about
A good domain name should tell its potential web visitors what the website is all about the moment they look at it, or at least give them a clear sense about the content and what they can expect from the website. A descriptive domain name (preferably interesting also) targets the right potential customers and attracts their attention right away. Technically, descriptive domain names bring higher click rate and lower bounce rate.
7) Avoid numbers in your domain name
Too many numbers in your domain names makes it hard to remember and kills your domain name’s uniqueness. Although one or maximum 2 numbers in your domain names is generally fine and it sometimes do add some uniqueness to your domain names, domain names with many numbers may not be descriptive and more often than not, they seem more like sub-domains rather than primary domains.
8 ) Avoid keywords with ambiguous or double/multiple meanings
A good domain name sends out the right messages to its potential web visitors clear and loud. Choosing keywords with ambiguous or double/multiple meanings will mislead your visitors and most importantly, your web traffic. Imagine having a lot of new web visitors who leave your site after staying for 5 seconds or less. That’s certainly not the right kind of web traffic you want.
9) Your domain name should be unique and catchy
If your domain name is unique or one of its kind, not only will it create a stronger impression on your potential web visitors, people will never confuse your domain name with other companies or individuals. Moreover, make your domain name catchy, for example, domain keywords which rhyme makes people remember it instantly and for years to come. Technically, a unique domain name gives you added advantage in grabbing search engines.
10) Copyright or patent infringement
Stay away from domain names which are copyrighted or patented such as Facebook and Apple Inc. which restrict all domain names to include their names. Check before you register as the owner of the copyright or patent reserves the right to ban or take over your domain name without compensation. Worse, you might get yourself in trouble or involved in a legal case.