How to Choose Your Website’s Domain

Written by  Tamara Stavljanin 16 March 2017

How to Choose Your Website’s Domain

Everything changes, but your domain name is forever. Over time, you will change the design of your website, pricing, add or remove products from your assortment, maybe even change the whole business model, but your domain name will stay the same. That’s why it’s important to get the right one.

 

The first thing anyone will know about your website is its domain name. We’re not trying to intimidate you, but it’s a big deal! Domain name has a dual purpose: branding and SEO. So, when thinking about how to name your website, try to take everything into consideration.

 

Domain Name Tips

 

You’ll likely only get to make this decision once, so make sure you weigh your options and be informed. That's why we want to share with you a few tips to help you choose a domain name:


Think about Your Brand

Choose a domain name that is brandable. Avoid generic, boring names and go for something that grabs attention. Find a name that will represent your brand and your product line in the best way, the one that doesn’t sound like a generic string of words.

 

The domain name can be an already existing word, completely made up one or something in between. For example:

 

  - The most obvious one is Apple. They took the name of common fruit and created one of the biggest brands in the world. Ok, it is clear that is hard that you are going to beat Apple, but it is a good example of how you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to find a good name.

    Because a lot of names are already taken, the trending approach that worked for many new brands is taking two words and merging them together. It worked well for Snapchat, but also for more serious B2B brands like MailJet. This way the purpose and value of your brand will be a part of your domain name and it will be easier to remember.

 

  - If you have a creative streak, you can use a made-up word as your domain name. Just make sure that the word is easy to write and pronounce, because you don’t want to confuse your customers.

    Most of these made-up names have a fun story behind them, like Mozilla, which was inspired by the famous movie monster Godzilla.

 

  - Another emerging trend is to take an existing word and misspell or modify it a bit. A good example of this practice is Grammarly, online grammar and spelling checker.

 

There’s a reason why domain names are the same as company names. Those two are inseparable, that’s why for most companies this is basically the same task.

Occasionally, brands put words such as “get” or “download” in front of their company name to imply the action you should take once on the website. Doing something unique like this can help draw attention to your website. You can always purchase both URLs and eventually direct one to the other.

Pick Something Simple

To avoid confusion, choose a domain name that is easy to spell. If it’s a made-up word, then use conventional spelling, don’t try to be too clever or creative because it can backfire. If your domain name is hard to pronounce and difficult to type, people will lose patience and just forget about your website.

 

Moreover, you should avoid hyphens and numbers. While you may think this will make your name unique, it’s actually harder to remember. Confusing or hard-to-spell domains will cause you to lose customers. You cannot expect your visitors to try multiple times to find your website.

Finding the balance of memorable, unique and easy will help you land on the perfect domain name, but it isn’t easy, for sure. So, brainstorm, research, ask friends and follow our guidelines.

Don’t Go Crazy with Keywords

Once upon a time, having a relevant keyword (or keywords) in your domain name meant that you would rank better in search results. It was essentially a great SEO hack that could get you in front of competition, and many people used and abused it. Due to this fact, the importance of having a keyword-rich domain is declining, and according to every reputable SEO expert, this trend will continue.

 

So, what should you do? Don’t force it. You should go for a brand name over keywords, but this doesn’t mean you have to avoid keywords at all cost, just make it sound natural. For example: if your name is Jo and you are a plumber, then it’s perfectly ok for your domain to be: plumberjo.com.


Domain Extension Tips

A .com domain name is the most popular choice for a domain extension or, more accurately, choice for your top-level domain (TLD). This one is prevalent and more than half websites in the world have this domain extension. Consequently, your desired domain could be already taken.

 

Luckily, there are more domain name extensions available than ever before. When choosing and purchasing your domain, you can pick from a wide variety of domain extensions. As mentioned above, the most common top-level domain is .com, standing for a website with a commercial purpose.

 

Other common options include .edu, .biz, .co, .net and .info. All of them have a specific meaning and purpose; the most prominent ones are illustrated below:

 

.com

  website for commercial purposes

.net

  it’s short for network and it was originally used by Internet providers

.org

  it’s an abbreviation for ‘organization’ and mostly used by non-profits

.biz

  intended for all kinds of businesses, but usually used by small business owners

.co

  similar to .com, this extension is for commercial purposes, usually followed with a country code, such as .uk or other

.info

  It is reserved for websites that are credible sources of information across the web

.tv

  It is actually the country code for Tuvalu, but it is used by media and entertainment companies



Recently, extensions related to a specific industry have arisen such as .marketing, .news or even more specific like .broker or .brand. This is still an emerging trend, so maybe you can profit from being the first one to jump on this bandwagon.

 

Depending on the location of your business, you can also choose a top-level domain that reflects your country such as .ca (for Canada). This is suitable for everyone planning to do business locally.

Other than disclosing the origin of your company, some country domain extensions can be used for other purposes because of their unique meaning. We have already mentioned that .tv is the country code for Tuvalu, but for obvious reasons, is used by big media and entertainment companies. Another example is top-level domain ‘.to’, which is used for How-To websites.

 

Especially popular in recent years is .me domain extension. It can be a good branding element and you can use it to personalize your website, for example marry.me or connect.me.

 

Another domain hack that is used mostly by tech startups is the domain extension for the British Indian Ocean Territory, or as you all probably know it - the .io domain extension. The reason this unofficial practice came into play is because IO can be an acronym for input/output.

 

It is important to choose an extension that makes sense for your business and is easy to remember. Choosing a wrong extension because your first choice has been taken can harm your business in the future.


On the other end of the spectrum, some forward-thinking companies opt to make puns or phrases out of their domain extensions. A fun example of this is Taco Bell - a few years back they decided to utilize a simple domain hack and changed their website domain to: ta.co.

 

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you are making the best choice for your business in particular. This means that these tips are just guidelines that you should take into consideration when making this big decision about your domain name; you’re the only one who can know what is best for your business.

 

Brainstorm is done. The perfect name is found. Now go grab it before someone else takes it! With Ucraft special offer you can get your domain name for free, just upgrade to our yearly plan:

 

#NOTE

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