Exquisite Guide to Choosing the Perfect Domain Name
by Dan Radak
A domain name is the cornerstone of any digital presence. It is a unique address that tells others who you are, and it is yours as long as you please, or pay the annual fee to be more precise. Likewise, it is the way internet users can find your brand, without typing the whole IP address. The difference between the two here is not just in length, but the fact that domain name bears meaning, unlike IP addresses that are basically random strings of numbers.
Brand new marketing world
A domain name serves as an essence of your online identity. It speaks for itself, but also of your mission and purpose. It empowers your SEO efforts, infuses your brand with more consistency and appeal, and provides a sense of direction in a vast digital jungle. That is why so many people are eager to begin the search for the Holy Grail in the digital realm, a perfect domain name.
One of the top characteristics you need to pay attention to is brandability. A name must echo your company’s identity and what it stands for. It is always a good idea to type in your future domain name and see what results you get from googling it. Strive to steer away from brand overlapping with other companies since this could lead you to lose a significant amount of internet traffic.
The goal is to be distinctive, recognizable, and to stand out from the rest of the bustling internet landscape. So, there is no need to undermine your endeavor by settling for a name which is just a plural or a misspelled version of a popular brand. Trademark problems can kill a great website and put a promising business to ruin.
A lot of ground to cover
Personal brands tend to include the first and last names in a domain. Some people claim that in this day and age, everyone should register a personal domain: You do not have to use it right away, but it could prove to be a valuable asset later on. Similarly, business organizations seek to integrate their own names into a domain phrase and jumpstart digital marketing and SEO.
The first stage is most often brainstorming, where you try to come up with a several words or topic that best describe your website. Next, do some mixing and matching and try to produce a satisfying result. It might be tempting to take advantage of an emerging or present trend, but you are in over a long haul, while the trends fade away easily.
Furthermore, a domain name must be easy to remember. To put it simply, it must sound good and be simple enough for users to spell and type it. Take the example of Flickr, a reputable site which had to purchase a Flicker.com domain because users were mistyping the original name. This is to say that shorter domain names usually outmatch longer phrases.
Moreover, using elements like hyphens and digits is not advisable. They only complicate things, and make it harder to recall the name. Mixing random letters and numbers is a recipe for pulling together a strong password, certainly not a strong domain name. This is due to the role that domain name has to play as a powerful SEO tool: It directly impacts the keyword strategy of digital marketers.
Now, one of the approaches is to make the name perfectly reflect your keywords and go for an exact match domain. This makes sense because you make it easier for people to find you. What is more, keywords in domain names are a ranking factor in their own right. There are some other benefits such as making anchors in the text which directs people to your website.
Key to success
There is, however, one problem linked to choosing a keyword. You do not always have a freedom of choice because many good domain names are already taken. In the face of such a predicament, many people decide to buy a domain as soon as possible, or utilize meaningful extensions as parts of the phrase. Namely, top-level domains can be coupled with a plethora of extensions.
The original top-level domains include .com, .net, .org, .int, .gov, .edu, etc. It is estimated that three-fourths of websites still use .com. The advantage of this solution is that people are used to this extension the most, and find it easy to remember. However, over time, we have seen the proliferation of country code top-level domains like .au, .in, .uk, and many others.
So, those who want to overcome the scarcity of domain names could use a .me domain, which is a typical example of how one can engage in creative domain hacking: inspire.me, assist.me, or recommend.me. The list does not end here because there are also topic-specific generic top-level domains: .agency, .business, .city, .social, etc.
For good measure
Note that some online platforms, like Blogger, are hosted services that do not give you a chance to assemble a fully personalized name. They add their own keywords in the phrase, usually before the extension. This is usually not a good thing since your branding strategy is then limited and directed by others, and not by your vision.
The possibilities with country specific extensions are virtually endless and these clever wordplays can enhance SEO practices. Whichever way you chose to go, you should measure twice and cut once. In a sense, a domain name is like a spouse: You have it for years to come, need to love it, and a decision to end your relationship could face you with severe consequences.
On solid grounds
For some people, selecting a domain name seems like a no-brainer, but there are actually many things to keep a close eye on here. A domain name is much more than just your address. There is no need to rush things and fall at the first hurdle. This is the crucial step on the road to achieving online greatness and success. Keep the name short, memorable, and simple. Lay the solid foundations for brand building, SEO, and digital marketing tactic to fully shine and reach internet users far and wide.
December 7, 2016