It can be a bit confusing with all of the choices we’re given, but selecting a domain name doesn’t need to be a stressful event. There are thousands of articles written on this topic, so I’m going keep this post short and sweet.
Thanks to the popularity of the web, it can be rather tricky to find a domain name that is both available, and representative of your brand.
The basic rules we follow when choosing a domain name are:
Keep it Short and Simple
Long domains or those with words that are easily misspelled should be avoided. A few of my favorite websites break this rule, but let me tell ya, it’s hard to share them with folks when I don’t have my bookmarks in front of me!
For example, we could have purchased MattAndDaricePauselius.com, but it’s a lot easier to spell, say, and share pauselius.com.
Dot Com is the Default
Although there are many other web extensions available these days, .com (short for ‘commercial’) is still the default mindset.
There are instances when .net (short for ‘network’), .org (short for ‘organization’), and .co (short for ‘company’) are appropriate, but in general you’ll find people automatically add .com to a word or brand in order to find it online.
The easier it is for people to find you, the better.
Use Hyphens Sparingly
Hyphens are great when you have words that run together in your URL, but try not to use more than one. Ideally, you shouldn’t use any for the simple fact that remembering your web address, typing it in to your web browser, or sharing it verbally can create confusion.
Use Your Name
This might seem obvious, but your name (or your company’s name) is most likely available. If it isn’t, try adding your credentials (i.e. DrJohnBrown or JohnBrownMD), or your location (LemonadeStandPA or NewEnglandPopcornShop) to help set you apart.
As I mentioned above, we decided not to use our full names as our domain name – although we have bought them, just in case.
Let It Work For You
Aside from our ideas, I want to share what our friend and colleague, Shannon Steffen, Human SEO™ offers as Guidelines for Choosing a Domain Name.
The domain name you choose can either push you to the first page in the search engine results page (SERP) or be your web site’s pointiest of thorns. When starting a new business or web site, you need to evaluate your goals…
Shannon Steffen, Human SEO™
Here’s to your domain name, may it smell as sweet…