Choosing a Domain Name

Chris — March 11, 2010

A domain name is more than just your address on the internet. It’s most likely a huge part of  your brand, if not your entire brand! Not only is it your virtual address but it’s also a major tool in how you’re found through search engines which, arguably, is the most important part of running a website.

So with that in mind, what should you think of when choosing your domain name?

Branding or Product Marketing?

The first thing to consider is how people will be looking for your website. Will they know of you already and search by your name? Do they know your product or service and search by its name or function?

These questions might not be very easy to answer, so maybe consider whether your customers or visitors will care more about your brand or your product? Or is what you’re selling one of many other, similar products? Maybe your brand is the only way you can diffirentiate yourself. Maybe, your product unique enough to where you can focus on selling itself as a name?

Keep in mind, none of this matters if your company name is the same as, or contains, your product or service.

The bottom line is, your domain name should always contain one or more of your keywords unless your brand is strong enough to carry your products or services.

Make it Easy

Really what it comes down to is making your domain name easy to remember, easy to type and say, and easy to understand.

How do you do this?

Keep it short. The shorter it is, the easier it is to remember… unless it doesn’t make sense (abbreiviations aren’t good).

Don’t include hyphens or numbers. They’re a slight pain to type, and try saying or remembering  ”” versus “”.

Using hyphens, abbreviations or deliberate misspellings all make it harder and less intuitive to your customer or visitor. Your domain name needs to carry meaning so that whoever is looking for you understands what you do by reading your domain name.

Lastly, the ending. If you’re an american company, or deal with customers from around the globe, use a “.com” address. If you’re dealing with visitors from a particular country (not USA), use that countries domain suffix. The only great exceptions are “.org” for non profits and organizations and “.edu” for schools.

In Conclusion

Summing it up, one way to be found online is through keywords. Your domain name can have an enormous impact on which keywords you rank for. So one of the best kinds of domain names contain one or more of your best keywords (as long as it’s not too long). Try to make the domain name unique, avoid hyphens and numbers, keep it short and memorable and, unless you’re the government, a school or organization, end it with “.com”.

Oh, did I mention I can register domain names for you? Well I can! If you know what you want just let me know what it is and I’ll get back to you with prices and other info. I’m competitive, not GoDaddy competitive, but good enough.

För alla svenskar så kan jag också registrera .se domäner!

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