Whether you are starting a new business, blog or project, having the perfect domain can be crucial. Here are some tips to make the choice less daunting.
Having a website nowadays is almost as common as having a fingerprint: pretty much everyone has one. When beginning a new project – be it a business, blog, non-profit or indeed self-promotion – an online presence is usually top of your to-do list. It has been reported that celebrity couples have first check domains before choosing a name for their baby to protect the child’s image in years to come.
It’s not uncommon for celebrities and citizens alike to have their own personal website, so if you haven’t bought yourname.com, you should do that now. A great domain is a must-have for any idea you are looking to invest your time and effort in. Picking the perfect domain, however, can be easier said than done.
There are aspects that you want your domain to have, but unless you know for sure what they are you are apt to randomly wander the web, registering any domain that ‘might’ work for you. Instead of doing that, heed our advice below on your search for the perfect domain:
- Make readability your first priority.
If you’d like to learn from the domain mistakes of others, take a look at this list of inappropriate domain names– there is a major difference between IT_Scrap.com and Its_Crap.com, and unfortunately, the human brain is going to want to read ‘it’s crap’ every time (we added the underscores to our example to show how itscrap.com could be misconstrued). Also, it’s worth checking how any potential domain name could be translated into other languages.
- Stick to something simple.
A web address that is simple to read, pronounce and remember will go a long way. Just imagine if Twitter.com had originally chosen SocialPlatformMessaging.com or if UBER.com registered TransportationWithoutACabbie.com – it just doesn’t work as well does it? Incidentally, both URLs are available if you are interested… Don’t be afraid to chart new waters when starting out with your new domain. If your idea works you could have an Amazon or PayPal on your hands, both ideas that sounded strange in the beginning.
- Consider a gTLD (new domain extensions).
Gone are the days when all good web addresses had to end in .com. With the release of hundreds of new web address endings, or gTLDs (generic top level domains), the sky’s the limit. These gTLDs can add some personality and additional information to what would normally be a simple URL, as they are specific to certain industries and sectors. Consider ending your domain with .club, .blog or .rocks, especially if the .com you were looking for is already taken.
- Be entirely original.
Originality is important for attracting business, but it is even more important for avoiding legal trouble. Using another registered trademark within your domain is called domain squatting and can lead to years of expensive lawsuits. It is better to be original when picking a domain and avoid the hassle all together. If you feel someone else is using a domain that includes your brand in bad faith, look into filing a UDRP with ICANN.
- Keep SEO in mind.
SEO is search engine optimization, or how high on the search results page you would be if someone searched a term relevant to your business. A high search rank can help you with traffic to your site, just as a low search engine rank can keep traffic from finding your site within a search. To rank well you should register a domain that is relevant to the image you are trying to portray, and if at all possible include keywords to help Google bots find you when crawling through the web. For an indepth SEO guide read this Midphase blog post.
While each of these five points could have an entire book written about them, they are a helpful introduction when getting started. For more information about registering a domain name take a look at What You Need To Know Before Registering A Domain from Midphase.com.
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