When starting a new website, it is important that you choose a good domain name for your website. Below I have listed 25 tips for you to help you choose the best domain name, whether you are looking for a domain name for your company, weblog or web shop.
Some tips are more important than others depending on whether you’re looking for a domain name for a business or personal website, but in general, you can apply these 25 domain name tips in just about any scenario.
1. Stick to .com .net .org
In the USA, almost everyone naturally uses the .com extension for domain names, so why should you deviate from this? If you have a business or your website is internationally oriented, you can also go for the .net or .org, but it’s even better if you claim all three extensions. This way you can be sure that your competitor cannot run off with it.
There are examples of successful websites that work with other extensions, but as a starting website you don’t want to take this risk. Firstly, a “strange” extension detracts from your credibility and professional image, but you also lose visitors with it. After all, almost everyone assumes that your domain ends in .com, so they will also type this when they try to return to your website. If it then appears that your competitor has claimed the.com version of your domain, you have lost your visitor…
An exception to this rule is, for example, if you have a web shop that is mainly aimed at the German market or if you have a Dutch-language weblog and you also want to attract Belgian visitors. In such a case it is certainly not a bad idea to (also) claim the.DE or.BE.
2. No spelling variations
Attempt to discover a space name that has just a single conceivable spelling. A lot of people have trouble with spelling, so you make it a lot easier for yourself and your visitors if there are no doubts about the spelling of your domain name.
3. The shorter the better
The shorter your space name is, the simpler it is for your guests to recollect it, type it in and give it to other people. And that’s exactly what you want, right?
4. Commercial appeal
A quick way to find out if your domain name is commercially viable is to imagine what your domain name will look like on a billboard or in a commercial. This is especially important if you are looking for a business domain name, but a domain name for a personal website should also pass this test.
5. No dashes
Avoid domain names with a hyphen in them at all times. There are plenty of companies and websites that include a dash (or even several) in their domain name, but I certainly do not recommend this. First, your visitors often forget where exactly the dashes were in your domain name or worse: they don’t even know anymore that there were dashes in it…
In both cases they will not end up on your website. They will see an ERROR or – in the worst case – they will end up on your competitor’s website that preceded you and claimed the same domain name without the annoying dashes in it.
In addition, a domain name with hyphens in it is often perceived as a bit “cheap” by many visitors, because it is clearly a substitute for the domain name you actually wanted to claim. So if you want to come across as professional, you would do well to purchase a first-class domain name as well.
6. Other extensions
Once you have found the perfect domain name (ending in .com), it is in most cases not unwise to immediately grab the other available extensions and link them to your main domain name: the .com version. Certainly if you have long-term plans with your website, you can also claim the .net, .org, and any other extensions.
If you link these extensions to your .com domain name, it has two advantages: if visitors enter your domain name with a “wrong” extension, they will still end up on your website. In addition, your competitors can no longer steal your genius domain name by claiming another extension, because you have already done so. That way they can’t mislead your visitors and you won’t lose traffic to your website.
7. Singular or plural?
Another thing to consider when choosing a domain name is whether you are going for the singular form or the plural form. Suppose you sell microwave lamps, does www.lamp.com or www.newlampens.com sound better?
It is best to register both domain names (if they are both free) and then link the less good-sounding domain name to the better-sounding one. Whether plural or singular is better depends entirely on the domain itself. By claiming them both, you will at least prevent your competitor from running off with the other form.
Registering a brand-new domain name costs about ten euros per year. On the other hand, if you take over an existing domain name from its previous owner at a domain auction, you could spend five dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars – plus the fixed annual registration fee. Although it is very satisfying to claim a powerful domain name through manual registration, you often have a better chance of finding a really top domain at a domain auction.
9. Keyword rich
Choose a domain name that is rich in search terms that are relevant to your website. Suppose you sell vitamins on your website, then it is important that you include the word “vitamins” in your domain name. Also check with the help of the Creative Domain Names Tool whether there are still interesting keyword-rich variations on your search term available as a domain name.
10. Type-In Traffic
If someone opens the browser and directly types in the URL bar what they are looking for followed by .com – for example www.ballonvaart.com or www.sonjabakker.com – this is called type-in-traffic. So if you can get hold of a domain name that is an exact match with a frequently used search term, you can get direct visitors to your website without any hassle. In addition, a domain name consisting of a popular search term can contribute enormously to your position in the search engines.
11. Do not substitute letters with numbers
Numbers in domain names can be interesting (think of www.formule1.com, www.101dalmatiers.com, etc.), but not as substitutes for normal letters. Most people have a hard time remembering this. Therefore, try not to use the “4” for “for” or the “2” for “to”, such as www.care4fashion.com. In addition to being confusing, it doesn’t come across as very professional.
12. Avoid “slang”
Do not include popular but incorrect spelling in your domain name. This might be funny in certain markets, but there is bound to be confusion about exactly how to spell your domain name. This comes across as unprofessional and you can also lose visitors because they accidentally enter the correct spelling and end up with your competitor.
13. Zeros and O’s
Be careful with the number “0” in your domain name. This is often confused with the letter “O” and vice versa. So make sure there is no confusion between these two in your domain name.
14. Positionable as a brand
Twenty years ago, no one knew who or what a “Google” was, but now Google.com (and all of its extensions) is an extremely valuable domain name that is very clearly positioned as a brand. Do not get carried away by coming up with crazy domain names, but a good domain name that is also suitable for positioning your website as a brand can certainly contribute to the success of your website.
15. Easy to type
The easier a domain name is to type in, the stronger your domain name will be. For example, www.hottentottententententoonstelling.com would not be so useful!
16. Easy to understand
When someone sees or hears your domain name for the first time, they should immediately understand what your website is about. Of course, it is important that you find the golden mean between a domain name that clearly states what your website stands for and a domain name that allows you to position your website as a brand.
Avoid domain names that infringe an existing copyright. When in doubt, you can always take my advice, because prevention is better than cure …
The more unique a domain name is, the easier it is to remember it. Stay within the limits of the other rules when looking for a unique domain name, but if you are smart and manage to find a unique domain name, you can benefit from it for years to come.
19. Use a thesaurus (thesaurus)
If you are a bit stuck in coming up with a good domain name, open two different tabs in your browser: in one tab an online thesaurus and in the other the Creative Domain Names Tool. Then look up the word in the thesaurus that best describes your website and copy its synonyms one by one to the Creative Domain Names Tool to immediately see if these domain names or variations thereof are still available!
20. Look for expired domain names
Expired domain names are domains whose status has only just changed from registered to unregistered. In other words: these domain names have just been released. This is often the case when a company goes bankrupt, someone can no longer pay the registration fee or simply when someone forgets to renew their domain name registration. If this happens, an existing domain name will expire and be made available again to the public.
21. Easy to remember
If you can easily remember a domain name after hearing it once, chances are you have found an unforgettable domain name !
22. Domain auctions
At a domain auction you can get nice domain names with relatively low bids, but it is also a handy way to get inspiration for new domain names. For an impression, visit Hostinger.com. Do you see something nice, but do you find it difficult to determine the amount of your bid? Request my advice or mediation without obligation via email.
23. Professional jargon
Although it is important that everyone understands your domain name (what does it mean? What kind of website will be behind the domain?), It can also be beneficial if you use professional jargon in your domain name, so that only your specific target group understands your domain name directly. This increases the credibility of your website in the eyes of visitors who are familiar with the jargon of your niche website.
If you have a business partner or creative friend, ask them to help you come up with a new domain name. First think about what the ideal domain name would be for your website and then add as many words and word combinations as possible that are related to it. Sooner or later you will be bound to encounter a genius and find the perfect domain name. To speed up this search, you can use the Creative Domain Names Tool.
25. Claim your domain name today.
The sooner you choose a domain name, the better, because before you know it someone else will get your domain!