12 keys to choosing a good domain name

Estimated reading time: 11 minutes

What are the keys to choosing a good domain name? Do I choose a domain name with my main keyword inserted in the name? Do I choose a brand name? Do I choose a .com, .net, .org or .co.uk domain?

The purchase of the domain name is a very important part and you should take some time to think about what you want to call yourself.

The name we assign to the domain will be your brand and you will continue with it all the time. It will be the first thing your users will see, you cannot choose the name lightly, there are many free domains, think well about which one to choose.

The process of choosing a name will vary depending on the business you want to set up or the service you want to offer (blog, product sale, company or niche page) use the free domain search engines to find the right name.

12 keys to choosing a good domain name

  • Visual: Easy to write, remember and spell.
  • Clear: Do not use 2 vowels or 2 letters in a row.
  • Clean: Do not use numbers or dashes
  • Short: No more than 15 characters
  • Identifiable: Show what the domain is about.
  • EMD: The importance of the keyword in the domain
  • Extensions: .com, .net, .org, .co.uk
  • Branding: Exploit your personal brand
  • Do not use uppercase letters or other characters in your domain name.
  • Brainstorming
  • Time: Reflection

How to choose a good domain name for your business

The choice of hosting is just as important as the choice of a good domain name.

In order to choose a good functional domain name, you should bear in mind that the name you choose should have the following recommendations:

Tips for choosing a good domain name:

1. Choose a visual name

A domain name should be easy to remember, easy to write and easy to spell.

Avoid using the letters h, q, w, x, y, and z.

Unless you become a multinational like Wolkswagen, it is not a good choice to choose such a complicated name. Wolkswagen has a name that is recognised worldwide. When someone searches for it on Google, the search engine tells you how to spell it.

Hardly anyone will look for you again with such a convoluted name.

2. Choose a clear domain

When choosing a good domain, the use of two vowels or two letters in a row will be a disadvantage in pronunciation and spelling.

A domain such as www.xyz.co.uk will cause confusion for the user.

3. Your domain must be clean

Using hyphens and numbers in the domain is frowned upon. Google does not like hyphens and the user will not remember numbers easily.

Can you rank just as well for a domain with hyphens? Yes, because SEO depends on more factors but if you have a choice avoid choosing hyphens.

Think that when you have to tell someone the name of your website, you will have to specify if the domain is with letters or with numbers, as well as if the hyphen is low or medium. Don’t get complicated.

Maybe you are interested to read:

  • SEO Guide

4. Must be Short

Opting for a short domain name will be another very positive factor.

Short names are easy to write and are better retained in memory.

The average number of characters for a good name is usually between 10 or 11. 15 or more is too many.

Besides, a long name, apart from being more difficult to remember, can also lead to mistakes when typing it in the search engine.

The domain you choose must indicate what it is about, do not use strange names.

5. Make it Identifiable

Insert within the domain name a word that represents the business sector or the subject matter we deal with.

It is always better to use a domain like www.mihaidobre.co.uk than www.thisismihaidobre.co.uk. The user has to quickly see what you do and identify you by your company name.

6. EMD – Exact Matching Domain Name

Choosing a domain name that contains our main keyword within it, still has an advantage in terms of positioning whenever we want people to find us by the name we insert in the domain.

Although Google with its new algorithm gives less importance to exact keyword matching (EMD), I still think that for many sectors it is decisive as you give Google clues about your business.

If you search for your website in Google SERPs, Google will highlight your keyword in bold in the meta description, this in itself is already an advantage as it will result in more people clicking on your website.

If you also exploit a word that is in your domain it will always have more value than if it is not because you can use the anchor text in the links to reinforce your website. You have to be careful and use synonyms in these links to avoid over-optimising.

The positioning will be somewhat faster than if this word does not appear within the domain but as I say this depends on your strategy and if you want to make this name more visible.

Are EMDs still positioning the same?

Choosing the name and creating a domain with keywords in mind is still used and works.

In case you choose to include your main keyword in the domain I advise you that if for example you like sport and you want to write about it in general, try to find a name like sports.com or sports.co.uk.

Usually, these internet domain names are not available because they have been heavily exploited, but you can always look for alternatives like morethansports.com for example.

What I do advise you (if you are not going to opt for a branded domain) is that if you are going to talk about sport for example, you should include the word sport in the domain.

If you are going to create a website about creams, include the word creams in the domain and if it is about hand cream, it would be perfect if you could have a domain like handcream.com.

Even if you focus on local seo you can also use the city behind that name as long as the domain does not become too long.

With the use of EMD, it is clear that the intention is to gain positioning quickly, which is very good especially for niche pages and Google still values it to a certain extent.

With this I want to say that the EMD is still as you can see important nowadays, although not as important as it used to be, and there are many factors that influence the Seo that make any domain name surpass an EMD.

The website has an acceptable content work behind and a careful onpage optimisation, but it has a lot of faults that I must improve such as the creation of a blog (Google likes a website to be updated and this one doesn’t do it), providing it with quality external links etc?

It has hardly had any visits, nor have I intended it to have them, as it has been a test page. With the new algorithm change with the arrival of Google Penguin, this page has benefited without having hardly anything. (I will explain later how these “little animals” affect the positioning of your website.

What I want you to understand is that with all that the website lacks, the EMD has been fundamental to reach the first page of Google because that keyword has been exploited.

More details to consider when choosing a domain name

7. Pay attention to the domain extension

.com, .net, uk or .co.uk?

All domains rank equally but not all have the same advantages.

When it comes to choosing a domain, I recommend that you opt for .com ( if you do business worldwide ), this is the domain that you should choose, otherwise opt for net or .org (generic). If you do business localy in the UK then you can choose: co.uk

The extension .co.uk (geolocalised) is perfect if our readers or potential clients are only going to be English en-gb (Google will give more value to your domain if it focuses on a specific country over the rest).

If your objective is to position yourself internationally and you intend to do so with a regional domain, it will not be easy because Google understands that your sectorial objective is the public that marks your domain.

Choosing to take the .co.uk extension just because the .com is taken is not a good idea, think of the amount of traffic your competition will get if someone makes a mistake and thinks your domain is .com. There is a bias towards .com

I even tell you that if you are going to buy a .co.uk domain because you are interested in it, choose to buy the .com as well.

You don’t know how much your business can grow and one day you may need it and be able to do a redirect (It is not advisable to do them in many cases but you will always gain more by doing it if your market grows a lot).

One option when you want to position yourself for your city for example is to use a domain like thisismeidothis.com, this way you position yourself in a more global way, but it is not a good idea to do it the other way around as Google will see that you are focusing on the local mode.

A good option would be to buy the different extensions regardless of which one you have chosen for your domain.

For example, if we see that the .es and .net domains are also available when accessing the domain registry, it would be a good option to buy them. There are domains that will not involve a large outlay.

The reason for doing this is because unfortunately there is always competition that may want to annoy and badmouth you.

It is not a necessary or urgent matter but if your website is gaining authority it does not hurt to cover your back.

Don’t miss the opportunity to reach the whole world. Choose .com domain name extension

The reason for choosing a .com domain is because in a market with so many possibilities like the internet you can’t miss the option of reaching the other side of the world. Although I also say that a good .net is better than a bad .com.

It is true that the international extension is more in demand and it is sometimes more difficult to choose the name you are looking for, but there are always many variants available and it is usually found.

8. Think about branding when choosing a name.

Exploit your Branding (Personal Branding) There is a predisposition to brand names nowadays. Every person who wants to offer an education opts for branded domains (your own name is the main keyword). This is very positive.

Even if you have a domain with any name, the brand name has become a determining factor in several sectors and even more so today with the use of social networks.

Associating your products with your brand name is essential.

There is a diversity of opinions. There are experts who say it is better to use your branding in the domain and people who choose not to.

However, it is important that branding is present and linked to the web, especially in some areas.

Brand names are in theory easier to remember and better visually.

The use of brand and keyword domains is also common. This type of domain has on the one hand the brand name and on the other hand exploits a keyword. An example of this is the company Trailfinders.

In short, branding is very important nowadays and in one way or another, it has to be present on our website. Whether you want to opt for it or not depends on the sector you use.

9. Obstacles to choosing a domain name

Use of special characters, accents or capital letters in the domain name.

Avoid using domain names with these characters.

You cannot register domains with these letters because domain registrars do not allow many of them, although Google is increasingly allowing them as they are becoming more natural, as well as accents.

10. Redirection Option

You can change the domain name later and redirect your visitors to the new domain but this is not a good idea as you will lose the authority that Google has been giving you all this time and your readers will have to adapt to your new brand.

Therefore, think carefully about the domain you choose because if you regret it and want to change it, it is better to do it at the beginning when you don’t have a lot of traffic before getting into the internet.

11. Brainstorming

To make use of brainstorming, take a piece of paper and write down all the names for your domain that come to your mind. Then calmly study the names and clean them up.

You have to differentiate yourself, get a domain that stands out, think about it carefully.

12. Take your time to choose a good domain so you don’t make a mistake.

Finding a suitable name is a bit difficult and sometimes when you go to check the availability of a domain, you find that it is not free.

How to know if a domain is free can be seen from any tool such as FastCoUk or Hostinger for example.

Even from one day to the next that domain may not sound as good as you thought.

Don’t rush and buy it quickly, unless you are very sure about it. Then there is no turning back.

Conclusion

After looking at these recommendations for choosing a name, check if the domain name you have in mind is really a good one.

Ask your friends, colleagues and family what they think of it.

Remember that a domain name will have to sound good and create a memory.

Now that you know the name you want for your domain name, see if it is free and host it on a quality server that gives it away for free for the first year.

If you found this post interesting, leave me a comment and let me know what idea you have for your domain or any questions you may have.

MIHAI DOBRE

Hey there! This is Mihai Dobre. I’m a freelance web designer and developer that operates in the UK and Spain, I can also work remotely, servicing worldwide. If you have an upcoming project you’d like to discuss then please get in touch.

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