I remember a few years ago when I was in the process of building my first website, I paid very little attention in picking my domain name. I found one I liked and felt that it wasn’t worth my time to keep looking (as it can be quite tedious). So I chose it and just rolled with it. I then began to spend countless hours on designing the website, making logos, doing market research and getting involved in social media. After the foundation of the site was built I started writing content and overall I was quite satisfied and happy. But very soon all of that comfort and satisfaction I had about my blog began to trickle away after the negative feedback began to pour in and I began to learn more about SEO. The more I learned and the more feedback I got the more my heart dropped. All that work that I had done on my website was going to be wasted because of the domain name which defined my website was in hindsight “garbage.” It was irrelevant, hard to remember, it included numbers and worst of all was not optimized whatsoever for search engines.
So after doing some more research I finally decided that there was no point going forward with that domain name and I decided to reboot the entire process. I went back to began with through research of my niche and using the checkpoints listed below, came up with a great domain name. I registered it on Bluehost, and now this new website I made is now quite popular and the domain name is still very fresh and relevant. The domain name of your website is very, very important. It is what brands your website and gives you an identity, not just to users but to search engines as well. That’s why to all the new bloggers who might be reading this, it’s very important that you choose the right domain name after doing a lot of research and don’t just bang it together like I did. So with my story to the side, I thought I’d make your research easier for all of you and list 7 things which I always look for in choosing a domain name and why they are so important.
How To Register A Domain Name:
Before I get into the rules to choosing a good domain name, I think It's important that I first explain how you even register one. When it comes to how websites work, there are two things you need to remember: Web Hosting and Domain Registrar.
Web Host - The web host is a server that you pay a fee for serving your website. This is the place where all of your content and settings are saved and where users are connected to when they access your website. This web host normally assigns you an IP address in the form of 123.456.789.123. Think about this is as the computer your website is saved on. When users access your website or blog they will be getting the data from this computer (So the better the computer or “web host” the faster your readers will be able to access this data)
Domain Registrar - (what we care about for the sake of this post) this is the "agency" that helps you in registering a name that can be added to the worldwide directory of domain names and send all the people who type your chosen domain in their browsers to your web hosting's assigned IP address 123.456.789.123 (this is to the computer or web host I just mentioned above). You need both of them to get your blog going and there a lot of options but I personally like the 2-in-1 options because they are the easiest and headache free (these are web-hosts who also provide domain registration).
As for me I personally recommend Bluehost. They have exceptional customer satisfaction, very reliable web hosting service and they give you a free domain name when you sign up for their hosting service. I highly recommend them especially for beginners or people new to blogging.
7 Must Follow Rules To Choosing A Domain Name:
1. Make it Unique
When I first made my domain name I didn’t bother checking if the name was already being used. Unfortunately, after everything was done I realized that that my chosen domain name was already taken by a different company but with a different suffix. This made it very hard to get number one rankings for a search of my domain name on Google as the other website was older and had more influence. My domain name was YYYYYY.com when there already was a YYYYYY.org. So do your due-diligence. You only choose a domain name once (hopefully ;) ).
Also, an important tip is to check if your particular domain name or brand name is available on social media websites such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. This allows your entire online portfolio look more professional and makes your brand look more powerful and consistent. A good tool I use for this is www.CheckUserNames.com, it's a free tool online that instantly checks 160 different social media websites for the availability of your brand or domain name.
2. Make it Short
Good domain names are short because short names are easier to remember, spell, type and make the user's life a lot easier. Netflix.com will always be better than say InternetFilmographyOnline.com. So try to aim for 1 to 3-word domain names and try staying clear for more than that. Sure sometimes you might not be able to get a short one-word domain name and will have to add a word or two and that’s perfectly fine, just don’t get so long your readers have a hard time remembering it.
3. Make It Memorable
Unless a visitor bookmarks your website the only way they will return is if they know your domain name or if they search on Google or some search engine. So try to choose a name which is easy to remember and is catchy. So, for example, a name like pickthebrain.com or smartblogincome.com are good examples because they are one unique and two are descriptive making it easier to remember them.
A domain name like www.VZ5Houze-Ling.com or www.StreamSpo3tsL1ve.com not great ideas for domain names especially if your plan is to make a long term online business that you want to grow and actually earn passive income from.
4. Make It Easy To Spell & Type
Even if a user remembers your name but misspells it, you have just lost a potential sale. So when choosing your domain name keep the average person in mind and aim for using the vocabulary of a fifth grader. So for example, Smartplants.com is a lot better than Intelligentvegetation.com.
5. Make It Made Of Only Letters
Try to avoid numbers, hyphens and choose a domain name preferably with only letters. Numbers and hyphens can lead to user confusion as they can be easy to forget and hard to type. Also, avoid writing numerals in words as it can lead to confusion when said verbally such as 4appleblog.com and fourappleblog.com.
The main point of a domain name is that it is user-friendly and easy for users to access your blog or website. So the golden rule when picking up a good domain name is to imagine you're someone completely unfamiliar with your blog and website and ask yourself these questions: Is this domain name eye catching? Is this domain name easy to remember? Would I want to visit this blog by only looking at the domain name?. If you have a positive answer for each of these questions your on the right track!
6. Make It Descriptive
The domain name of a website is its identity and it provides key information about what the website or blog is about. So in search results, if a user finds your domain name appealing he or she will have a greater chance of visiting your site compared to less descriptive and therefore less appealing website. So in website or blog about home painting niche, the website homepaintingexpert.com is a good domain name over say vibrantlightonline.com.
7. Make It SEO Friendly (Search Engine Optimized)
A big part of the search engine logarithm for most search engines has to do with the keywords found in the website domain name. The search engine’s reason that if your entire blog or website is labelled with a particular word, that generally your website will be about that word. So by including a certain targeted word in your domain name you give yourself a significant edge over your competition to rank high for that keyword. So to implement this try to brainstorm the top 10 words that are relevant to your niche which you would be targeting and try to have one in the prefix and one in the suffix until you get a good combination. So if you’re brainstormed words were: technology, electronics, gadgets, games, computers, cell phones, hardware, software, the Internet, movies. You would play around with these words until you get a combination that works with all the rules above.