When you are starting a new business or website, one of the first things you need to do is choose a domain name. This can be tricky since there are so many factors to consider. Especially if you are just starting out, it can be hard to find the right balance between a name that is memorable, relevant to your business, and available.
In this blog post, we will discuss some of the things you need to think about when choosing a website name. We will also give you some tips on how to find the perfect name for your site!
What Kind of Domain Name Should You Choose?
There are three main types of domain names:
- Generic domains are made up of keywords that describe your business. For example, if you are a florist who delivers flowers around your city or country, you might choose the domain name “flowerdelivery.com”.
- Brandable domains are unique and can be easily remembered. They are often created from made-up words or phrases. For example, the domain name “Pinterest.com” is brandable.
- Descriptive domains are similar to generic domains, but they are more specific. For example, if you are a florist in New York City, you might choose the domain name “newyorkcityflowers.com”.
There are pros and cons to each type of domain name. Generic domains are often cheaper and easier to find, but they can be hard to rank in search engines. Brandable domains can be expensive and difficult to find, but they are easy to remember and usually rank well in search engines. Descriptive domains are somewhere in the middle – they can be expensive, but they are often easier to find and rank than brandable domains.
Choosing the Right Domain Name Extension
When you’re choosing a domain name for your website, one of the decisions you’ll need to make is which domain name extension to use. There are many different options available, and the right extension will depend on a number of factors.
The most popular domain name extension is .com, but there are also many other options available, such as .net, .org, .info, and .biz. If you’re targeting a specific country or region, you can also choose a country-specific domain name extension, such as .uk for the United Kingdom or .ca for Canada. However, for SEO purposes, ccTLDs will not help you rank any higher in that country’s search engines.
You should also consider the purpose of your website. If you’re running an e-commerce site, you may want to use a .shop extension, whereas a blog or informational site might be better suited to a .info extension. Similarly, a nonprofit organization may be better suited with a .org domain extension.
These days, other kinds of extensions like .io, .co, and .ai are becoming popular as well. If you’re having trouble finding an available .com domain name, you may want to consider one of these alternatives, especially if your company is a tech startup or a new and innovative business.
Do I Need a .com Domain?
When it comes to choosing a domain name for your website, there are a lot of options to choose from. One common question is whether you need a .com domain. While there are other options available, .com domains are still the most popular choice for businesses and individuals.
There are a few reasons for this. First, .com domains are more memorable than other options. They’re also easier to type, which can be important when people are trying to find your site. Additionally, .com domains tend to be associated with credibility and professionalism.
For these reasons, many businesses and individuals still choose to use a .com domain. However, despite the myth that .com extensions are best for SEO, there is no evidence to suggest that they help you rank any higher in search engines. So, if you’re having trouble finding an available .com domain name, don’t worry – there are plenty of other options available and your site can still rank well.
Of course, ultimately the decision is up to you and depends on your specific needs and goals. But if you’re looking for a widely recognized and trusted domain name, a .com domain is a good option to consider.
Tips for Choosing a Domain Name
Whether you’re just starting a website or you’ve been running one for years, it’s always a good idea to revisit your domain name and make sure it’s still the best option for you. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when choosing or changing your domain name:
1. Keep it short and easy to remember
While it may be tempting to choose a creative or clever name for your domain, it is often better to keep it short and simple. A shorter name is easier for customers to type into their browser, and it is less likely to be forgotten. In addition, a concise domain name is less likely to be confused with other similar names.
2. Use keywords
If you want people (and potentially search engines) to be able to find your site easily, make sure to include some relevant keywords in your domain name. This will help people find your site when they’re searching for related terms online.
However, don’t stuff your domain name with too many keywords, as this can come across as spammy and illegitimate. If possible, try to incorporate one relevant keyword into your domain name without making it too long or difficult to pronounce.
3. Avoid using hyphens
While hyphens can be helpful in differentiating between similar names, they can also make your domain name more difficult to remember. Additionally, some people may forget to include the hyphen when typing your domain into their browser, which could lead them to a different site entirely.
Worst of all, hyphens are sometimes a sign of spam domains, which could make your webpage seem untrustworthy.
4. Avoid using numbers
Similar to hyphens, numbers can make your domain name more difficult to remember and pronounce. Additionally, people may mistakenly type in the wrong number (such as a zero instead of an O) when trying to visit your site.
Especially since most web traffic comes from mobile devices these days, typing numbers into a mobile keyboard can be a bit annoying. For these reasons, it’s usually best to avoid using numbers in your domain name.
5. Leave room for expansion
In some cases, choosing something specific is an excellent idea. However, if you’re ever planning on expanding your website or business, it’s a good idea to choose a domain name that isn’t too specific.
For example, if you’re starting a blog about fashion for women over 50, you may want to avoid using something like “50plusfashionblog.com.” Not only is this name quite long, but it would limit your expansion options if you ever decided to write about fashion for a different age group or add additional topics to your blog.
A better option, in this case, might be “agelessfashion.com” or simply “fashionblog.com.” These names are shorter and more general, which gives you more flexibility down the road.
How to Research Your Domain Name
Choosing the right domain name is one of the most important steps in setting up a new website. Not only does it need to be catchy and relevant to your brand, but it also needs to be available. And while there are many ways to find available domain names, one of the most important is to check for trademarks. After all, you don’t want to choose a name that someone else has already claimed.
Fortunately, researching trademarks is relatively easy. The first step is to visit the website of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Once you get there, you can use the search tool to see if anyone has already registered a similar name. Just enter your proposed domain name and hit search.
If there are any results, take a close look to see if there are any potential conflicts, such as brandable names that are too similar or names in the same industry. If you’re not sure whether there’s a conflict, you can always reach out to a trademark attorney for help.
What to Do If You Can’t Think of a Domain Name
If you’ve been brainstorming for hours and still can’t come up with an available domain name that you love, don’t worry. Here are three things that you can do:
1. Use a domain name generator
There are many different domain name generators available online, such as Shopify’s Free Domain Name Generator and GoDaddy’s name generator tool. Simply enter a few relevant keywords and let the generator do its job.
You’ll likely get a long list of potential names to choose from, some of which may be available. From there, it’s just a matter of finding the perfect one for your brand.
Domain name generators can be a great way to jumpstart your brainstorming process and help you come up with ideas that you may not have thought of on your own.
If you decide to use a domain name generator, it is best to make a list of your favorite names and then say them aloud to see how they sound. After all, the goal is to find a name that is both catchy and easy to remember.
2. Add prefixes and suffixes to keywords
Consider adding prefixes and suffixes, such as “my” or “the,” to relevant keywords. For example, if you’re starting a blog about fitness, you could use the keyword “exercise” and add the prefix “my.” This would give you the domain name “myexerciseblog.com.”
You can also add suffixes, such as “.ly” or “.co,” to create a more unique domain name. For example, a new content marketing agency could use the suffix “.ly” and get the domain name “contentmark.ly.”
Remember, the goal is to be creative and think outside the box. So, don’t be afraid to experiment with different prefixes and suffixes until you find a name that you’re happy with.
3. Use a made-up word
If you’re having trouble finding an available domain name that is relevant to your brand, consider making up a word. This can be a great way to create a unique and memorable name for your website.
For example, the popular social media platform Pinterest was originally going to be called “Tote.” But the founder decided to change it to a made-up word when he realized that few women were shopping on the site.
Keep in mind that you will need to brand your business very effectively if you choose this route. After all, people will need to know what your website is about before they can understand what your made-up word means.
4. Use initials
If you can’t find an available domain name that is relevant to your brand, another option is to use your initials. For example, if your name is John Smith and you’re starting a blog about personal finance, you could use the domain name “jsfinance.com.”
5. Explore different languages
Sometimes, the best sounding words are in other languages. If you’re having trouble finding an available domain name in English, try looking in other languages.
For example, the popular high-fashion brand Vetements is French for “clothes.” And the popular skincare brand Sephora is a combination of the Greek word for beauty (sephos) and the Hebrew word for bird (tzippor).
Keep in mind that you will need to make sure that your target audience can pronounce and spell your domain name if you choose this route. You also need to make sure that it is an appropriate word to use when translated.
I’ve Bought My Domain. What’s Next?
Once you set up your domain, it’s time to think about website design and development. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered. At AppKong, we specialize in creating beautiful and user-friendly websites that are designed to help you grow your business.
If you’re interested in learning more about our services, feel free to contact us today!