If you are struggling with knowing how to choose a domain name that suits your brand or site you plan to use for blogging, there are a few things you might wish to consider. Below, I explain a number of things to consider that will help you choose a domain name quickly and to find one that suits your needs.
1. Keep it Short if Possible
If there is a short domain (meaning 10 characters or less) that you can use for your domain name because you have found something short and snappy, result! Great job. Some of the best brand names are short. The name Google, Apple and Yahoo are short and simple.
Why use Ilovechocolatebiscuits.com when you can use a name such as chocbiscotto.com which is much shorter! Having certain keywords in your domain name is no longer that important. If you can buy the exact term such as chocolate.com (it’s gone by the way) then, by all means, get it. Chances are though that the best names are gone and content is much more important than having a certain word in your website address!
Shorter names are easier to remember and look better on your literature such as business cards! Also, if you decide to advertise (such as on Adwords or Facebook ads), the URL will look cleaner.
Hack: One hack is to think about adding a letter such as the letter ‘O’ onto a word to find a good domain name. It might not work for chocolateo.com (I just checked and its gone (ouch) but it can work for other terms). Lovesocks.com is gone but lovesockso.com is available!
Something short and unique can work well! So be creative! Get those creative juices flowing…
Whether you choose a free domain with Bluehost or decide to use a domain name provider such as Name.com, you can search to see what is available. On Name.com just enter the name you are thinking of and see if it is available!
2. A Dot.com or Something Else?
Certainly, if you can find a dot.com address, it is considered to be the best suffix to have (meaning the best ending). Suffixes? You might be completely new to the whole idea of building your own business online so let me explain:
If you wanted to buy a domain such as ‘lovesockso’ then you can go for the most generic and best domain lovesockso.com and the ending with dot.com is the American ending for websites. This ending (suffix) can be the best to get as it is the most widely appreciated. If you can get the dot.com version then buy it! Each country also has its own ending, so for the UK the suffix is co.uk and you could buy lovesockso.co.uk – if you are a UK business, i.e. a locally based one and have no plan to be an international blogger, then a co.uk or your country equivalent is fine. If you want to create a blogging business or other types of online business and you want to attract business internationally, then I would choose a dot.com or a dot.co
Dot.co is a domain that, because it is new, means a lot of availability in terms of the addresses that are still available! So, why not go with a dot.co such as lovesock.co
- A com address is the best but a dot.co or your own country’s domain ending (i.e.a co.uk for someone in the UK) is fine. Many people are familiar with dot.com and will recognise your website URL more easily if it is a dot.com.
3. Doing Some Keyword Research to Get Ideas for Your Domain
With 10 minutes of quick searching, you can easily get some clever ideas for words and terms that do relate to your business and that might be useful for coming up with a domain name. So, how can you do keyword research when you are wondering how to choose a domain name?
Let me Explain How to do this
- Head over to my best friend Mr.Synonym and enter terms related to your business
- Take a visit to KeywordTool.io – enter a term related to the main theme of your business and keywordtool.io will search Google, YouTube, Bing, Amazon, eBay or the App Store (you choose which one you want to search), and it will provide you with a bunch of terms that I am sure you will find extremely useful in your search for inspiration, when looking for some good keywords – making it easier deciding how to choose a domain name.
- Why not also head over to Pinterest and use the site to get ideas for terms that relate to your business?! If I enter chocolate, look at:
On Pinterest, a hack is to click on the terms that are listed when you do a search to go 1 or 2 levels deeper into the terms, to get some further ideas for terms related to your blogging business. Click on one of the terms such as “Cake” and you will see a new list of terms that take you one level deeper in your keyword research.
If you are a blogger, this applies also to using your name. There is a much better chance that the domain name will be available and you are the brand. My own name ‘Paul Symonds’ is not available as a dot.com but it IS available as a “dot.co”. I might have to buy that name!
4. Branding Considerations
Imagine trying to brand your website called “Chocolate-Cake-receipts.com” on literature! A bit of a nightmare given its length.
Adding in a bunch of keyword terms into your domain, in fact, has been shown to have no benefit at all from an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) point of view! Do not try and stuff a bunch of words into your website address thinking it will help you. A website called “choccccccoco.com” is as likely to do as well as “chocolate-recipes-online.com” in terms of ranking. The absolute key will be the quality of the content you add and other SEO techniques such as the quality of inbound links to your site!
choccccccoco.com though would be difficult to remember how to spell and chocolate-recipes-online.com, with all the hyphens, is not easy to remember. So something simpler is better than both of those options. Do remember though, most people who visit your site, will NOT type in your website address, so they will not need to remember it. This is because most people will click through to your site, such as from social media or Pinterest or from a search engine. Do though try to avoid numbers and hyphens in the name.
5. Avoid Hyphens and Numbers
Try and avoid using hyphens and numbers in your domain because this only adds to the confusion, if you include your website address on media such as business cards. People might easily mistype the name. Don’t over-complicate things!
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6. Spellings and Mis-Spellings
Once again – keep it simple! Try and avoid using mis-spellings of words to try and grab a domain. Avoid trying the “chockolate” instead of “chocolate” for example! If ever asked what your domain is, it is a pain to explain each time that it is an intended mis-spelling.
For bloggers though, where there is less of a need for users to enter the URL because your site is driven by drawing people in via writing high-quality content,
7. Blogger versus Website Owner and How to Choose a Domain Name
It is worth clarifying the difference between a blogger and a website owner, as this has implications on some of the points already made, and how you will choose your domain name.
- Bloggers – heavily rely on writing content and so the majority of traffic is gained through someone clicking a link.
- Website owners – a blogger owns a website, one might say, but here I refer to a website owner as someone who owns a site and does not have a strategy specifically aimed at building continual content on the site. A website owner can, for example, be someone who owns a shop and just needs a presence online so people can view the opening times and other basic information for a locally owned establishment.
The difference is important in that, for a blogger, there is less need to worry about a memorable domain name – because people will almost always be clicking through to your site anyway and not typing your domain name! For a website owner, the domain name might be best off to more closely match your business.
8. Avoid the Copyright Route!
Going down the path of trying to be too clever and copying a well-known brand name and thinking you will get away with it, is a bad idea. Why take the chance of having trouble and stress further down the road. I hope you’ll excuse me for again using the phrase – “keep it simple”! Do not try and make a website about healthy fruits and call its domain ‘Apple’ (although, with that example, you’ll struggle to get any suffix with that word) but I am sure you understand the point. Make your own unique domain name.
9. Easy to Pronounce
If you possibly can, why not make the name something easier to pronounce so that, when you are down the pub or are stuck on a plane explaining to a stranger about your business, you can easily explain it.
If it is a domain name that is easy to pronounce – fantastico!
10. See if It Is Available on Other Platforms
Although this is not the most important step, if you have 2 or 3 domain names that you could choose from, then take a look at other platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest to see what kind of availability there is for a matching address on those sites, for when you build your social media connections. Do not let this though dominate the domain name you choose, too much.
Final Advice on How to Choose a Domain Name
Select a Reliable Company to Buy the Domain Name from
If you are looking to buy a domain name and hosting at the same time, then Bluehost is one of the best options because they:
- Simplify the WordPress installation process.
- Will connect the domain name and hosting seamlessly (and the domain is FREE if you buy their hosting).
- Have good support.
- Are also one of the cheapest providers.
You can buy a domain from companies such as Name.com, as mentioned earlier, and they are also a good option.
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