In this Ultimate Domain Name Guide, we will tell you how to pick perfect domain
Domain Name has become an identity for businesses, individuals, companies and everything else in this 20th century. Choosing a good domain name is not easy now like it was during the early days.
It is very hard to find a good domain name for your business or company as domain flippers have registered almost all possible names.
We did an experiment at Rank My Hub, last month and found that even Sanskrit, Arabic, Japanese, Icelandic and some remote country language words are also used up. While finding a dictionary word as a domain name is very hard now due to domain flippers.
Let’s start with a checklist. Before we explain in detail, why a particular parameter is necessary.
While looking for a domain name for your business or company you have to keep this checklist handy:
- What is your business?
- Who is my target audience?
- What are my products and Services that I would market online with my websites?
- Is my business local / national / multinational / worldwide ?
- Will I offer online based goods and services on my site?
- Is my website is just an extension of my office and physical presence?
- What are my online business goals in next 2-4 yrs?
- Do I need to build a brand or stick with just any name (company name)?
These are some of the most fundamental questions that you should answer first. So take a notepad or book and add these questions while you decide to purchase a domain name next time.
Choosing a good domain name is essential for marketing and branding purpose, whether you are a small business owner / start up / individual / corporate company. Domain name is your unique identity online which you must focus on when deciding to go with a name.
When you know what is your business about, you can find domain names either by using the keywords or terminologies / terms related to your business.
For example, Hotmail knows their product is offering mail services to public so they have used that name. Similarly, Quickbooks is recognized for accounting, invoicing and bookkeeping. So when you know what is your business about, you can find names using the idea.
If you know who are your target audience and visitors, you can call it accordingly.
It might help business owners who are targeting a specific language or region / audience. Mostly local businesses which are serving local customers within a district, county or province.
For example ‘dallasgiftshop’ is something superb if you are going to set up a gift shop in Dallas.
You also need to know what is your target radius (local / national / multinational / worldwide). This is important because if you are looking to purchase multiple domains (Geo TLDs) like my company.co.in, mycompany.co.uk, mycompany.com.au etc., you have to find and purchase them prior to getting online.
If you think you can purchase them later, as soon as you go online other TLDs get registered by domain flippers.
Domain flippers are people who invest in the domain names just like real estate and then sell them for profits immediately or after some years. If you want to register a domain name for business, note that you have to know what is your future strategy.
Domain name decisions might change if you are a technology company or business. If you have an online service offering, you must choose a domain name with utmost care.
For example, there are websites like Grammarly, language tool, etc., which purely caters the needs of the online audience. In such cases, if you have the domain name availability related to your product term, you should go with it.
If your website is just an extension of your offline business, you should stick to the name that your offline business uses. (while following our domain name rules).
When choosing a domain name to do online business write down what are your goals. Having goals is a perfect plan and online strategy. Goals will vary from one individual to another and from business to business. But the importance of targets is very crucial when choosing a domain name.
Branding is a good thing if you have resources budget and vision to grow your business with the help of digital marketing and website. If you want to build a brand, you much choose domain name very carefully.
Here are some most important points you should keep in mind while selecting a domain name for business:
1) Avoid numbers, hyphens, consecutive hyphens, underscores in a domain name.
2) Maintain the domain name length, not more than ten characters because the extension will add more characters.
For example : (domainhelp.com) will end with 14 characters in total. It’s hard for people to remember your domain name, spell it, type it and using for email purpose.
6-8 characters in a domain name are best if you could find such a domain name.
3) Avoid choosing a domain name that a brand or company is using already. For example, if (chrome.co.in) is available you should not register and use it. That will bring trademark issues as a business it’s not good for you.
4) Register your domain name even before you register your business / company. The reason behind this is we have seen lots of cases in past where the customers who found their business name domain as available, was taken up as they have delayed in registering their domain and did after registering the business.
5) In some cases, you have to register multiple TLDs (top level domains).
For example, if you want to use .com as primary domain and you are from the UK, then you should also register .co.uk, .net, .org and .com at the same time. It is for security purpose and domains cost nothing more than a cup of coffee.
6) Try to choose domain name in the following extensions order:
Every year bunches of new GTLDs announced, yet people are still known to only these domain name extensions.
Remember that you should go to .net or other domain extensions as per priority only after you checked that no company / business is using .com.
7) If you are looking to buy a dropped or expired domain which is spam free and can use for business.
Get it verified by an SEO expert who can do a detailed analysis and give your reports.
While aged domains are good for your business if they are related, you should always consult an expert in such cases.
8) Choose a domain name that is very easy to type, spell, pronounce and use. This is very important for new business which is entering the market. An easy to use domain name can do wonders and reduce branding costs.
You can check readability score using some tools given below.
9) From SEO view Google gives equal value to exact match domains and non-matching domains. In fact, if you use exact match domains and provide poor content / no value you might face Google penalty. So think wise when you choose a domain name.
10) Make sure that the key social network usernames are available for your domain name for example:
yourcompany.com is your domain name then you should check if the username / slug (vanity URL) is available with major social media / networks.
12) While there is a big debate on whether to choose whois privacy guard or not. We cannot suggest you keep whois private or public, but Google has something called trust score. Which evaluates the websites and businesses are trustworthy or not.
We recommend that you register the domain name ( the primary name which you will use) for a minimum of 3-5yrs. This gives trust to search engines while evaluating your website.
13) If you register your site for an extended period you might start whois privacy guard after 2yrs of domain age. If you registered for 1 year we recommend you to keep whois data public and make sure your domain whois and website contact information is in sync with each other.
14) If you choose to go with Geo Tld (.co.in, co.uk, .us, com.au) this sets the hreflang and country target audience automatically in Google webmaster tools. So, when you choose a domain name think twice about your business and its future.
When your domain name is Geo-Specific, it will rank and target particular country and region more than the global audience.
Unfortunately we cannot change geo TLDs to work for worldwide audience as target. Consult a SEO specialist if you are unsure about the domain name.
15) If you choose to go with .com as extensions you will have complete flexibility to target the country level audience or global audience. Another advantage being, you can keep .com as you global website domain name and can develop country specific sites on other Geo TLDs.
It is an excellent strategy if you want to do multinational SEO campaign to promote your business online.
16) Make sure your domain is always locked. This is to ensure that no one can steal your domain.
You could check the domain status here: https://whois.icann.org/en
The status should be like this:
Domain Status:clientUpdateProhibited (https://www.icann.org/epp#clientUpdateProhibited)
Domain Status:clientTransferProhibited (https://www.icann.org/epp#clientTransferProhibited)
Domain Status:clientDeleteProhibited (https://www.icann.org/epp#clientDeleteProhibited)
17) There is no need / no effect of using LLC / LLP / LTD in domain names. If your business name is “Canada Candy LLP” just use canadacandy.com. Google gives no value to your website if you add llp or llc or ltd or plc to domain name, so do not do it. Also, from user experience point of view it just makes your domain name hard to spell or type or write.
18) Avoid domain names that are unrelated to what your website offers (information / products / services / value).
For example, you might think you can buy a domain name “ieexplorer” and sell pills or pharma products online, just because people know IE stands for Internet Explorer. It does not work, and Google bots are very smart than you think.
19) Do not register plural version domain name if it is an already popular business or registered company.
For example, apple.com is an established company don’t buy apples.com or any other extensions just because they are available. They are not good for your business both from law and SEO aspect too.
20) Always check for trademark and company or business name availability well before you purchase a domain name.
Make a spreadsheet and keep the tabs like this
Start a conversation now. Share this with your friends and help them out to find perfect domain names.