You want to design a website for your business or personal brand? Maybe you plan to do it mainly for blogging. What domain name will you choose?
The domain name is an essential element that many people neglect. If, for example, they plan to name the site rosegold.com but the domain is taken, they will go for something like rose4gold123.com, thinking they solved the problem. Who looks at this detail, anyway?
This tiny detail is more important than most people assume. It doesn’t matter whether the website is part of your business plan or it’s just for blogging; you want to make it successful and this is a starting point.
Although it looks like a tiny thing written in the address bar that no one pays attention to, the domain is actually the first thing people see in search results. It leaves an impression, so you better make it positive. The domain also affects search engine optimization. It shouldn’t be too similar to another one, and it’s best if it contains keywords.
Did we get your attention?
Now you’re ready for the tips.
5 Tips on How to Choose a Domain Name Optimized for Search Engines
- Use the Brand Name in Your Domain Name and Check It for Trademarks
According to “brandability,” there are two types of domain names you can have:
The generic name is derived from your industry and the purpose of your website. An online pharmacy may use “online-pharmacy.com” as a generic name. However it does not reflect the particular brand. There are hundreds of online pharmacies you can access. When you see a domain name like this, you have no idea what brand you’re about to use. You know nothing of its reputation. FastPharmacy.com is still rather generic, but this service created a brand out of that name.
The first tip is to make your domain name brandable. That’s one of the elements that help you create a strong presence on Google.
If you already have a brand, use its name in the domain. If you don’t have a brand name, that’s the starting point.
- Make it unique and don’t even think about copying the competition.
- Create your own word. Google and Bing did, and it worked for them.
- Use a domain generator. It’s a simple tool that gives you options based on a few words you enter. Here’s an example: I entered “strawberry” and “clothes” in the search bar. The tool gave me 105 results to consider:
When you find something you like, you have to make sure it’s 100% original before you use it. Start by checking social media sites. Are there any pages under that name? Then, check if any trademarks are registered under that name. Justia Trademarks is a nice search engine that lets you do that.
- Infuse Keywords in the Domain Name
Niche keywords may be generic, but they are still important. If you can add them to the brand name, it would be perfect. If you have an online pharmacy and its brand’s name is Black Strawberry, you can use BlackStrawberryPharmacy.com as a brand name. It clearly indicates the brand, but also explains what the website is about.
Why would you use keywords in the domain name? If your users already know the brand, they don’t need pharmacy to know it’s a pharmacy. But Google does. Keywords are an important aspect of SEO, so you should include them wherever possible.
The keywords don’t have to be obvious. You can find uncommon ones through Google Keyword Planner.
- Mind the Length
One of the main rules for setting a good domain name is that it should be easy to type. People won’t always use Google to land at your website. They should be able to type the domain’s name directly in the address bar. If it’s too long, it doesn’t go to your advantage.
Think of the most popular websites that you visit on a daily basis. Reddit.com, CNN.com, Facebook.com, Instagram.com, Gmail.com – all these addresses are short and easy to type.
If you want a precise rule, aim for less than twelve characters.
This means that BlackStrawberryPharmacy.com is too long, so we’d have to consider alternatives for that domain name. Maybe BSPharmacy.com or BlackStrawberry.com would be better, after all. If you opt for a longer name, it has to be highly brandable.
- Avoid Using Numbers
If Strawberry.com is taken, the easiest solution would be to use Strawberry123.com as your domain name. But it’s not the best one. Numbers are easy to spell and you can add them in countless combinations, so you’ll always end up with a unique domain name. People can type numbers without any issues, and you don’t have to explain how they should spell them. Still, numbers are not a good choice.
First of all, they are uber generic. A number does not tell anything about your brand. Unless your brand includes a number, such as 7 for All Mankind, it makes no sense to add numbers in the domain name.
If someone hears your website’s name in a conversation and they want to check it out later, they won’t know if they should use a numeral or spell the number. It’s a mess, so it’s best to avoid it.
- Check the Search Results for the Domain Name You Chose
Now that you covered all the main steps, try googling the name you chose. Let’s say we chose BlackStrawberry.com and it’s unique. We’ll see what Google search results are for “Black Strawberry.”
It looks fine. There is such a thing as a black strawberry on the Internet, but nobody uses it for branding. It’s not available as a web page address. In this case, our work is done. This could be used as a domain name if it was part of a narrow list of options.
But we should also check if someone uses it as a name for a Facebook page, an Instagram profile, or a Twitter name. If there’s a match, it may cause confusion, especially if we’re talking about an influencer using the name on social media.
If you’re clean, you can go ahead and trademark the name you chose.
Did You Get Any Ideas Yet?
In a nutshell, choosing a good domain name is harder than it initially seems. It has to be memorable, unique, easy to type, and optimized for the search engine. You must avoid a domain that’s too similar to the one a competitive brand uses. Even if you’re in a completely different industry, you shouldn’t choose terms that are already in use.
When you have your domain name, you must create a brand around it. You’ll use it as a target for link building, and you’ll keep reminding your audience where they can find what they are looking for. This is a starting point for search engine optimization.
But remember: it’s just one step of a lengthy and complex process. Your work won’t be done just because you made it cool. From here on, you’ll have to make a commitment to a detailed SEO strategy that will get you on the first page of Google’s results. Don’t even think about avoiding that aspect of marketing. It’s how you’ll get visitors at your website, so you’ll get a chance to convert them into paying customers.
Are you ready for some brainstorming? It’s a great technique that leads to your first ideas on an original domain name.