How to Select the Best Domain Name is an 8 Step Guide to ensure that you get the best domain name, and are aware of what is involved in this decision.
If you think Choosing the Correct Name Domain Name is easy, think again. Even we made a mistake. Our site is Contented Traveller, yet there are 2 of us traveling together. It should be Contented Travellers, which we now own as well. However, Gordon had purchased Contented Traveller as a domain name, long before we even got into travel writing.
This, however, is not as big a problem as some other domains that we have seen, like www.whorepresents.com and http://speedofart.com. They are either very clever at marketing or didn’t look at the way it reads.
On a side note, http://speedofart.com seems to have emptied their site of any content, after being domain shamed yet their domain authority continues to grow. Probably because people like me link to it to show it as an example of what not to do. I can only guess that the owner will sell at a very nice profit.
Choosing the Correct Name Domain Name will take time.
- 1 Choosing the Correct Name Domain Name will take time.
- 2 1. What is Your Site About?
- 3 2. Think Long Term
- 4 3. You Don’t Have to be Boring.
- 5 4. Don’t be Silly when you Choose your Domain Name
- 6 5. Choose only .com
- 7 6. Check Whether your Domain Name is Available.
- 8 7. Check Social Media to see if the name is available.
- 9 Late and Excellent Recommendation
- 10 8. Check Out Your Competition
Remember, you are starting your site to be a stayer, so your domain name needs to be as on task now as it will be in 10 or 20 years.
Treat you site as a business from day 1.
1. What is Your Site About?
Don’t try and be too clever and make a play on words, try and sum up your site in the fewest words possible, while still making it memorable. Ask these questions.
What exactly is your site about? If it is about food, then I should know that from reading the domain name. That is not saying it has to have food in the title, but it does need to tell the audience that food is the topic. Have a look at one of my favorite foodie sites, Pinch of Yum – clever, about food, and a bit of cute and unique.
Is your site about travel? Well yes, ours is and thanks for asking. Are we contented? Well yes, although it does suggest serene traveling it is much more tempestuous, but based on the principles of serendipity, and it does have traveller in the title.
Recommendation: Brainstorm your ideas and what it is you will be writing many many many articles about. Come up with 5 Keywords that describe your business.
2. Think Long Term
So you are a 20-year-old backpacker, starting a blog and looking to make it a business from day one. So you purchase the domain name 20yearoldbackpacker. That’s great until you are not 20, and if you are a lot older and still writing under this URL, your credibility might take a hit.
Recommendation: Picture yourself as a mega successful writer/marketer/guru in 10 years time, what do you want to be known as?
3. You Don’t Have to be Boring.
Once you know in your own head what your site is about, you can start to be you, by making it unique, catchy yet simple. Remember, there are millions of domain names registered, and your dream name may well already be taken. This is a bitch but it happens.
Recommendation: Write down as many names that you would be happy to live with long term, and that are representative of you and your brand.
4. Don’t be Silly when you Choose your Domain Name
What sounds clever or a play on words may end up being a curse. Don’t be smutty, or use slang. You want to project a professional image. That doesn’t mean you have to be beige, but just be cautious.
Recommendation: Get other people to look at your domain names with you. Eg: This company is Master Bait and Tackle, a fishing store, but their domain name is masterbaitonline.com. Apparently this was accidental, and were these other domain names that you can read here.
5. Choose only .com
Why only .com?
I will refer to higher authorities on this one. However, a dot.com for a long term site seems to sit better with your audiences, who know dot com. They don’t have to think about whether you are a dot net or a dot org.
Recommendation: Listen to the experts.
6. Check Whether your Domain Name is Available.
Go to GoDaddy, or another domain name checking site and see if the domain name that you have selected is available. There are a couple of scenarios, pictured below and the 3rd one is a kick in the guts.
I have no affiliation with GoDaddy, it is just useful for checking.
You have done all of the above steps, know exactly what represents your site, but the domain name is registered. Go to your brainstorm board that you have created, and try each and everyone.
Recommendation: Don’t buy your Domain Name yet, as you will find that when you Choose Your Domain Hosting they probably include it in the package. You may choose GoDaddy as the hosting site, but wait and read the article on How to Choose Your Domain Hosting first. This will be available soon.
7. Check Social Media to see if the name is available.
You want everything to be as consistent as possible. You have checked the domain name that you love and it is free, but are the social media handles that you will need on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram free too? These are all direct links to our accounts and blatant publicity for you to follow us.
Have a look at our Twitter handle, it is @gordyandpaula, not because @contentedtraveller was not available, it is just that Twitter only allows 15 characters so ours was too long. It is not a killer for us, far from it, we actually do very well but if you do a search for @contentedtraveller, you will see it in comments because people think that is our handle.
Recommendation: Use a spreadsheet to keep all of your information, so you don’t get confused.
Late and Excellent Recommendation
8. Check Out Your Competition
Are there any other sites that are similar to your domain name that you want, that may cause confusion? Will people go to their site and not yours by accident? Are they too big a threat to go head to head with?
Recommendation: Be strategic, and be yourself.
While all of this seems to be a lot of work, it is because it does need to be carefully considered. You want a domain name that is you and one that represents your business and will for the long haul.
Take your time, and do your homework. There will be more articles coming up to walk you through the entire process of setting up a website. This is how to pick the best domain name.