How to Choose Creative and a Good Domain Name
“O be some other name!
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet”
Underestimating the importance of a name is perhaps the only mistake Shakespeare did in his illustrious career sprawling 18 years. But given his lack of knowledge of a 2,405,518,376 member community- the Internet community, that would pop up roughly 400 years after his birth, the slip up is pardonable.
If you’re reading this, you have a trifle contribution in that 10 digit number mentioned above too. And since you’ve landed on this page in particular, you realize what value a domain name carries on the internet arena.
The most crucial part of survival of your website no matter what type of site it is, a domain name is often negated and not given due consideration by people. Single-handedly capable of drastically altering the traffic to your website, it should be considered as your online baby and choosing it’s name should be given as much though as its offline counterpart’s.
People who do recognize its value know how ridiculously frustrating zeroing on a domain name can be. Laughing at your own naïveté after spending days coming up with a name that is reasonably original, snappy and memorable, and captures the essence of your brand; only to find out that it is already taken is not the pleasant most feeling in the world. Unless you want to buy domain name from it’s existing owner (who’ll charge grotesquely high prices for it), it’s back to the chalk board again.
Howsoever demoralizing this whole process is, you cannot bypass it. So here is a chicken scratched list of factors you should keep in mind while selecting and buying a domain name.
Go for .com – Even though there are many school of thoughts with different opinions on the future of .com TLD, the fact is that it is still the most widely accepted extension for a domain name. Why? Because most people naturally assume your website will be a dot-com extension. If you are looking for a long term website and are serious about type-in traffic, branding or name recognition, you cannot afford to miss the .com.
Keywords –If you plan on having a website optimized for search engines, choose a domain name that is full of keywords that are related to your website. For example, if your website were to sell handbags, it is recommended that it has the word “handbag” within the domain. After all, a little boost in the search engine rankings is never bad, is it?
Brainstorm– Think of your ideal domain name and then start playing around with as many words and combinations of words related to that ideal domain name you can think of. Try coming up with words that are
– easy to type
– easy to remember
– not easily confused,
– hard to misspell, less susceptible to mistakes,
– and reflect the essence of your business.
No Hyphens, No numbers– Sometimes you’re just a hyphen away from your dream domain name and really tempted to go for it. But here is the thing- Hyphens and numbers confuse your potential audience. Consider two examples:
A person wants to come to your website, i.e. newyork-handbags.com but instead types in newyorkhandbags.com and ends up on your competitors website. One customer lost. Or, let’s say you want to name your site handbags4you.com or handbagsforyou.com. If you decide on the first one, please think- how exactly is a visitor supposed to know how to spell your domain name? He is no fortune teller and is not aware of your teenage level creativity of replacing words with numbers. Moral of the story? Hyphens and numbers are a total no-no.
So repeat after me:
I WILL NOT USE HYPHENS AND NUMBERS IN MY DOMAIN NAME.
I WILL NOT USE HYPHENS AND NUMBERS IN MY DOMAIN NAME.
‘The’, ‘My’ and Plurals Forms of the Domain Name– Very often, if the domain name you want is taken (it always is!), you might want to consider ‘My’, ‘The’ and plural variants of it. If newyorkhandbag.com is not available but newyorkhandbags.com is, then why not go for it? It sounds better too.
In similar vein, you can also go for mywebsite.com or thewebsite.com if website.com isn’t available.
Search Dropped Domains – If an organization/website goes out of business , someone isn’t able to afford the domain name registration renewal fee, or someone just forgets to renew their domain name, the domain status changes from registered to unregistered and it becomes a dropped domain. Look up for such domains as they might be available at very less prices and can be a game changer for you.
Avoid Copyright Infringement– This is something that happens once in a blue moon, but when it does, it can kill a great domain. Many businesses have lost their domain names due to conflicts with existing trademarks for companies that aren’t even online. Always ensure that someone else has not trademarked the name you plan to register. Visit copyright.gov and do a thorough search before you buy a domain to make sure that you’re not infringing on anyone’s copyright.
Wrapping things up!
Choosing a domain name is a daunting task and has got to be done right the very first time. You cannot afford second chances. Changing domain names later can cause a bundle of hassles and cost you a lot of visitors. So don’t make it a in five minute decision. Take your time, consider using some of the tips mentioned above, read a few more articles on the internet to get an even better idea and take feedback from your friends/business partners before taking the final step.