Search is the primary tool of the internet users. The Global Domain Name Preferences Survey by Domain Name Association* collected data on the preferences and internet usage habits of people from different countries i.e. how do people behave regarding searching a domain name via a search engine vs typing a business’s domain name directly into an address bar.
As per the findings, 85% people type the domain name address directly into the browser’s address bar while 93% type a company’s name or relevant term for searching website through a search engine.
So, there is an expressed preference for searching but typing domain names is a practice that internet users, use widely. Before clicking on the search result, great majority of people i.e. 94% check the domain names at least sometimes. So, a memorable domain name is important for a business’s online success.
ICANN’s “new gTLD Program” has introduced hundreds of new domain name extensions. This program has enabled the largest expansion of the domain name system which now includes more than 1,200 gTLDs.
Increasing domain name choices – why new extensions are welcome?
Majority of people surveyed by Domain Name Association (DNA), believed that there should be more domain name-extension options.
Nearly 60% of all respondents voiced a preference for more domain names and domain-name extension options as new domain-name extensions will help businesses to bring a product to the market that is welcomed by half or more of the population.
As per DNA survey-
- > 50% said new domain names in meaningful combinations will be easier to remember.
- > 50% said new domain extensions will make it easier to obtain short, memorable names.
Values that Internet users associate with new and legacy domain-name extensions-
DNA Survey identified eight characteristics in a domain name that respondents looked for while choosing it – local, trusted, safe/secure, valuable, exclusive, educational, useful and creative/innovative. These values varied across regions and by domain name extension categories.
Each domain-name extension (geographic, industry vertical, community) has its own set of values. Users can find the best domain name that reflects those set of values which match with their needs as with new extensions, there is good availability of multiple domain names.
How to choose the perfect domain name for your site in 2018 – the prerequisites.
Before you approach a domain name provider, work upon some steps to see whether you should buy that name or not.
- Search your domain name on Google and see what references and links are there.
- Make sure that domain name does not have any penalty against it. Go for Google penalty checker tools.
- Make a trademark search.
- See if you can obtain your desired name on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
- To avoid confusion, search Secretary of State’s records to make sure your domain name won’t be similar to already registered business name. You can search their site as per your location.
- Search online domain name marketplace like Sedo, Flippa, Bido and more.
Top 8 tips to choose the perfect domain name for your site in 2018
Read on to know how to you choose the perfect domain name for your site in 2018 and factors you should definitely consider in the selection process.
1. Search and include sensible keywords
It is, however true that adding relevant and sensible keywords to your domain name can help your business get easy recognition, but these keywords should clearly define what your business is about.
Try using keywords that describe your business, the services you offer and words which people use the most while searching your products or services. This will help you improve SEO of your website too.
While you mix and match, maintain the quality of content. As Google has started deprioritization of those sites which have keyword rich domains but are of low quality, so this might affect your rankings adversely. The keyword addition should be smooth and should not show that they have been forcibly included.
2. Make it brandable and use it as a marketing tool
Website is nothing more than a bunch of bytes if it is unable to drive traffic. So, choose a domain name for your website that can grab attention and pique interest of the visitors as branded domains are helpful in word of mouth advertising.
Your domain name, being the face of your company, should sound like a brand. Besides being related to your business product and services, it should be catchy and memorable. Use meaningful words that have mass appeal. Do not insert hyphens, numbers, or anything else that makes domain name sound complicated and difficult.
These brandable domain names will help you drive traffic to your website and establish your brand in the online market.
3. Choose appropriate and unique domain extensions
Your domain is part of your brand. Make sure it stands out in the crowd. It should not resemble any other popular brand as this leads to confusion and will defeat the purpose of building your brand identity.
But at the same time, be careful when trying to be unique. Sometimes using an alternative wrong spelling of common word can lead to adverse effects. So, it’s better to buy domain names that are correctly spelled when not using standard spelling, just like Flickr.com did. They purchased correctly spelled domain Flicker and redirected the additional domain to Flickr.com. or else they might have lost traffic.
4. Keep it simple and pronounceable
Pick a domain name that is easy to pronounce because if your URL is complex – has long and difficult words to spell, it can be frustrating for your end users. It will impact user experience negatively. This happens because of “processing fluency”.
We human beings have cognitive bias that means we are biased or have positive association towards things which we can easily remember and think about. This includes pronounceability too. This affects the decisions and judgments that we make.
Avoid use of hyphens as they decrease memorability and readability of the domain name plus they also correlate with the spammy behavior.
5. Keep the length short and make it easy to type
Choose a domain name for your website that is short, as shorter the domain name, the better it is for your website users to type, remember and less are the chances to misspell it.
You can use two-word memorable domain names like yourfashion.com. Shorter URLs are easier to fit on business cards and show up more in the SERPs and they look better in other offline media too.
Don’t use slang or words with multiple spellings, like express vs. xpress, as it becomes complex for users to understand and difficult to search your site.
6. Protect your trademark and avoid trademark infringement
Be very careful while registering a domain name, avoid choosing that domain name which is trademarked, copyrighted or being used by another company. You need to be careful of violating a trademark as it can lead to a lawsuit.
People register a domain with different extensions to steal traffic. So, beware of cybersquatting.
It is wise to invest in closely spelled domains or misspelled domains like Microsoft owns Bings.com and Bing.com.
7. Add prefix or suffix to modify, if necessary
In case your domain name is not available, you can add a suffix or a prefix to create a new domain name. You can also use an alternate TLD extension.
Popular domain suffixes include “.com,” “.net,” “.org,” ”.online”,”.tech”. There are multiple domain suffixes approved by ICANN.
Few of the top prefixes are “my”,”web”,”go”,”new” and more.
8. Be creative or innovative
Come up with catchy domain names. Try creative approaches and create your own word. You can blend parts of two words together for e.g. Microsoft, compounded two whole words like YouTube, use a phrase like Flickr, affix a word with a prefix or a suffix like Shopify. So, using these innovative approaches, create good domain names for your blogs or websites.
Besides above mentioned 8 tips for choosing the domain name, you can use following domain selection tools to find the perfect domain name -Domainr, DomainTyper, Namemesh and more.
Go for .com, if you want to build a long-term online brand as it is the most familiar and it still carries a lot of clout. However, now there are thousands of TLDs and gTLDs (generic domain name extensions) available that can help you get your relevant domain name, define your product and website or business better.
Watch this video to know more about how to buy a domain name.
If you have some more tips to add, feel free to add via comments.