Creating a new website from scratch can be a daunting task. There are just so many tiny little details that you have to pay attention to. You have to think about the design, making sure it looks easy on the eye but also making the design extremely functional. After all, it doesn’t matter which colors you’ve chosen if the user can’t find whatever they’re looking for on your website. Another detail that could make or break your website is its domain name.
Domain names play an important role in any website. Unfortunately, too many creators rush through this decision and don’t pick a domain name that’s the best it can be. Doing so significantly impacts your website and could hinder its potential going forward. So, with that in mind, here is everything you need to know about how to choose the perfect domain name for your website.
The Importance of a Great Domain Name
First, we should discuss why it’s important that you take the time to choose a good domain name when designing your website. A great domain name will have a few key benefits for your website and business. For starters, it will help people to find your website. If your domain name is unrelated to your business or if it’s hard to remember, people are less likely to visit it.
Second, search engines like when a domain name matches the content on the site. By choosing a great domain name, you make it more likely that you’ll appear higher in search results, which in turn will drive more traffic to your site. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is when you take into account the criteria that search engines use to determine their rankings when building and marketing your website. It’s important for all websites to learn about SEO best practices and a good domain name is a great place to start.
To get started with coming up with ideas for a domain name, you should do some simple brainstorming. Spend some time just jotting down ideas and words that come to mind when you think about the purpose of your website. Write down every idea that comes to mind then start to narrow them down to your favorites.
After that, it’s a good idea to ask whoever’s helping you on that project or even some friends or family members if they have any ideas. See what suggestions they might have and run your own favorites by them. Working together, you should be able to come up with a few great domain name ideas that suit your website.
Once you have some general ideas for your domain name, now you’ll want to conduct some keyword research. When someone uses a search engine, they typically search using keywords. For example, rather than typing in “I am looking for a pizza place in New York City”, someone would search for “Pizza place NYC”. Search engines like Google look for these keywords on websites to help them determine their search results. By including the right keywords in your domain name, you can help to improve your search ranking.
So, how do you know which keywords are best? With a little research. There are a number of keyword research tools available that can help you find the best keywords to use on your website. The best keywords are the ones that have a balance between a large number of people searching for it and a reasonable amount of competition. For instance, “pizza place NYC” might get the most searches, but “pizza place in Queens” might have a little less competition while still having plenty of people searching it.
Spend some time using keyword research tools to find which keywords are best for your website. Then see if any of those words are in the ideas you brainstormed in the previous step. While you don’t necessarily have to have keywords in your domain name if you can work them in naturally, it may help your search ranking. This guide offers some more advice on how to best conduct keyword research.
By this point, you should have a pretty good idea as to what you want your domain name to be. Now you need to make sure this name is actually available. “BestPizzaNYC.com” may sound great, but there’s a strong chance someone else already registered it.
Find a domain registrar and start going through the options you came up with. If the domain name is already taken, you’ll either have to cross it off your list or try different variations of it. For example, instead of “BestPizzaNYC.com”, you could go with “BestPizzaNYC.co” or “BestPizzaNYC.biz”. For domain names, “.com” is the most popular choice, but if you’re willing to go with a different ending, it’s often a great way to get the cheapest domain names.
Finally, most domain registrars will offer you available domain names related to your search if your first choice is unavailable. Go through all of the options you came up with and see what’s available. You may need to play around with different variations of your options, but by the end of it, you should be able to find a good domain name that suits your purposes.
There are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing a domain name for this website you’re creating. The first is to keep it simple. Long domain names are hard to remember. The shorter and simpler you can keep it, the more likely it is that people will remember how to find your website. Not only that, but imagine having to include a long, complicated domain name on all your materials when trying to market a small business – it won’t work that well.
Second, keep it easy to spell. Going with an oddly spelled word is a great way to find a domain name that’s available, but it’s not always the best idea. You don’t want people trying all sorts of different combinations trying to remember exactly how to spell your web address whenever they want to come to your site. Not only that but if your word is too complicated to spell, you’re more likely to make a mistake yourself and misspell it from time to time. So, unique words are okay, but keep them easy to spell.
Finally, consider using your own name. If this website is for a personal business, your own name is easy to remember, likely available for registration and perfectly unique. This will, of course, depend on the type of website you’re running, but using your own name as the domain is a great way to start branding yourself.
Don’t Rush Through Your Domain Name Choice
It’s important that you try to get your domain name right on the first try. Once you start marketing your website, it becomes even harder to change your domain to something else. If you take the time now to get the decision right, you can set yourself up for long term success by having a domain name that is catchy, easy to remember, suitable for your website and one that search engines love.