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5 Tips for How to Pick the Best Domain Name

October 25, 2010

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There are a lot of tips about how to pick the best domain name.  Which ones are the most important?  The following are five of the most important tips for picking the best domain name.

Tip #1: Use your company name.

Yes, this is probably common sense, but if you’re looking for a domain name for your company, the first place to start is with your company name as the domain name.

By using your company name, any time a customer looks you up by your name, they’ll find you online.  Also, if your company name is unique enough, you’ll automatically rank high in searches that use it.

Again, using your company name as a domain name is pretty much a no brainer.  But if for any reason your company name isn’t available or it breaks one of the rules below, you may want to pick a different name.  Keep reading to find out if that’s the case.

Tip #2: Make sure your domain name is easy to remember.

If you tell your domain name to a customer on the street or over the phone, they should be able to remember it the next time they get online.  If it’s too difficult to spell or too complicated, it can be hard to remember.  The less complicated and the easier it is to remember, the better.

As an example, Yahoonews.com is easier to remember than News.Yahoo.com (even though news.yahoo.com is the address for Yahoo’s news site).

To test the new name, tell your domain name to a friend or family member and see if they remember it the next time you talk to them.  If they don’t, you might want to consider a different address.

Tip #3: Keep it short and sweet.

As long as it is easy to remember, the shorter the domain name, the better.  The top online companies have succeeded in keeping their domain names short and sweet.

Some examples are: Google.com, eBay.com, ESPN.com, and CNN.com.  The list goes on and on.  The less your customers have to type, the less likely they are to make a mistake.

Dots, dashes, and hyphens also happen to make addresses harder to type.  Leave those out if you can.

Keeping a domain name easy to remember is the number one rule.  After that, the most important rule is to make sure a domain name is as short and sweet as possible.

Tip #4: Choose a unique name.

If you have the choice, unique names are easier to remember and more likely to still be available.  If your company name is unique, that’s great.  Go with that.

If you’re naming a company based on the domain name you pick, make it unique.  Most of the big successful internet companies started out this way.  They picked unique, memorable names.

Some great examples are Google.com, Yahoo.com, Amazon.com, Wufoo.com, and Wikipedia.com.  All five picked names that stand out from the internet crowd.

Tip #5: Consider keywords.

Unless you are using your company name as a domain name, you might want to consider keywords.  By including keywords in your domain name, you’ll receive a slight boost in search engine rankings.  It’s not enough of a boost to make a big difference, but if you can’t decide between two names, go with the name that uses a keyword.

For example, if the name of your company is Green Ham Marketing and GreenHam.com is already taken, you could pick the name GreenHamMarketing.com.

Again, the other tips are more important than this one. But if it comes down to picking two similar names, consider this tip to be the tie breaker.

 

Illustration #1:

An example of using the five above tips is a hypothetical company called Trophemus Racing Equipment. Possible domain names are:

  1. TrophemusRacingEquipment.com
  2. TrophemusRacing.com
  3. Trophemus.com

Going down the checklist, all three domain names use the company name and are easy to remember.  Moving on to tip number three, Trophemus.com separates itself from the other two; it’s the shortest and the sweetest.  Trophemus.com is also the most unique of the three names (check for tip number four).  Finishing with tip number five, the first two names rank higher than the third, but since the first four tips are more important, they outweigh any benefit from tip number five.

Winner: Trophemus.com

 

Illustration #2

Company number two is Blue Fish Media – a social media marketing company.  Possible domain names are:

  1. BlueFishMarketing.com
  2. BlueFishMedia.com
  3. BlueFish.com

Based on the checklist method used above, BlueFish.com would be the best option.  It uses the company name, it’s memorable, it’s short and sweet, and it’s unique.  Awesome, we’ve got another winner.  Wait a second, actually, we don’t.  Bluefish.com is already taken.

What now?  Well, the first two domain names seem to be a tie based on tips one through four.  Since they are tied, I would go with BlueFishMedia.com as a better SEO name since it will be easier to rank highly for media than for marketing.  If you think that the first name is more optimized, then go with that one.

Winner: BlueFishMedia.com

 

Summary

To begin, consider how to use your company name in the domain name.  By default, people will want to type YourCompanyName.com to go to your website.  Start here.

After that, the most important part of a company domain name is for it to be as memorable as possible.  If you tell a customer your web address, you want them to be able to get to your website the next time they get online.  And the next time.  That’s tough if they can’t remember what you told them.  Make sure the domain name is memorable.

Next, keep the domain name short and sweet.  The shorter and sweeter it is, the easier it will be to type in (and the less likely there will be typos).  Remember — short and sweet is the easiest to type.

Fourth, choose a unique name.  With millions of websites clouding the internet, you want to shine brightly through the competition.  Accomplish this by choosing a unique domain name.

(As a side note, you may even become the next person to get businesspeople to say funny words in board rooms.  I’m convinced that the founders of Wufoo.com and ooVoo.com give each other high fives for successfully making executives across the country say “wufoo” and “ooVoo.”  Props to them.)

Lastly, in the case of a tie, consider SEO as a way to decide between two very similar names.  Don’t start here, but end here if you have to.

So there you have it – 5 Tips for How to Pick the Best Web Address for Your Company.  Good luck picking yours!

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Related posts:

How to Personalize Your Facebook URL

 

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