A domain name is your online identity. It is very important to choose a right domain name for your online business. Either you are starting a new business or taking your offline business to online, you should be careful while selecting a domain name.
Keep in mind that choosing a domain name is like choosing a company name. You should make sure that the domain name you choose is best describing your business and can be easily promoted.
One should follow the below tips that will help to register a perfect domain name for the business.
If you want to know more about domain name, you should read our previous guide What is Domain Name – Everything You Should Know
Important to note, few of these tips will be useful for search engine optimisation and increase in traffic and some others are just tips that can be following for a better result.
Keep it Simple
Keep your domain name as simple as possible. Don’t add the words that are difficult to remember or spell to your domain name. Many websites lose their traffic by users typing a wrong spelling in the browser for their domain name.
Prefer .com over other extensions
Some people will be debating that it’s 2016 and can have any extension for your domain name. I suggest you stick with .com extension. Though the internet is popular nowadays, when it comes to typing a domain name people tend to append .com to it.
Almost half of the domain names registered in the world are with .com extensions. If you don’t find a perfect domain name with .com extension, try any other top level domain name. But I’m sure you will loose some traffic since some people will visit .com version of your domain name by mistake.
It’s always difficult to manage a domain name with a hyphen on it. You feel difficulty while typing or reading the domain name when there is a hyphen present in it. Though the use of hyphens better differentiates the keywords in the domain, it is not suggested to use it in the name.
So choose a domain name yourdomain.com over your-domain.com
Keep it Short
Even though you can register a domain name having up to 64 characters long, it is better to choose a short name for your domain. This helps the users to remember, type and share your domain name easier.
It is not suggested to use shuffled characters to create a domain name to make it shorter. Give importance to a readable name over the length of the domain name.
Keep it Easy to Type and Pronounce
A domain name is an online identity. So often people need to type it for different purposes. Try to make it easy to type as well as easier to pronounce.
Stay away from using numbers
It is suggested not to use numbers in the domain name. A domain having a number is difficult to share over voice. I have seen some people are using “4” instead of “for” or “four” in the domain name and “2” instead of “two” or “to”. Tell the domain name of these types to someone, Surely he/she will get confused!
Make it Keyword Rich
Though google has announced that exact match domains don’t have an impact on SEO, I have seen that exact match domains still rank better in SERP.
Even if you are not using the exact match domain, it is better to add a keyword into the domain name for an increased click through rate.
If you are doing a local business, it is better to have a locality name on the domain name. For example, you can use the domain mumbaicateringservice.com or if you can have brand specific domain such as ravicateringservice.com
There is another way to target your users by selecting the right domain extension. If you are targeting the users from India, it is better to use domain extension as .in.
I have seen that .in domains rank better in Google India search results over .com domains.
Match Business and Domain Name
To avoid confusion among users, buy a domain name that matches with your industry, business, product or service. Having two different names for your business and domain names creates a negative impression on users.
In early days of the internet, who were knowing what google, yahoo, twitter going to be in future? Now they are well-known brands on the internet. So don’t afraid to brand your domain name
Avoid Copy-Right Issues
Please make sure that you are not using a domain name that is copyrighted, trademarked by other company. The company gonna sue you for using their trademark on your domain.
Protect your Brand
It is suggested to register all the variation of your domain name. Find the common spelling mistakes of your domain name and buy it. As well as purchase other extensions of your domain name to protect your brand.Redirect all these domain names to your main domain name.
Please note that this is not recommended at the initial stage. You don’t want to dump your money on this at the initial stage. It makes sense when your brand grows.
Read it Loud
Once you found a domain name that you want to register, read it aloud a couple of times yourself and see how it sounds!
You can even share the domain name with your friends both orally and over chat and see whether they are catching it perfectly.
Availability on Social Media
To protect your brand, you can check the availability of the name in different social media sites before you register the domain name. Claim these names from social media as soon as you register your domain name or before.
Domain Registration and Renewal
It is suggested to register a domain name for the long term for better SEO advantage and to increase the authority. It also avoids the issues of yearly renewal of service. Statistics shows that more than 20000 domain names are expiring every day. So don’t loose your domain name by forgetting to renew it on time.
Check Domain Background
Before you register a domain name for your business, you should check the history of the domain name. There is a chance that the domain name you are going to register is dropped by someone in the past.
If this domain name has used for the illegal purpose in the past or having backlinks from bad sources, it may impact your search engine ranking. You can make use of any archive sites such as https://archive.org/ to dig history of the domain name you gonna register.
There are certain online tools which help to check whether the domain name has been blacklisted by search engine providers such as google.
Register both Singular and Plural form of Domain
Don’t loose your valuable visitor by not registering the plural of your domain name. If you are registering yourname.com. Don’t forget to add yournames.com to your shopping cart and purchase it. Redirect this domain name to your main domain once you purchase it. If you don’t do it, there is a chance your competitor will register it!
Register with an ICANN Accredited Registrar
Always register a domain name with ICANN accredited registrars. If you don’t, there are chances you face with the advanced editing of your domain name and during transfer of registrar.
Here is a list of ICANN accredited registrars https://www.icann.org/registrar-reports/accredited-list.html
Domain Privacy protection add-on helps to hide your private data from the public. By default, the domain related details including the registrar address, phone number, email etc are available to the public. By enabling privacy protection, the registrar will hide or replace your personal details with some dummy value. You may need to pay a couple of dollars extra to activate domain privacy. However, there are some providers such as Namecheap which offers free domain privacy protection for the first year.
Protect Domain Account
You have to create an account with a domain registrar to register your domain name. Please use a strong username and password to create your account. Don’t use generic words as your password. Please note that you will loose your entire online business if somebody hijacks your domain registrar account.
Enable privacy protection to improve the security and decrease spam.
Don’t Spend Too Much
The average cost for registering a domain name for one year is between 10-15 dollar. Even you will be able to claim domains for just $1 by utilising some promos. I don’t recommend you to buy a domain by paying 40 or 50 dollars for a year. Yes, if you want a premium domain name, you may need to pay a lot more!
Not all the above-listed tips are mandatory for registering a domain name. However following these tips will help you to register a better domain name. At the initial days, domain name won’t give any value for your online business. But remember that it is the face of your brand and should be a perfect one.
Do you follow any other tips for registering the best domain name?