The fourth quarter of 2020 only closed with over 366 million domain name registrations. There are multiple reasons this decrease may have happened, but one thing’s for sure – coming up with a unique domain name that matches your brand is hard.
Not only does the domain name have to be available and reflect the nature of your business, but it also plays into the overall search engine optimization (SEO) of your website. Its memorability and conciseness can highly affect your traffic and site ranking.
Taking everything into account, this article will explain the basic concept of a domain name and help you come up with a great one for your business.
What is a Domain Name?
A domain name is an address of a website. When people want to access a site, they will type a domain name, like jamesbond.com, in their web browser.
There are two parts of a domain name. The first is a domain, which is located before the dot, like jamesbond. Usually, people use their brand name in it. Then, the last part is a domain extension, like .com. This part is also known as TLD.
Choosing a good domain name is vital because it helps define your brand and improves SEO ranking, especially if your domain matches your company name.
It helps send the right signals to search engines when customers search for your brand name so that they may find your site in the top results.
How to Choose an SEO-Friendly Domain Name
Now that we have covered the basic understanding of what a domain is, here are five tips to help you come up with an SEO-friendly domain name.
1. Use a Correct TLD
The Top Level Domain (TLD) is a technical term for a domain extension. There are more than 1,000 TLDs in the domain name system, so choosing the best one can be confusing.
To help you begin, pick one of these TLD subcategories: generic (gTLD) or country code (ccTLD).
gTLD category covers a thematic field. For example, .org is commonly used for nonprofit organizations, like worldwildlife.org, and .com is for commercial businesses, like amazon.com.
The most popular gTLD is .com. Generally, people opt for this extension because it’s familiar and globally available. Other gTLDs include .online, .net, and .live.
Meanwhile, ccTLD represents a geographical field. For example, the United Kingdom has a ccTLD .uk. Choosing a ccTLD can be a great option for local geographic segmentation as it helps people and search engines notice the location of the website.
2. Keep the Domain Name Short
Shorter domain names can have some advantages. First, they’re easy to read and type, so searching for your website will be easy for the users. Also, concise domain names have a better chance of being remembered, making them easier to stick in people’s heads.
The key takeaway is to try to keep your domain name between 6-12 characters. Or, pick a name with two syllables, like Nike and Apple. If you have a long brand name, brainstorm an acronym for it, like FedEx for Federal Express.
Since .com is popular, it may be hard to find a short web address with that extension. In case your chosen .com domain name is taken, try to incorporate other relevant TLDs.
3. Pick a Domain Name That’s Easy To Remember
Concision isn’t the only way to make your brand name easy to remember. Another method is to choose a brandable name that can be your trademark.
Brandable names are unique, pronounceable, and memorable. Ferrari.com is a great example as it represents your business identity. It’s much more effective compared to something generic, like thebestcar.com.
Here are some ways to make a brandable domain name:
- Use a metaphor. Use words that evoke an emotion. For example, Amazon uses its name to convey the feeling of vastness.
- Play with sounds. Employ rhyming words as they help people remember the name better. Examples are Famous Amos and Mello Yello.
- Integrate foreign words. Can build better perceptions about a brand. For instance, Uber uses a German word meaning “above” despite being created in the US.
4. Target Keywords
This method may contradict the previous section. Yet, adding a relevant keyword can be an excellent alternative when your preferable domain name is taken. It may also help search engines and their users identify what’s the purpose of your website.
To keep a domain name with a target keyword brandable, include your company name. For example, if you have a brand name En Route and sell jewelry, go with enroutejewelry.com. Doing so may help people find you even if they only type “en route” on the search bar.
However, avoid using keywords that can’t be used long-term just for SEO ranking. For instance, someone chooses bestbluewallets.com to try ranking on the keyword “blue wallets.” If the company starts offering red wallets in the future, the domain won’t be relevant.
5. Avoid Hyphens and Numbers in Your Domain Name
If the two-or-three word domain you like is taken, it may be tempting to add hyphens between the words to get an available domain.
Still, it’s not a good idea.
A hyphen adds another character into your domain, meaning it takes longer to spell. Also, people may easily miss hyphens when typing a domain name as they’re generally not that common.
Another thing you should avoid in your domain name is numbers because it can confuse users. For example, if your company is Five Mile Gym, they would wonder whether the domain name would be 5milegym.com or fivemilegym.com.
Both practices can result in a traffic loss since users may end up visiting another website instead.
A domain name refers to a website’s address. Choosing the right domain name is crucial since it represents your brand in the digital world and becomes a part of SEO.
When choosing an ideal domain name, try to keep it concise and brandable so that people can remember it easily. If your domain name is already taken, consider including a target keyword. An alternative is to choose another TLD, like .online or .shop rather than .com.