Your domain name is your identity on the internet and creates the crucial first impression of your brand. Ideally, it should not only suit your blog but also be easy to remember and promote. That’s why choosing a great name from the get-go is so important.
Recently, we’ve written about choosing top-level domains and which one might be right for you. But, that’s only a small part of your domain name. There’s more to it, and we want to help you make the right choice. This article will explain your options and leave you five essential tips for choosing the right domain name.
5 Tips for choosing the right domain name
Now that you have a general direction, you’ll need to know what distinguishes a great domain name from one that’s easily forgotten, constantly misspelled, and hard to promote. When you keep these five essential tips in mind when choosing your domain name, you should be good to go.
1. Keep it short
Ideally, you want to keep your domain name under 15 characters, which should be easy given your options of extensions nowadays. Shorter domain names have many benefits. They are easier to remember, and visitors are less likely to make errors when typing them. Also, they won’t get shortened in social media and search results.
Want to test if your domain name is too long? Use it in an email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most businesses use their domain name for their business’s email addresses. If this feels cumbersome to type out, you might want to rethink it.
2. Make it easy to pronounce and spell
Have you heard of processing fluency? It’s a cognitive bias in which your opinion of something is influenced by how easy it is for your brain to understand and process it. That’s why you can increase the chances of your domain name creating a positive impression by making it easy to pronounce and spell.
Avoid numbers, hyphens, and potential misspellings as those can be misunderstood. Your domain should be easy to share in speaking and in writing. To check if that’s true, try the podcast test.
If someone were to hear your domain name on a podcast, could they instantly type it out and find it? Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.blog might be catchy but trying to get to the right URL in your web browser is a different story.
3. Make it brandable and unique
Of course, you want your domain name to stand out among the crowd. That’s not an easy feat, though. For example, a domain name like personalcomputers.com might tell visitors what the site is about, but it’s not as unique and brandable as something more generic.
Choosing a name that’s unique and less specific can help when you want to expand in the future to other products, services or topics. Apple came up with their brand name and domain because of a recent visit to an apple farm and because the name sounded “fun, spirited and not intimidating”. Another example, you probably have heard of is Amazon. They could technically operate in any field and the name itself doesn’t restrict it to a certain niche.
The domain name does not always need to be too specific to your niche but it should be brandable and unique. Can you tell a story around why you chose the name you are using?
4. Get creative
It happens to many bloggers: You have great ideas but soon realize that all your dream domain names are already taken or too expensive. Now, it’s time to flex your creative muscles. You could choose a different TLD or try something that is not as literal.
Suppose you want to start a blog around pasta recipes and you notice that the domain pastarecipes.com is too expensive. You could try pastarecipes.blog or pastarecipes.cooking or go for something less specific like manjia.blog (“manjia” is Italian for “eat”).
It’s easy to feel like everything is taken already but sometimes you just need to get a little creative.
5. Watch out for registered trademarks
This is a critical last step before you register your new domain name. Do some research around your options to find out if they are already copyrighted, trademarked, or used by another business that could be confused with yours. A quick internet search usually does the trick. Spending this time upfront can prevent any costly and time-consuming legal entanglements.
Secure your dream domain name fast
Found a great domain name, and it’s available? Congrats! Then, you should act fast before someone else takes it. If you change your mind later and you want a different name after all, you can always let the purchased domain name expire. The benefits of acting fast and making the purchase usually outweigh the risks.
You might also want to consider purchasing various versions of your domain name (for example, different TLDs or country specific domains) to prevent someone else from registering something similar. This will increase the chances that your visitors land on the right site.