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[Video] How to choose a great domain name for your business

Posted by Justin Deaville
Learn SEO
[Video] How to choose a great domain name for your business from Wordtracker the leading keyword research tools

If you’re thinking of starting up online, or creating a new blog, finding a memorable name can be a great way of boosting your chances of success.

But, choosing one can be really tricky. For many people, it’s one of the most difficult steps in getting started.

So, here are 8 tips to help you find the best name for your business:

Here’s the video transcript

Hi,

I’m @justindeaville

At Wordtracker we work with loads of people who are starting new businesses. If you’re thinking of starting up online, or creating a new blog, finding a memorable name can be a great way of boosting your chances of success.

But, choosing one can be really tricky. For many people, it’s one of the most difficult steps in getting started.

So, here are 8 tips to help you find the best name for your business.

1. Make it memorable

Many shoppers look around before buying. It may take several visits to your site before a potential customer is ready to buy from you. If they’re to come back, it’s crucial that visitors can easily remember your site’s name.

Nowadays, Google prefers to send traffic to established brands. So, it’s crucial that your brand name helps your visitors get to know, like and trust you.

Know, like and trust

A short, easy-to-remember name is great for word-of-mouth marketing. If you were buying tea online, would you refer a friend to WeAreTea.com ? Quite probably.

What about buy-organic-tea-online.co.uk ? Hmm. Maybe not.

2. Make it short

Short names are easy to type, easy to remember, and easy to share.

Think: Google. Skype. Twitter.

Don’t think: Buy-discount-viagra-online.co.uk

Short names will fit into the search results. Google will cut off anything that’s much longer than this.

And a short name also fits onto business cards and other printed material more easily.

3. Make it easy to spell

When you say the domain name out loud, it should be clear how to spell it.

Otherwise, you’ll lose traffic when potential visitors mis-type your address.

A site like fiverr.com has a memorable name (which is great) but an unusual spelling.

Fiverr.com gets away with its rr spelling, because it also owns (and redirects customers from) fiver.com with a single r.

Fiverr/fiver

However, a site like dribbble.com (three bbbs) is equally memorable, but I wonder how much traffic it loses to dribble.com? (with the proper spelling of just 2 bs).

4. Avoid hyphens (and numbers)

Hyphens make the name less memorable, and more difficult to spell.

The same for numbers.

5. Include keywords

Having relevant keywords in your domain name can be helpful when your site’s listed in the search results. A keyword can help increase your clickthrough rate - which is the number of people who click through to your site.

As you can see, Google highlights the searched keywords - so your listing looks more relevant.

And you can see this happening in both the

  • paid ads

  • the organic listings


  •  

A second benefit is that when people link to your site, they’re more likely to include a relevant keyword in the link, which can give a good boost to your site’s rankings.

And here are some more examples of sites that use keywords in their domain, yet also have good brand recognition:

  • Hotmail.com

  • Travelocity

  • Paypal.com


  •  

When choosing your domain it helps to have in mind a few terms or phrases that describe your business. Wordtracker’s Related search can help you with ideas. Once you have a list, you can start to pair them or add relevant adjectives.

For example, if you're launching a site that sells and delivers tea, you might start with words like tea, drinks, delivery, organic and so on.

And, once you’ve some ideas, try Bustaname’s free domain-naming tool. It’s a great way of mixing the keywords you’ve found to create potential brand terms. And it will show you whether the domain is available to buy.

So, if you can, include relevant keywords. But, not at the expense of being brief or memorable.

6. Avoid trademarked names

Once you think you’ve found a great domain check that you’re not going to be infringing on anyone else’s copyright.

Visit copyright.gov (if you’re in the US) and search for possible competitors.

7. Choose an appropriate top-level domain

What do I mean by this? The TLD - or top-level domain - is just the ending - the .com .net .org or .co.uk

Lots of people who use the internet will assume your site’s address ends in .com and often that’s what they’ll type in. By all means buy and use a .org or .net address. But, if you do that, it’s best if you own the .com version, too.

Otherwise, your marketing efforts may end up sending traffic to someone else’s site.

As you can see, online retailer Asos owns the .net and .co.uk versions of its name and redirects them to its .com site. This is a great way of making sure it doesn’t lose traffic.

Asos

8. Support your marketing

Everything we’ve talked about so far counts for nothing if you’re not also supporting your core marketing message.

For most businesses, your marketing should be encouraging potential customers to know like and trust you.

So, before you buy a domain, double check that your chosen name is likely to get potential visitors to know, like and trust you.

If not, don’t buy it.

Bonus tip: Watch what you pay

Some domains sell for thousands, even millions of dollars.

But, don’t worry, if you don’t have that sort of cash, it should be possible to get a great domain for around $10. I’d simply buy from one of the big providers, such as GoDaddy.com

But, while you’re there, don't buy any other services, such as hosting. You’ll pay over the odds.