There are two things in life that are hard to name, your kids and your domain name! A good domain name is memorable, roles off the tongue and is simple and straightforward. A lot of people make the mistake of choosing a long drawn out domain that people will never remember. For example, Bob has a pub/restaurant in Killarney. The name of Bobs pub is Bob’s best bed and breakfast. Bob wants a domain name so decides to go with bobsbestbedandbreakfast.ie << This is too long, is not catchy/memorable and doesn’t really role off the tongue. Bob would be better suited with a domain name like bobs.ie or bobspub.ie.
Generally speaking you want to choose a name that is brand-able and easy for people to remember to type and pronounce. Always, always avoid long domain names. Your domain name is as much a part of your brand as your logo and business name. If your domain name is short and easy to remember you will get more traffic and people will tend to share your domain more.
Here are some factors to remember when choosing the perfect domain name:
1. Choose your domain extension carefully
The most common top level extensions are .com, .net and .org. If you are living in Ireland you may want to go with a .ie domain or if in the UK you may want a .co.uk domain. I always tell people that they should go with the tried and tested extensions such as .com, .net and .org. The most valuable domain extension is .com. Sometimes it can be really difficult to find a short catch .com domain as most of them are taken. It is a fact that every possible 3 letter .com domain is taken and are very valuable so you will have no chance of getting something that short! You can find out more about tlds on the NameCheap website.
2. Use your keywords
Google uses your domain name to understand what kind of website you are running and what it is about. It is very import to use keywords in your domain whenever this is possible. The keywords that you choose for your domain should be relevant to the content on your website. A great tool to help you with keywords is Google Keyword Planner.
3. Keep it as short as possible
The number 1 rule to all web design, logo design and choosing a domain is to keep it simple! I tell people this all the time. Nobody wants to try and remember a long hard to pronounce domain name. When people can remember your domain, they can recommend it to friends and come back to visit your website again and again.
4. Try your best not to use hyphens –
Never use them. They are hard to remember and hard to describe to people.
5. Protect your brand and domain name
Sometimes you may get the .com domain you want but all of the other extensions are free for anyone else to register. You may want to register these extensions as well and redirect them to your .com domain.