I kid you not, choosing your domain name might even take you days. It is just one of those little things that, while seemingly inconspicuous, are capable of launching your business forward or sinking it to the bottom.
A few hours of thought might be enough to come with a name, but please… do not rush it!
The wrong choice might steer your boat from the route to success; if you’re discerning website owner (which no doubt you are!) you must ensure you get the name of your website right. This applies to any website and becomes even more important if your website serves a commercial purpose.
Choosing the Appropriate TLD
TLD stands for “Top-level domain,” which could be something as simple and popular as “.com”. Now, there many more TLDs, such as “.net”, “.org”, “co”, “.edu”, etc. You name it!
You better pay attention to this bit, however. Choosing “.com” is almost always the right move, and for some two good reasons:
It Is Easy to Remember
More people are familiar with “.com” domains, and most of us default to typing “.com” in the address bar. It is important that your visitors not only enjoy your website but that they remember it. If you use some weird TLD, your site will be harder to remember, but if use something popular like “.com”, you might save you, and your visitors, a headache.
Almost everyone will assume a site is “.com”, I personally do it all the time.
It Will Be in The Broader Category
According to W3Techs, about 46.4% of the websites on the internet use “.com” as TLD. Why is this important? Due to the way search engines operate, any “.com” site is more likely to pop than, say, “.az” websites. Having such a bonus for literally ending your site with three particular letters sounds pretty, does it not?
(hint hint, W3Techs’ site ends in “.com”).
When You Should Not Go for “.com”
Yep, it is not always you have to go for it. Now, before you hit CTRL + W, bear with me.
The “.com” TLD caters to a global audience, and that is, by all means, far from bad. However, should you aim towards a local market, a local TLD might be much better. Let’s imagine you were opening a blog aimed towards the Australian market; a “.au” address would be more impactful. The mere act of holding those letters in the address will make locals favor your website.
Years ago, getting a TLD was more rigid, but nowadays you can get TLDs that were intended for local domains. Why would you do this? Branding!
If you were building a website to offer translation services, and if you followed the “.com” route, you could name your site something like “translate.com“; plain and boring, right?
Now imagine something like “translate.it”, it sounds catchy, it makes sense, it builds a whole expression. So many good things can be said about this domain name. Microsoft’s Translator is available under this, and they made clever use of the Italian local TLP, “.it”.
Getting A Brandable Name
Speaking of branding. If you’re gunning for long-term success, you ought to have a brandable domain name, but how do you do it? Follow this checklist:
- It doesn’t have a specific meaning
This isn’t set in stone, but if you just grab a nonsensical term (or even make one yourself) and you use it to give a name to your service, eventually people will associate the word with what you do, not the other way around, and that is perfect!
- It is unique
As long as your competition doesn’t have something similar, you’re good to go.
- Easy to read, easy to pronounce
It must not be too wordy or complex, forego tongue twisters. It must be easy to dictate or remember.
- Sounds Funny and Trustworthy
If you were searching for websites about, well, keeping websites, and you got these options: a) LearnMoreAboutTheWebWithBill.com and b) Webb.io, which would you go to?
Brand value is built over time, but you can influence its grow! Don’t be afraid to experiment with TLDs and words.; if you get stuck or want to assess your ideas, refer to the three S’s: short, simple, snappy.
Stray from The Trademarks
If you’re reading how to come up with a good domain name, you probably don’t intend to infringe anything. However, a word of advice: Whenever you feel you found an awesome name, do a quick google and look through the first results. You don’t want to pick the name from another company that operates in your market/niche, that will bring consequences.
Don’t Sweat It
If your awesome domain name is taken and unobtainable. Move on. The expression “perfect domain name” is just for talk. You are the one who makes the business good, not the name. It is simply a tool, not the entire project.
Popular Providers and Conclusion
The best providers, in the author’s humble opinion, are GoDaddy, Sedo, and SnapNames. From the three, GoDaddy offers a very large catalog, and it is worth looking into if you want to come up with clever local TLD use.
Sit for a few minutes or hours, drink some coffee or tea or whatever. Do it again tomorrow. Take your time! Review each part of your domain, check all the conditions, whether or not you can obtain it, if it sounds good and if it is brandable. The best advice I can give you is: Don’t rush it!