If you’re in the process of coming up with a great domain name, you might feel overwhelmed. Many of the word combinations you try are already taken. You’re unsure if a .com domain is truly necessary. Maybe you wonder if you should include popular keywords in your domain name.
Here are 6 things your domain name needs to be to get your website more attention online.
Your domain needs to be:
1. Easy to spell
If your preferred spelling isn’t available, it can be tempting to choose a new way to spell an existing word. In most cases, that’s a bad idea. People will look for your site using the correct spelling, which will lead them directly to the domain that already had the name you wanted. That’s bad for business.
Choose a name that is easy to spell and people will find your website much more easily.
2. Inclusive of keywords
Include your industry’s top keywords in your domain name if possible. When you include keywords in a domain name, you’ll rank higher in search and drive more organic traffic to your website.
You can snag visitors who are not familiar with your business, but are searching for the keywords you’ve included in your domain name.
3. Free of numbers, hyphens
Yes, there are exceptions, but for the most part, numbers and hyphens are a bad idea for domain names. People get confused and aren’t sure if they should type the digit or spell the number. Capital One could have chosen to purchase Capital1.com, but instead chose CapitalOne.com. Doesn’t it look much better without the digit?
They will search for your website name without including hyphens, which will only lead them to the website that was using the domain name you wanted without the hyphen.
Skip numbers and hyphens in your domain name to increase the odds of your audience finding you online.
4. Easy to remember
If your domain name isn’t easy to remember, the chances that your audience will find it decrease. Domain names that are easy to remember are short, catchy, spelled correctly, and don’t feature numbers and hyphens as we mentioned above.
Which is easier for you to remember: Waffle.com or WafflesAreTheBestBreakfast-Food.com?
5. Targeted to your audience
Don’t choose a domain name that doesn’t mesh well with your audience. Keep their interests in mind as you choose a domain name.
For example, a software company that targets C-level executives ages 35-60 wouldn’t choose a domain name like “SoftWear.com” or “SoftwareFTW.com” because those names would not appeal to their target audience.
6. Well researched
Do your research before you settle on a domain name. You don’t want to choose a name that is already associated with something that would hurt your business. You don’t want to infringe on any trademark or copyright laws. Doing your research will ensure you don’t end up with a domain name that tarnishes your brand image.
Sometimes, you do your research beforehand but something happens later that you can’t control.
For example, the mobile payment processing company Flint was once the number one result when you searched the word ‘flint.’
Since then, however, the water crisis in Flint, Michigan is now associated with the keyword Flint, bumping the payment processing service down a couple spots in favor of news posts covering the water issue. This could have had something to do with Flint’s shut down. The company recently announced they’re discontinuing operations and sending their existing customers to Stripe.