3 Simple Rules for Choosing a Domain Name

Having a proper domain name for your website is crucial for your website. Not sure what a domain name is? Then think of your domain name as a phone number, and your actual website as the person that picks up when you dial that number. Just like a phone number, having something short and easy to remember will help people to find you quickly, but that is not the only factor to consider. Read on for 3 simple rules to choosing a domain name.

Domain Extensions

Since the internet grows each year, there are now other choices beyond the .com including .net, .org, .biz and many more. Since .com is the most popular extension, it is usually the first that comes to mind for most people and ultimately the best for most companies. An exception to this rule is for non-profits who usually have the extension .org (referring to an organization). This leads to another valuable point: if possible, always buy the most popular extensions for your domain name (.net, .org, .biz). These extra extensions can then be forwarded to your main domain name (if choosing the .com). Since domains only cost about $15 per year, this is an inexpensive and easy way to make sure no one muscles in on your domain name.

Domain Name Spellings

The spelling of your domain name is important to your success online. If your brand or company name has an unusual spelling, or a commonly misspelled word, it is best to try to find a domain name that may be more mainstream or easier to spell. Example: I have a small business in Portland called Principal Financial and I do investments. I buy the domain name PrincipalFinancial.com. There is a good chance that people might spell Principle instead of Principal. Knowing that, it would be wise to buy both PrincipalFinancial.com and PrincipleFinancial.com, the misspelled one would then be forwarded to the correct one. I could even go a step further and try to find a domain that uses keywords. This is explained further below.

Hyphens and Substituted Letters

Avoid using hyphens or numbers instead of words if possible. Adding in hyphens becomes confusing and hard to remember if there is a hyphen between each word or just one. Some people might forget the hyphen entirely which could bring them to a wrong website. The same goes for replacing numbers for words.

If your company or brand name is not available, you could focus on using keywords. Using the made up financial company above as an example, if PrincipalFinancial.com was not available, I could try using keywords such as PortlandInvestments.com or PortlandFinancial.com. This would help with my search engine rankings (SEO) for people in Portland searching for financial or investment companies.

Follow these 3 simple rules and you can’t go wrong:

      Keep it short
      Make it memorable
      Do not substitute letters or use hyphens if possible

Remember, domain names sell quickly! If you find one you like, make sure you buy it!