In our previous post, we talked about the 3 kinds of websites you should create if you want to make money online from your website.
Now, before getting your website type(blog. forum or tool) online, you need a name/identification, which is technically known as a domain name.
So, what’s a domain name?
To a layman running around this page, I will say;
A domain name is a unique identity or name for your website that users can easily type into their web browsers to access your website.
But, for passionate bloggers like you;
A website domain name is a unique address or name of your site on the internet that’s technically referred to as a URL (uniform resource locator) which users can type into their internet browser’s address bar to access your website.
Apart from users, search engines like Google, Bing, etc will also discover your blog through your domain name.
That being said, I can boldly say my domain name is myadsensetips.com
Tell me in the comments section if you love my domain name.
Now that we understand what a domain name is, why don’t we look at something bigger and worth knowing.
Domain name structure
- Let’s say the address of your site is https://www.example.com, good!
- https is the prefix of your web address. It’s the internet application protocol of your domain that is either secured(https) or the regular/standard one(HTTP), which is non-secured.
- example.com is the name of your domain. It’s also called the second-level domain of your website.
- www is the subdomain of your website. It’s also called the third level domain.
- .com is the TLD(Top Level Domain) extension of your website. There are others like .org, .net, .co.uk, .info, .xyz etc
For quicker access, below is a handy infographic that explains what a domain name is and the structure.
Now, back to the main issue.
You will agree with me that unlike human names, each website has a unique identity that is used to identify it online from millions of other websites, even websites with similar content.
If your parents could take some time to give you a name that sounds really cool and has a very interesting meaning, why shouldn’t you spend some quality time looking for the perfect domain name for your blog or online business?
Choosing a domain name for your blog is always the first task that every website owner carries out even before looking for the best web hosting companies to host their website.
It’s very necessary to pick a perfect domain name for your website because it actually contributes to the overall success of your website.
Sincerely speaking, if you hurriedly choose the wrong domain name because you are in a rush hour, you can’t change your choice once your website is launched.
Even if you decide to change the wrong or misfitting domain name later on, the change will severely affect your brand name and even search engine rankings.
Here’s a quick question.
Why do you think Apple company didn’t pick applecomputers.whatever as their domain name but instead picked apple?
Think about it for 3 seconds.
Picking the perfect domain name isn’t a task that should be considered later, but from the start and should never be done in a hurry.
I know it can be hard most times to come up with the best domain name ideas initially, but the stress and brainstorming are worth it.
A friend of mine actually took almost 2 whole months just to come up with a perfect domain name for his new blog and then about three more weeks to pick one from his choices.
And his choice actually did the magic!
In this long but awesome post, I will let you know every single tip and idea you need to come up or pick the best domain name for your blog, forum, tool or whatever you are throwing online.
And the good thing is, you will love your choice and probably buy me a beer or coffee.
So, let’s get into the business of the day.
How Can I Choose The Perfect Domain Name for my new Blog?
Here are all the best tried-and-true tips/ideas you need to help you find and choose the perfect domain name for your new website/blog.
Choose a unique, uncommon or brandable domain name
The first tip for picking your perfect domain is to make your choice uncommon and brandable.
But, what’s a brand in terms of a domain name?
A brandable domain name is a unique domain name with no specific meaning but is curled up for that purpose.
E.g of such branded domains are Google, YouTube, Uber, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Bing, etc. If you look at the top 100 most valuable brands in the world, you will see why branding is crucial.
Branded domain names are always unique, easy to memorize, easy to pronounce or dictate over the phone.
With a unique domain name, it keeps you clear from your competition. Branded domain names easily get trust and acceptance from visitors.
Everything that makes or defines your blog or online business begins from the name. Your brand logo, choice of colors and other attributes also contribute to the way your brand is perceived.
Your domain name puts your brand out there and sets you apart from others, especially your competition. The domain name could speak your brand’s functions or services. Your domain name could speak for itself.
When someone hears the domain name, he/she immediately understands what the website is all about.
Whether you like it or not, branding is extremely crucial to long-term success.
When picking a unique or brandable domain name, make it very easy to memorize and fun to say out loud and not difficult to memorize immediately.
All the above are factors that make a domain name brandable, unique and perfect.
Choose a domain name that’s short and precise
Keeping your domain name short is actually what makes your domain name easy to remember or memorize.
As you brainstorm, don’t try to break a record by getting the longest domain name in the world like some of those dot onion sites.
One more important thing is about time. You have just a few seconds to show your brand and it begins from the name. The simpler and more precise your domain name is, the easier it will be for someone to remember.
Apart from the above, it’s a fact that longer domains are harder for your users to remember and users will easily make mistakes when typing or spelling long domain names. This is just going to make you lose traffic.
Choose a domain name that will be easy to pronounce and spell
No matter how hard it’s to choose a domain name, your choice shouldn’t be harder to be spoken. It should easily roll off the tip of anybody’s tongue like “Hi”
If you pick a domain name that’s easy to spell and pronounce, you’ll get a lot of mentions and shares on social media and other reputable blogs or forums.
Visitors should be able to covey your domain name by word-of-mouth. Your domain name is like your surname, make it stick into their brain like super glue.
To help you achieve this, pass along your domain name choices to about 10 different people to pronounce and also ask them to see if they could spell it without looking at the manuscript.
Were any or all of your domain names easy to spell and pronounce?
Avoid hyphens, numbers or unnecessary characters in your domain name.
Domain names with hyphens, numbers and some unnecessary characters are quite popular.
But, is it really right? The answer is no!
One thing you don’t want is to make your domain name sound or look like a puzzle to visitors or customers. Everyone is going after the faster way these days.
Just like AMP pages are always preferred for mobile users because of simplicity and speed, you must make your domain name simple and easy to remember by avoiding hyphens, numbers or characters like an encrypted code.
To be very frank with you, numbers and hyphens actually cause a lot of confusion to people who hear your website address.
Let’s say your website address is 6figure.com. Most people who hear it will sometimes type sixfigure.com or sisfigure.com into their web browsers.
The same thing with the dash(-), people tend to misplace or forget the dash or just get tired of adding it all the time.
The bottom line is, always avoid hyphens, numbers or unnecessary characters in your domain name(s).
Use a keyword in your domain name if it fits in
Using keywords in domain names is also popular and that’s because it helps in SEO. Consider using a keyword that reflects your website’s purpose.
For example, myadsensetips.com uses Adsense tips as a keyword because a lot of our content will revolve around stuff like that.
Some more examples are what to wear, screen replacement, apple, forum, etc
Using a keyword in your domain isn’t a must, you should check if you need it or it makes visual sense to add it.
But, here are some reasons why using a keyword in your domain could be a big deal.
- By adding a keyword in your domain name, it’s easy for search engines to know what your website is all about. But this is easily achievable if your site’s content is good and you have a great user experience.
- Using a keyword in your domain can help you rank higher in Google search or other SERPs. A blog like samsungfirmware.net could easily get spotted for Samsung firmware by search engines because of the domain name that includes a keyword.
Although it could be hard to find a good domain with your target keywords that are not already taken, you just have to be creative by combining your keywords with other words to make your domain unique.
The most important thing about adding keywords in your domain name is the benefit it gets from search engines.
When using a keyword in your domain name, see if you can include the most prominent keyword from your niche in it without making it look senseless.
What I am trying to say is, include the keywords that people enter when searching for your products or services.
Avoid doubled letters or repeated words
As you brainstorm for the perfect domain name, avoid using repeated letters or words just to make your domain choice unique or standout. It will only stand out as one of the most difficult domain names ever.
Go fo a TLD like .com or stick with the most popular ones
There are a lot of domain name extentions like .com .org .net and new attractive ones like .online, .pizza, .photography, .blog, .ninja, .shop etc.
While it’s always tempting to pick one of these stylish domain name extensions, we will always recommend you go after the well established and credible domain name extensions.
First of all, why do we say you shouldn’t consider these attractive new domain name extensions like .online, .pizza, .photography, .blog, .ninja, .xyz, .tech, .nyc, etc?
The simple answer is, these new domain name extensions are not trustworthy at the moment and a lot of people surfing the internet don’t know about them.
So, which domain name extension should you choose?
Pick a .com domain name extension or consider going for a .net or .org if the dotcom isn’t available for your choice and others are relevant.
It’s really important that you pick a domain name extension that will help you stand out.
Here are some reasons or benefits of using a .com domain name extension. The advantages of having a .com domain over other domain names include:
- Dotcom is the first, oldest, and most prestigious top-level domain (TLD).
- .com extensions name are memorable. It’s literally easy to say example.com first instead of example.net
- Many smartphone keyboards have a .com button to make entering website addresses easier.
- Both tech-savvy and non-tech-savvy internet users tend to naturally add a .com at the end of every domain name. This will be a plus for you
- .com domain extensions are the most popular and trusted TLD extension. It’s the most popular and valuable extension from the aftermarket perspective too
- .com extension has credibility. Almost anyone familiar with the web relates to a “dot com”
- It’s the default extension in the browser address bar of many browsers today.
- It’s the first website domain name extension that naturally comes to the mind of customers
- It has a very high and stable resale value
To be frank, even if your website is example.online, some users will still type it as example.com.
And you know what that means to your site? It’s going to give a 404 error each time those pages are opened.
Avoid future troubles or risks by sticking to popular and trustworthy domain name extensions like .com, .net or .org
Don’t limit your website’s potential with your domain name
How can one choose a domain name that will become an obstacle to the website’s growth? Let’s say you choose a domain name like androidtech.com which is basically a niche for Android tips, tricks, how-to etc.
Then you find out in the future that you could write very good stuff for iPhones or iOS too. Oh, your domain is just saying Android and you want to add iPhones?
You can add that but, it will look like there was no plan initially to expand. To avoid making mistakes like this that most bloggers do, always leave room to expand when picking a domain name.
For example, a florist might choose a domain name like orchidblog.com, but then they may want to start blogging about other flowers beside orchids. In that case, the domain might prevent you from attracting readers interested in other flowers.
If you want to prevent or avoid costly and frustrating mistakes such as this, this is the right time.
If google.com was a regular website, it could literally talk about anything that’s searched on the internet because the domain name doesn’t hinder expansion.
Do you now understand what I mean?
Even though you decide to get a new domain name, it will only end up messing your SEO and doing extra work that would have been redirected to creating new content.
This is why brandable domain names are always the best. Not generic, not too targeted but a domain name that can accommodate future expansion.
Target your area
It’s also a very good move to target your geolocation using your domain name. If your business or blog is local, you consider including your city or state in your domain name to make it easy for local customers to find and remember easily.
Apart from customers finding your website, it also has SEO advantages.
Let’s say your blog is basically for UK residents, you could go for a .co.uk for better targetting. Or what if you have good ketogenic diet tips to help women lose weight, you could target the area squarely with something like womenketodiet.com or whatever you could come up with.
Avoid trademark problems
The last thing you should always avoid is violating anyone’s trademarks via the domain name you purchased. Once you’ve decided on your site’s domain name, it is always advisable to check if it’s not trademarked before going after it.
This initial precaution is important because it will prevent any future problems when your website is already a dream come true.
You can check for trademarks online before you register the domain name.
One last thing, if you intend to use big names like Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, etc, consider checking their terms and conditions page to avoid problems later.
For websites that will operate in the US, you can check for trademark status by searching the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s website or a secondary source like Trademarks411 or WIPO.
Act quickly before your domain name is taken
I remember making a list of about 9 domain names that I would love to buy for my new blog. I spent some weeks sharing it with friends to see which one they would love and why.
This little task took about 2 weeks.
Finally, I headed to namecheap.com to search and buy those domain names. To my greatest surprise, all of the 9 domain names were already taken.
Who took it? Maybe some dude I don’t wanna know.
If possible, I would have asked you to buy your domain name without even thinking about a perfect name.
But, that’s not right.
Take some time and find a very cute domain name that will put your brand where you want.
As soon as you are okay with it, quickly visit one of the best domain name registrars to acquire the name for your website before someone else does.
Buy your domain name from the best companies
These ideas aren’t everything, taking actions closes the deal.
So, where or which company should you go to buy domain names?
As a blogger who loves trying out new things, I will tell you 3 of the most tried and trusted domain name registrars in the world that you should consider.
Before you make a choice, here are some keywords you should know.
A domain registrar is a company that has the authority to sell or register domain names while the registrant is the customer that purchases the domain name.
Getting a domain name from the right sources really matters.
So, without much ado, which are the best domain name registrars in the world you should buy your next domain name from?
The most reliable and affordable domain name registrars you should buy your domain name from are Namecheap, GoDaddy, and Google Domains.
Namecheap and Godaddy are the most popular domain name registrars and this isn’t just for nothing. Their services are top-notch and always reliable.
If you need the best places to register a domain name or the most popular domain registrars, look no further than Namecheap, Godaddy or Google Domains.
If you look elsewhere, then it should be when you are looking for your credit card.
It has been a long read. Let’s round-up here.
Your website is the pillar from which you build your brand, and it starts with the URL. When users find you online, it’s the URL they remember, and it’s what they share with their friends on social media.
All of this lengthy article will help you understand why your online business needs a powerful domain name and the best way you can get a perfect fit.
Below is a summary and other related tips for finding a perfect domain name, buying and keeping it for your website:
- Choose a unique, uncommon or brandable domain name
- Choose a domain name that’s short and precise
- Choose a domain name that will be easy to pronounce and spell
- Avoid hyphens, numbers or unnecessary characters in your domain name
- Use a keyword in your domain name if it fits in
- Avoid doubled letters or repeated words
- Go fo a TLD like .com or stick with the most popular ones
- Don’t limit your website’s potential with your domain name
- Target your area
- Avoid trademark issues
- Buy your domain name from the best companies
- Check if there’s a discount or coupon code
- Buy from trusted registrars like Namecheap and Godaddy
- Pay for more than a year. You could get a huge discount too
- Don’t tell your competitors about your domain name
- Buy other TLD extensions for your domain name like .net, .org, etc to avoid competition in future
- Set your domain name payment to auto-renew so you can focus on more important things
- Don’t resolve to use trendy names in your domain because of its popularity. Most trendy things do expire after some time.
- No matter how odd or cool your domain name sounds, once you have kept it on an active blog for up to a year, don’t change/rename it. Changing your domain name will definitely break your SEO, you will lose money, time, branding, visitors and search engine rankings. We do not recommend changing your domain once your blog has been live for any considerable amount of time.
- Quickly visit social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc to see if your domain name is available for usage on their platform. An example is to check if facebook.com/yourdomain or twitter.com/yourdomain is available.
- Don’t buy domain names from third parties without checking the history of the domain to avoid regrets in the future.
- Make sure your website address is mobile-friendly by making it short.
- Always do the registration of your domain yourself or monitor it and have the passwords and other security-related credentials safe with you.
- If you’re stuck with brainstorming for new domain name ideas, use a domain name generator like Bust A Name, NameMesh, and DomainWheel
- If your registrar has a 2-factor authentication feature, please enable it for extra protection. Your domain is more important than your website content most times.15. If your registrar has an app for smartphones, that’s great. Use it too.
- Your domain name should support marketing campaigns.
No matter how long this article is, there are still some unanswered questions. So, kindly let me know your thoughts in the comments section.