Best Practices When Registering a Domain
Registering a domain name is very important because it helps you to have online presence, adds credibility to your business and it builds your brand. Registering your own domain name can attract more visitors to your website while using a free subdomain may ruin the branding of your business if the provider decided to take it away from you.
There so much more to registering your own domain but for now I will guide you how to choose a quality domain name.
Brand Name over Keywords
Many SEO gurus say that your target keyword should always be included in your domain name because it adds value. I agree that it adds value but I do not agree that it is a must, the top priority should always be your brand name! A brand name related to your niche.
If you search online about basketball shoes reviews, almost everyone on the top of search result doesn’t have a basketball keyword in their domain name but the brand name that they use is related to basketball niche. Here are few examples.
It means that even without the target keyword in your domain name, you can get to the top by building your brand name and working on your SEO. In addition, adding keywords to a domain makes it longer which makes it harder to remember.
If you’re still unable to find a relevant brand name with matching .com domain, look for alternative keywords or try different combinations. Example for Make Money Online niche.
- JamesBucks.com – Added my name and 1 relevant word.
- SneakyCash.com – Added an adjective and 1 relevant word.
Short and Readable.
Regardless of brand, niche or business, always look for a domain name that is short and readable.
Your potential clients and visitors can easily get lost in the cyberspace if you have more than 4 words in your domain name. As much as possible register a readable domain name not more than 3 words.
- jameswafu.com – Yours truly!
Please note that a short domain name is not always a quality domain, let me give you an example. If your business has a long name like “Example Domain Company Registration Services LLC”, registering the abbreviation name exdcrsllc.com to make it short is not ideal unless exdcrllc is already a well-known brand.
- exdcrsllc.com – My bad!
Yes, it is short but not sweet. It’s not readable so it can easily be misspelled.
Easy To Remember.
Just like what I mentioned above, registering a domain with random letters or abbreviation is not ideal. Why? Because it’s not easy to remember!
Website visitors can easily get lost and go somewhere else if they can’t find you online. Readable and easy to remember domains can be the difference between success and failure for your business.
So always make it simple and Easy To Remember.
Believe it or not, many internet users type .com unconsciously whenever they search a domain name in the internet. I know there’s a lot of good TLDs out there but if you don’t want to lose some potential clients get a .com domain.
Everyone knows .com TLD so it is so much easier to build your brand with it.
Only if all else fails I suggest to try different TLDs related to your niche.
If another user already has your preferred .com domain and you’re on the same niche, do not register the .net or other TLDs because your clients may get confused and it may ruin your brand. Only consider other TLDs if your business is entirely different from .com’s niche.
Numbers and Hyphens
Avoid adding numbers and hyphens in your domain name because it doesn’t look natural and often times those are being used by fake or malicious websites. It is harmful when you’re just building your brand name.
Avoid domain names that are trademarked by other companies. Once you decided your brand name, search online if another company already has taken it as their trademark, if no other company has it, go for it.
Trademark owners tend to sue domain owners if they register a domain name that is very similar to them. You need to consult a lawyer to get advise on this matter, so if you want to avoid inconvenient situation like this, make a thorough research to ensure that you’re not violating anyone’s trademark.
Long Term vs Short Term
If you’re looking for a long-term brand name and planning to expand the scope, consider using your name or generic domains instead of registering niche-specific ones.
Niche-specific domains are perfect if it’s intended to focus on 1 niche alone or if it’s only for a short period of time. Do not limit yourself to one niche if you have plans to expand in the future.