How To Choose A Great Domain Name For My Website [Beginner's Guide]
# domains# how to

How To Choose A Great Domain Name For My Website [Beginner's Guide]

The domain name that you choose is essential to your customers remembering your online identity and aids with social sharing to help drive organic SEO traffic to your website.

Choosing a great domain name for your website not only helps with driving traffic, but helps people stick, I know, because I've done this with the domain monitor, and it took a while to choose.

In this blog post, I'm going to teach you everything that you need to know about choosing a great domain name for your website, today, for FREE.

Ready? Let's dive straight in...

An explanation to what a domain name is

domain name explanation

When referring to a domain name, we're talking about the URL that somebody enters into the website address bar (found at the top of the page), the domain name is split into several pieces:

  • The http or https part, which comes first
  • Followed by a www or non-www variant
  • Then the domain itself, like: example
  • And finally the top level domain, the (dot) com

Think of your domain name as your storefront to your business, it's where your customers will go whenever buying a product from you, reading a blog post or simply finding answers to questions.

It seems obvious once explained that this URL that a customer is going to enter into the URL is called a domain name, other more generic terms tend to be thrown around such as:

  • IP address

But this is purely the underlying identification of your website's server.

You could continue to use your server's IP address, but this wouldn't be found very easily in a search engine, wouldn't rank for any kind of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and wouldn't be easy to remember.

Why putting some thought into choosing a domain name is important

put thought into choosing domain

Your domain name is important to both you and your customers, if it's too complicated, contains too many special characters, it isn't going to be very helpful for your customers.

When choosing a great domain name for your website, you'll want to consider a few things:

  • Whether you'll change your domain name after you've created it
  • It's your "first impression" of you and your business
  • It affects SEO

Let's dive in to each one of these points.

Will you change your domain name in the near future?

If you're planning on choosing a great domain name now, the answer to this should be reasonably simple to answer.

However, if you don't put much thought into choosing a domain name now, then when it comes to massive growth of your website and obtaining backlinks (these are links from other people's websites to yours) you'll lose these if your domain name changes.

You see, your domain name is a big part of your website growth. Without a great domain, and putting the time up front to choosing one it will affect you further down the line.

My recommendation here is simple, consider these points when choosing a domain.

Your domain is your "first impression"

When someone is searching for your website on the internet, one of the first things they'll see about your website is your domain name.

If they don't like the domain name, or if it looks unprofessional, is too long or too short then they simply won't click onto your website.

Furthermore, with almost 2 billion websites on the internet, and counting, it's never more important to choose the right domain and make a good first impression to your website visitors.

It'll affect SEO

What is SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and it's the process of taking a website that has no one, to making your website more visible to people on the internet browsing for websites and deciding what one is best for them to click on.

It's the search engine's job to present to people the most relevant websites based on certain criteria such as:

  • Your website title
  • Your website description
  • The content, pages and links on your website
  • Imagery, media and other types of content

But also, your domain name.

Let's say you're creating a website to sell dog toys, if your domain name included the word: cat, or the "the best cat toys for new cat owners" then your website isn't going to be relevant to the people searching for dog toys.

It also matters what kind of characters you put into your domain name, search engines like things to be relevant, and to the point, providing answers to people's questions.

For this, you'll want to make sure that your domain name for your website doesn't contain too many special characters, I'd keep it to one if possible, and have easy to remember words.

use popular domain extension

Let's dive right into another great idea when choosing a domain name, that is your domain extension, and this one is quite straightforward. Choose a popular domain extension.

Why?

Because choosing a popular domain extension is going to give your website a chance at being found by chance, but also, it's what people know the most.

How many .com or .net websites have you been to?

Probably quite a few, and it's no surprise that these are the most popular. We wrote an article on what the most popular domain extensions are, and it contains some predictions that we're always updating, check that out first!

Keep it branded rather than generic

branded domain name for my website

This is a big one.

What do I mean when I say to keep your domain name branded rather than generic? Let's say for example you're creating a website and you're going to write content that helps people with weight loss.

Rather than having a website domain like: "bestweightlossguides.com" or "weightlossarticles.net" you'll want to choose something that has some brand to it.

How horribly generic do those domain names look and feel?

They're stuffed with keywords, and this is going to affect how people find your website and how Google ranks your website as well.

Tips for branding your domain name

  • Use a domain name generator - these tend to be a great way to come up with new website name ideas
  • Keep it catchy - use new words, existing words and words that aren't often used by the competition
  • Keep your website name short - a short website name will be easier to remember and will keep your website visitors coming back

Keeping it Mobile Friendly is also important

mobile friendly

The majority of people on the internet access websites through a mobile device, or a device that they carry around with them such as a tablet.

For this reason, the smaller screen sizes make it difficult to type in long website URLs. As a general rule of thumb, at least 50% of your website visitors are going to be mobile first traffic, meaning they're accessing your site from their mobile device.

Examples of mobile friendly website domain names are all over the place.

Can you think of any?

By far the biggest ones are:

  • Google.com
  • Facebook.com
  • Twitter.com

If you can get away with a one word domain name, then you'll already have a head start when it comes to keeping the website name short and mobile friendly.

But be aware of the legality side of things here, just because you've chosen one word, there's a strong possibility that another domain on the internet is identical, so be careful here.

Obtain an expired domain or existing domain

obtain expired domain name

If you've clever enough, you could obtain a domain that's recently expired, or even buy a domain from someone.

You're probably wondering though why you'd want to do this right?

Put simply, there are several reasons why you might want to acquire an existing or expired domain from the internet, some of which, but aren't limited to:

  • They already have existing traffic and an identity
  • There's an existing high level of domain authority in place
  • People have linked to the domain, so there's a large number of backlinks built up

Choosing a great domain name: Conclusion

choosing a great domain name - conclusion

We've identified several key areas that you can consider when choosing a great domain for your website, and there are so many more ideas and topics to cover that we can't cover them all right now!

That's why, we're going to come back to this article and update you with some more great ideas for choosing a domain name, so stay tuned!

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