Your domain name and URL play an important role in research. Not only is this the destination where your visitors will find you and your content, but the area you choose can affect your search visibility. While there are more domain options than ever before, there are still some best practices that you should follow if you want to achieve optimal results …
As of our date of publication in September 2017, ICANN recognizes 1,547 top-level domains (TLDs). While this means you have more choices than ever, it doesn’t make it easier to choose a domain. To make sure you get the right domain for your business, consider these 10 tips.
1. Start with the keywords
Mix them up and see what looks right and logical. Don’t force the process – just let it flow.
For example, let’s say you promote a local bakery. Some terms you want to include will be your city, fresh bread, baked goods, bakery, etc.
Here’s some professional advice: use prefixes and suffixes to help you create a good, attention-grabbing domain. For this example, you may end up with a domain like painfrais.com.
2. Make it unique
Be careful, don’t try to be too unique. Forcing another spelling of a common word can cause big problems. An example cited in the book, “The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization,” is that of popular image site Flickr.
When the founders of the site established their domain, they did not use the standard spelling, flicker.com, and they may have lost traffic as a result. They ended up having to buy the correctly spelled domain and have the additional domain redirect to Flickr.com.
3. Opt for a .COM
If you are serious about building a long term brand online, there is nothing better than a .com. Using a 301 redirect to drive traffic to a .net or .org is completely fine, but having the equivalent .com or TLD for your target country is essential.
There are several reasons why this matters, but the most important is for your users. Although there are thousands of TLDs to choose from, .com still carries the most confidence with it.
4. Facilitate data entry
If your URL is difficult to type, people will not. Difficult-to-spell words and long URL lengths can be extremely frustrating for your end users.
Of course, you can add a good keyword with a long URL. But if the user experience is negatively affected, you will ultimately suffer, and therefore we suggest that you repeat it well with your friends before making any decisions.
5. Make it memorable
Word of mouth marketing is always the best of all. If you want to help your brand spread faster, make your domain easy to remember. Having a great site won’t matter if no one can remember your domain name.
6. Keep it short
Shorter URLs are easier to type and remember. They also allow more of the URL to show up in SERPs, they better match business cards and are better in other offline media.
7. Create and meet expectations
What is the expectation you want to set when someone hears your URL for the first time? If they can’t instantly understand what you are doing or who you are, you have a problem.
Although sites like Amazon, Trulia, Google and Trivago look cool, it takes a lot more marketing and branding to make them work. Domains such as NYtimes.com, Homes.com and Overstock.com let you know what to expect.
8. Build your brand
If you can’t find a good domain that meets the above rule, use the mark to distinguish yourself.
Note that due to this need for brand building, you will likely be slower to gain speed than if you were using a simpler and generic one. However, “Exact match domain” strategies generally pay less in the long run. Do not base your entire strategy on your domain name. Instead, be sure to quickly associate your domain name with attractive and engaging advertising to take advantage of favorable statistics from your launch.
9. Don’t fall for trends
Just because something is trending now, that doesn’t mean it will always be. Copying what someone else is doing can lead you down the wrong path. Stay away from strange emotions and many hyphens or numbers. Keep it simple, focused and easy to remember.
10. Try a domain selection tool
If you’re having trouble brainstorming an idea, don’t worry, the Internet has a wide back.
Try using a domain selection tool to help you find the perfect domain. Tools like DomainsBot or NameMesh can help you find that perfect domain. But don’t forget to follow the above tips when using them.