Ask 5 people what makes a great domain name and you will get 5 (or more) answers. It is quite a subjective question and there are lots of factors you might want to consider, for example is this a commercial or personal project, do you want to appear as fun, funky, serious, personal or corporate, do you have a marketing team or a marketing budget, are you based in one country or do you need to consider an international audience – the list goes on.
However, there are a few pointers that are relevant to all would be website owners;
- It has to be available – it cannot be a great domain name if you are not able to register it – unless you are going super niche, almost every simple 1 or 2 word domain name out there has already been registered. So it is more than likely that you are going to have to get creative and get lateral when considering your options. Great news is that doing your research is simple – use our domain name search page to see if your domain idea is available and get some alternative suggestions if it isn’t.
- The shorter the better – see point 1 above, while the obvious domains for most products and services are unlikely to be available, do not fall in to the trap of making your domain too complex either. If your domain is hard to spell, too complex or has unusual spellings in it – there is every chance your customers will not remember that they need to leave out the second “e” and it ends with a “k” and not a “c”. They will probably search for the normal spelling and end up looking at a competitors website.
- Do your research – once you have identified some possible domain names that are available talk to friends, family, and wider network about what the domain name means to them. Does it have positive connotations? Does it have other meanings that you had not thought of? Is it very similar to other service providers in the same sector that could make it confusing. Also consider whether the associated social handles are available, social media can have a big influence on your business and having social media handles that are directly related to your domain name makes your marketing efforts more joined up and coherent.
- Think of the future – if you have future plans for your web project, make sure your choice of domain reflects that. If you are likely to expand from your initial service or product, choose a domain that give you flexibility. Amazon could have gone with Books.com as their original domain, but had plans to broaden their offering over time. Also consider whether you might want to expand to an international market, if this might be the case perhaps secure the .com domain as well as your country domain eg .co.uk.
- Keywords in domain names do not add much SEO value – some years ago, having keywords in your domain would have helped you rank with google. This is much less the case now and your content and the content on the web about your domain will have a much greater influence on how you rank and the terms you rank for. As an example if all our content was about the great kitchens we fit, the fact that our domain is not bemorekitchens would not disadvantage our ranking.
Bonus point – your email address will be a derivation of your domain name, for example firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a fancy or complex domain name it will make your email address less memorable and more likely that your customer misspell it (meaning you won’t get the emails being sent to you).
If you have you have any questions or just want to get in touch to talk domains, we’d love to hear from you – email@example.com (we love to chat and we love questions).