One of the most difficult tasks when starting a website is choosing a domain name. Your domain needs to define your website and your brand, without being overly complicated. We know it can be a tough process, so we want to help! Let us share with you our tips and tricks for choosing the best domain for your website.
- Keep it short but informative
- Using Keywords for SEO
- Making your domain memorable
- What if my domain is taken?
Keep it short but informative
There are a few things to consider to make your domain short yet informative. These can be broken down into the following categories:
Simple and Clean - Be sure to limit the number of hyphens in your domain name, unless this is part of the company name then you will want to keep everything uniform. The same rule applies for digits.
Short - The general rule of thumb varies from one person to the other, however, we always suggest picking a domain between 3 - 15 characters. Whilst the limit caps at 63 characters, anything over 15 can be seen as overly complicated and easily forgettable. It’s proven that websites with shorter domains have better traffic rates than those with longer domains - so bear that in mind.
Easy - If you are looking into a brandable domain rather than a company name, you may want to consider how memorable it is. A great way to test this is to tell a group of friends the domain name and wait a week. At the end of the week, ask them what the domain was. If it’s easy to remember, they’ll remember!
Pronunciation is also important. For example, Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo are all domains are extremely easy to pronounce, this makes it easier to share via word-of-mouth.
Using Keywords for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
One of the biggest misconceptions with a domain is that it must contain every keyword involved with your target audience. Whilst this was useful in the past, Google has improved SEO methods (as of the date of this blog post) to allow your site to rank without these shortcuts. Great news, right?
Domain names are unique and easily readable links to your website, as such, it can be confusing to find the line between making changes to your domain for SEO purposes and being readable.
Accessibility and usability must be the most important factor. Your domain needs to be as easily readable as possible, this will result in better traffic which then further improves your rankings.
For example, mysite.co.uk is much better than myonlinewebsiteforme.cc
Making your domain memorable
If your domain isn’t a company name and is brandable, you can utilise a catchy phrase! A great example of this is Nike with their slogan “Just Do It” which redirects the user to their main domain.
They also utilise the subdomain justdoit.nike.com, this is great not only as it has the brand name but also the slogan. Both of which are rankable in google and easily memorable to users!
Nike does a great job of using their slogan as a Call to Action(CTA); A CTA is a general marketing term which is used to communicate with the audience and get them to interact with the experience/journey set upon them.
What if my domain is taken?
You’ve read all the prior steps, planned everything internally and when you come to purchase your domain, it’s taken!
Not to worry, there are some workarounds! One of the more common fixes is to simply add a verb to the front of your domain, for example:
Alternatively, you can use the TLD of the domain to make your domain not only memorable but visually appealing; an example of this would be instead of auditt.com - buying audi.tt - with newer TLD’s being released every few months you can be very clever with it!
Your domain name is important, but not as important as engagement, branding and accessibility. If you’ve used our tips to pick your domain, please do let us know! And if you have any further suggestions get in touch, our support team is available 24/7.
About the author
Krystal Hosting is the largest independent hosting company in the UK. We’re also rated Excellent by TrustPilot and host well in excess of 200,000 websites across our hosting portfolio.
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