Clients often ask for help choosing a great domain name for their company. After all, the domain name you choose will affect your company for a long time, possibly forever. Here are four simple rules to guide your selection process.
1. Keep it short.
Short domain names are better. Short domains are easier to remember, less likely to be confused, and will support your brand better than a convoluted or less obvious name.
2. Be unique.
Unique domain names are memorable, and a memorable name will certainly help to solidify your brand. But don’t go overboard with gimmicky or cheesy names. Find something that’s brand-appropriate and original. Choosing a unique domain name may also make it easier to find Twitter and Facebook usernames that are available. Choose a domain name interesting and easy to remember, but make it easy to type too.
3. .com is best.
This one is simple. Most people think of .com when they think of the internet. So it’s common for people to assume your website is going to be YourCompanyName.com or something similar. If at all possible, choose .com instead of .net, .tv, .us etc. In addition, many SEO experts believe that .com domains may rank better. You may find it challenging to find the exact name you want in a .com, but keep at it. Be creative and you’ll find a great domain for your company.
4. Include keywords. Maybe
If you do a little searching you’ll find dozens of great articles offering help for domain name selection. However, almost all of them recommend that you include keywords in your name. Traditionally, Google (and the other search engines) have rewarded companies with higher rankings when relevant keywords are included. For example, if you own a car detailing business, the old thinking is to include those keywords in your domain name. Yes, doing so will make the name longer which contradicts the first tip, but there’s a bigger risk to be aware of. Google has recently begun looking closer at the use of keywords in domain names and penalizing websites that appear too specific. Google calls these exact-match domains. For example, you don’t want a domain like SanDiegoAutoDetailing.com; its generic and keyword dense. So include keywords if it makes sense, but don’t go overboard or Google may consider it spammy and reduce your rankings.