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The domain name is not only a signpost that allows clients to reach your page. It’s also an investment, which can gain in value, and an important SEO factor that enables your website to work its way up in the Google search results. That’s why I advise you to invest a maximal amount of time in choosing a domain name. In this article, I’ll show you what you should pay attention to, when choosing a domain name for your website.
Domain name as a signpost
Your domain name has to be easy to understand, write down, and pronounce for absolutely anyone. Imagine that your friend asks for your website address, and after fulfilling his request, you hear him ask again: “Can you write it down for me?” Most probably, the next day he’ll lose his note and, eventually, never visit your page. How to avoid such situations?
Think of a domain name as a pass key to your website. Choose one that will be easy to remember and to find on the web. Simplicity is essential – avoid complicated words, double letters, and punctuation marks.
Also, be aware of ambiguities, eg. numbers that can be written as a word or as a a group of digits (2 or two or even too). If you still want to use such characters, make sure to buy a domain with all versions of its name, and to redirect them properly.
Remember that in most cases, the simpler a domain name is, the better – a longer name increases the risk of making spelling mistakes. This, in turn, makes it difficult or even impossible for users to visit your website.
Examples of the most valuable domains in the history of Internet prove that a simple and short name is the key to success. The valuation of addresses, such as: insurance.com, beer.com, business.com, toys.com amounts to even tens of millions of dollars.This shows that the domain market governs itself with the classic law of supply and demand – prices go up, along with diminishing numbers of domains or growing competition.
Most expensive domain names publicly reported
Last but not least, make your domain catchy and brandable. For instance, Zalando.co.uk is much more unique than Buyclothes.co.uk, not to mention the fact that it appears to be more trustworthy in the eyes of customers. At the same time, remember that your website address does not have to be a calque of your company’s name, especially when you have a clever idea for a memorable domain name.
Domain as a ranking factor
Does the domain name have to include a key phrase? Opinions are divided among SEO specialists. Some claim that it is essential to achieve better positioning, while others argue that this doesn’t have even the slightest effect on SEO ranking. Denis Pinsky, a web analyst at Forbes, states: “it’s true that having some keywords in your domain name can help. However, you shouldn’t bend over backwards to include exact match phrases. Doing so can actually hurt your brand”.
Gillon Hunter, the founder of Web Vibes, agrees with this and adds that “it’s definitely not the end of the world and you should choose a creative name over a spammy one”.
So what should you remember about? First of all, choose a catchy and brandable name to make your domain stand out. Secondly, the fact that there’s no perfect match between your domain and company’s name doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to optimize it. Always remember to use your key phrase in a natural way, eg. if you provide tourist guiding services, choose words connected to the name of your city.
If you want to position your domain on Google, pay special attention to using the right extension. For example, you can choose top-level domains that are: taken from the country code (.us, .pt, .nl), generic (.com, .net, .org), restricted for the government and the European Union (.gov, .eu), and many others. Before you make your decision, ask yourself whether you want to position your website locally, nationally, or globally. Do you want your website to be displayed on the highest positions in New York, USA, or maybe even the whole world? On the basis of this, choose the proper extension for your domain. In our example, they would be as follows: .nyc, .us, and .com.
WPBeginners advises to choose the .com extension, speaking in favor of its universality and credibility.
The prevalence of domains using the .com extension among all Internet-active domains in the second quarter of 2018.
What to remember about
Principles of the free market apply to the world of domains. Thanks to this, over the years, your domain can gain in value (in the future, you have the possibility to resell it for a higher price than its purchase value), especially considering the fact that the already mature domain market has become crowded.
According to the Verisign report
from 2018, 333 million domains have been registered in June of this year. This means a 2% increase in comparison to 2017. What’s more, transactions that are carried out on this market amount to millions of dollars. For instance, in June 2017, the owners of Freedom.com have sold their domain for 2 million dollars.
If you think that you’ve chosen the perfect domain name (in accordance with the aforementioned rules), make sure that your competition hasn’t registered similar or identical domains, but with different extensions. How to do this? Simply be the first to buy these variants.
Where to register your domain
The cost of the registration is somewhere between 10 and 30 USD. When choosing a domain registrar, mind if it offers: the possibility of domain transfer (moving your domain to another registrar in the future), additional services (eg. hosting), or customer support. Also, pay attention to the pricing.
A domain is like a property – it is your business card, which can impress visitors with its originality, stay in people’s memory, and, over time, significantly gain in value. Just like a property, you can buy a domain on a primary or secondary market. In the case of the latter, always check the domain’s history and link profile. Thanks to this, you’ll make sure that your domain doesn’t turn out to be a Pandora’s box, just like a defective property.
Congrats! You’ve made it through the 3 Decisions That You Should Make Before Using WordPress to Create Your Website series. You’ve chosen the right WordPress platform and a hosting service, and today you’ve learned how to create the perfect domain name. Now it’s time to start your own website. Good luck!