How to Pick a Good Domain Name Even Your Grandmother Can Remember!
by Tom Duong

Search Engine Optimization Add Comments

Picking a Good Domain Name

Have you ever wanted to go to a site that you were visiting the other day, but for the life of you, you can’t now remember?  No, it’s not time to pack it in and start taking more fish oil for forgetfulness – the truth is that the domain name that you were thinking about just wasn’t that memorable!

When you are starting an online business or putting an existing business online, you will find that there are plenty of reasons for you to be concerned about the domain name that you are going to be choosing.  Your domain name can make the difference between mediocre sales and spectacular one, and once you have picked it, you will, for the most part, be stuck with it.  I’ve found that your domain name is part of your brand strategy as well as part of the way that people identify you, and if you want everyone to keep you in mind, no matter what their memory is, you’ll find that you need to keep a few things in mind.

Should I Use Dashes?

You’ll find that one way to break up the URL and to get a more commonly worded domain name is to break up the domain name with dashes.  While there are some successful websites that do this, you’ll find that there are reasons to avoid it.  It is generally understood that websites with dashes look less professional than ones without, and you will also find that for the most part, typing in the dash will be a bit more difficult for your customers.  While this isn’t a huge thing, you’ll find that this small bit of difficulty can make a difference.  Unless your business actually has a dash in the name, avoid this convention.

Choosing the Extension

When you go to choose your domain name, you’ll find that you have a choice between addresses and their extensions.  If at all possible, you’ll find that choosing the .com extension is going to work the best for you.  While choosing the .net or .org option could also work, you’ll find that generally .net is best for Internet or tech related business and .org usually refers to a non-profit organization of some kind.  You’ll also find that if you are looking to market only to a particular country that you can pick a country specific extension, like .ca for Canada and .fr for France.

Subject of the Domain Name

Your domain name should reflect directly on your business.  For instance, your company’s name can be made into your domain name, unless it has already been taken.  You’ll find that this will cut down on confusion.  If you cannot get your company’s name, you may want to take a look at what your company does.  When someone looks at your URL, they should have a rough idea of what you do, whether it’s computer repair, clothing alterations or cheese sale!

Things to Stay Away From

The more variables that happen to be in your domain name, the more difficult people are going to find it.  In my experience, you should never use abbreviations unless they are extremely obvious and you should stay away from numbers as well.  This makes it easy for your customers and for the search engines to find you and this can go a long way towards getting your traffic where you want it.

Shorter Is Better!

Remember what I was saying before about the memory issue?  The truth is that most people don’t have great memories and if their friend mentioned something about your site, they are going to want to get back to it.  If they can’t remember it, on the other hand, everyone’s got problems and you will find that you want to avoid this at all costs.  Keep it as short and as recognizable as you can. Balancing between a good length and a memorable name can be a bit tough, but it is important to keep in mind.

Choosing the right domain, one that even your grandmother can remember is extremely important if you want to do some Internet marketing.  Lots of people are looking to make sure that they can get the right results when it comes to putting their work online, so get off to a good start with a domain name that is easy to remember!

I hope you find this post useful and as always – you’re more than welcome to post your feedback in the comments.



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45 comments

U Comment I Follow
Comment by Itzhak Schier
2009-08-13 13:43:44

When do you think that .com will for the most part be exhausted as far as the better, and especially the shorter, names are concerned? Could be my own predilection for longer names is not helping me come up with shorter ones but I see it happening soon if it hasn’t happened already.

Comment by Tom
2009-08-16 16:29:16

You make a valid point, Itzhak. Especially the shorter domain names, most of them have been picked up and registered by large companies.

However, some companies will eventually go under and their domain names end up being resold for thousands and sometime millions of dollars.

The longer domain names will still be around for many years to come. And if you look hard enough, you’ll probably find a unique and memorable domain name of the shorter version.

 
 
Comment by Mike Kypros
2010-03-24 11:59:08

Some solid advice. Picking your company name is probably the best and easiest to remember. It is also less work. Instead of trying to get people to remember your website and who you are they are both tied into one.

 
Comment by Albert
2010-04-14 01:52:52

While working at a SEO company I’ve noticed another interesting thing, it is easier to get a higher PR on .com domains than on other, so I would advice everyone to use dashes, plurals but to buy only .com domains.

 
Comment by cdbrehm
2010-06-14 16:16:20

What about choosing a domain name that contains your most favored keywords? I hear there is an SEO benefit to this.

 
Comment by Net Age Web Design
2010-06-23 05:53:23

The days of cheap domain names are fast running out. Internet real estate is being gobbled up at a rate of knots, and soon you’ll only be able to get prime domain names on auction sites. So my suggestion to you is to get out there, and identify your core business and interests ASAP and to do your keyword research around this. Then you need to go and snap up as many domains that are as keyword relevant to your endevours as you can afford.

 
Comment by Web design Darwin
2010-06-25 17:47:11

Very useful article indeed. When you are using a long domain it is good that you use dashes. I my self easily remember domain that can be read in English.

 
Comment by robert Subscribed to comments via email
2010-06-30 00:48:53

Yeah. Great tips. It is very useful, to have a short domain in order to get easily remembered. And it also it should be interesting and looking to make sure that they can get the right results when it comes to putting their work online.

Robert

 
Comment by Chris
2010-07-30 00:02:35

From my personal experience, it feels like Google gives you a small ‘bonus’ if your domain has the keywords you’re trying to rank for in it.

 
2010-08-20 11:03:02

I’ve some blog that using dash on it. I never realize that it look not professional. Thanks for remind me next time I’ll be more careful picking up domain name =)

 
Comment by Belal
2010-08-23 04:20:24

Keep up! We want more!!!

 
Comment by Sheds
2010-09-26 07:22:20

Interesting point by Itzhak, I always find it tough to find new, short domains which both include keywords and sound good.

 
Comment by Garden Buildings
2010-09-26 07:24:13

I find that dashes don’t really effect SEO but are harder to remember. I try to avoid them when possible.

 
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I was actually looking for information about picking a domain name for some time, so I’m glad that I came to read this awesome article.

 
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2011-08-04 07:53:37

Thanks for sharing! I’m glad to see these improvements! Great work!

 
Comment by D2S Web Design
2011-10-12 02:40:15

They have Easy Spellings –
Your domain name should not contain words that are difficult to spell. Using words that have complicated spellings can result in the user landing in some other site. To simplify the user experience, do not use unknown foreign words or those that have complicated pronunciation.

 
Comment by SEO In Urdu
2011-11-12 10:24:43

nice information top, you really summed the domain name enigma and solved it.

 
Comment by cupons de desconto
2011-12-31 21:11:57

Good tips, but for me the most important thing is that short! ;)

 
Comment by Ronny
2012-02-28 00:26:58

Great tipps. You are right with short domains, but its not easy to find good short domain names ;-)

 
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2012-03-02 21:02:00

I know that a number of people seem to think that your domain name really must be some generic name. If you are selling cars. Witness. But seriously, if you were looking for a car, you’ll probably already have some brands in mind. Thanks.

 
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