Tips for choosing domain name from experts

Use broad keywords

"Keywords in a domain name can help with the cognitive fluency biases, but also from an SEO perspective. Google has been biasing away from these exact match and partial match domains, but the anchor text you get from people linking to your domain can help. If you can get a keyword mention in your domain name that helps make it obvious what you're website is about, go for it. But if you're trying to secure a keyword rich or a keyword targeted domain, I would stay away from those in 2017. They don't carry the weight that they used to, and have negative associations (with users and search engines) that you should avoid. For example, I would not purchase a domain name like; RecipesForPasta.com or BuyPastaOnline.com. I would instead, go for something very broad like Gusto.com. Think about Amazon.com or Google.com, which clearly has no association with what it is. These are very well-branded, but don't have keyword richness to them. It's more of a creative association, just like "gusto" means "taste" in Italian. So I might be tempted to go in that direction instead." - Rand Fishkin - Moz


Easy to Pronounce

"As easy as your domain name rolls off the tips of your fingers, it should roll off the tip of your tongue. This makes it easier for visitors to share your domain name by word of mouth, and makes it easier for you to share your site with friends and potential customers. You can test this the same way as with the "spelling". Write your domain name on a piece of paper and ask 10 people to pronounce it. If more than a few people struggle to pronounce it, you should simplify it. Here's what to keep in mind: You want your domain name to be passed along easily by you and others. And the only way for that to be possible is if it's 1) easy to spell and 2) easy to pronounce." - ROBERT MENING - WebsiteSetup


Buy the Common Misspellings of Your Domain

"This, however, can grow your annual domain bill even further, so it's your call. In general, you're going to be pretty safe if you just focus on a couple of the most likely misspellings of the domain. Looking at my earlier example, Lotterio.com could be misspelled as Loterio.com - single 'T'. Once you have those, redirect them back to your main domain name." - Karol K - Winning WP


Make it brandable

"Brandable, meaning that when you hear or see the domain name, it sounds like a brand. Which means that hyphens and numbers are a real problem because they don't sound like a brand. They sound generic, or strange. For example, if we wanted to create a pasta website that has pasta recipes and sells some pasta related e-commerce products on it; Pasta-shop.com would be hard to brand, say, or remember. PastaAficionado.com sounds brandable, is unique, but quite challenging to say. PastaLabs.com would be amazing because it has a scientific connotation to it, is very brandable, unique, memorable, and stands out." - Rand Fishkin - Moz


Avoid strings of words

"If you have a wide range of interests and you also want to incorporate keywords in your domain, you might be tempted to string them all together. I recommend against this simply because it's confusing. LuresRodsLinesPoles.com is a recipe for major confusion when a visitor is trying to remember the correct order." - Amy Lynn Andrews


Make it instantly intuitive

"The ideal domain name should give users a good idea of what your business is all about. For instance, Rand Fishkin uses "PastaPerfected.com" as an example of an intuitive domain name for a site all about pasta. Right off the bat, a potential customer can make a good guess as to what they'll find at that site (perfect pasta!). Your domain name should have the same effect. Additionally, instant intuitiveness gives bonus points for memorability. When people can grasp your site's concept just from the domain name, you can bet that it's going to stick in their minds." - Denis Pinsky - Forbes


Keep it short, but not too short

"Shortness can help keep a domain name simple and memorable, but going too short can have the opposite effect. Compare "PastaScience.com" to "PastaSci.com". Thanks to the abbreviation, the latter is harder to both pronounce and remember, despite it having fewer characters. The first version works fine. The key here is to strike a balance. Go for something brief, but don't mangle your name by hacking off whole parts of words. In the pursuit of brevity, many consider using an acronym for their domain name. But that's usually only wise if your brand or product is regularly referred to by the initials. For example, the World Wildlife Fund's website can be found at WWF.org. That's perfect for them, since their charity is widely known and referred to as simply "WWF"." - Denis Pinsky - Forbes


Check the Domain History via Wayback Machine

"Note: This one is worth checking even if you're getting (what you think is) a new domain name. In some cases, the domain name you're trying to register may have been registered in the past but then abandoned by the owner. It's still good to have a look at what was on it. There are a couple of ways in which you can look up a domain name's history. One of the more popular ones, and one that's also within anyone's reach (read: Not too technical), involves Wayback Machine. This is one of the first tools of its kind. Quite simply, it lets you enter a time machine, so to speak, and have a look at how any website used to look in the past. When I say 'any website', it's not actually any website. But you can expect to find most websites that had any noticeable traffic at any point in time. In our case, doing a check via Wayback Machine allows us to see whether the domain we're interested in has ever been used for anything significant, and, if so, whether it was all 'kosher' or not. For example, if you look up this site, you'll get records dating back to 2013: It's safe to assume that this site didn't exist before then (which is true). When you click on any of the records, you get a snapshot of the site back then. Quite handy, isn't it? If you're buying an existing domain name, it would be a good idea to go to Wayback Machine and browse through every month of the domain's history, just to make sure there wasn't anything shady going on at any point." - Karol K - Winning WP


Use a Thesaurus for Domain Name Ideas

"Okay, so no matter what I say about picking a domain name that's brandable, simple, has a good ring to it, is easy to memorize, and so on and so forth, the fact of the matter is that coming up with a truly good name is hard. Sometimes, you'll easily go through tens of different terms before you settle on that perfect one, while other times nothing will seem good enough. In that case, Thesaurus.com can be the secret weapon in your arsenal. The site will help you find synonyms and also provide quick definitions to help you not to make a silly mistake by building your domain name around a word with a meaning you've misunderstood. Note: As I mentioned above, it's not advisable to just go with a standard, dictionary word as your domain name, even if it comes from a thesaurus. Always add some modifiers to it, or turn it into something original by changing a few letters here and there." - Karol K - Winning WP


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