Tips for choosing domain name from experts

Think Long-Term

Are you ready to marry your domain? You should be, because it will be one of the biggest elements that defines your business and brand for years. Plus, if you decide to change the domain in the future, it will cost you money, branding, and SEO rankings. In short, it's a huge pain. So, when you choose your domain, think long-term. For example, if your company helps businesses optimize their websites for SEO, you could choose a domain name like, 'OptimizedSEO.com' But if you think there's a chance you might expand to more general digital marketing services in the future, like email marketing, PPC, etc. then it might be wise to reconsider your domain name. You don't want to pin yourself down to a certain niche if you think you might expand out of that niche. So, keep your long-term vision in mind when picking your domain name. - ROBERT MENING - WebsiteSetup


Go after .com

When it comes to extensions, being unique isn't always better. While new extensions like '.me' or '.pro' may feel hip and eye-catching, '.com' is still the easiest to remember and most often used. In fact, _ of all websites use a '.com' extension. If you can't get the '.com', go with other well-known extensions like '.co' or '.net' or '.org'. Then plan on acquiring the .com in the future. Of course, you'll need to check who owns the .com first. If a big brand already owns your preferred .com, you won't be able to afford to buy it from them down the road. Unless you make mega bucks. But what about those country-specific extensions, such as '.nl' for the Netherlands, or '.de' for Germany? These are perfectly fine if you're not planning to do business outside the country you select. For instance, the .ca extension is great for a Canadian company operating solely in Canada. - Denis Pinsky - Forbes


Go for a .COM

If you are serious about building a long-term brand online, there is nothing better than a .com. Using a 301-redirect to drive traffic to a .net or .org is totally fine, but owning the .com or the equivalent TLD for your target market country is critical. There are a number of reasons why this matters, but the most crucial one is for your users. While there are thousands of TLDs to choose from, .com still carries the most trust with it. Many internet users are still unaware that the other TLDs exist and may hesitate to click when they see one. Make it easy for your users and choose a .com. You'll thank me in the long run. (Note for transparency: I am currently working on getting ownership of the .com for my site's domain. When I rebranded a few years ago, I was unable to claim it and now have to bid to own it.) - Ryan Shelley - Search Engine Land


No numbers or hyphens

Numbers and hyphens (especially hyphens) cause confusion. Stay away from them at all costs. Even something as clever as the number1website.com will cause confusion. Make the name speak for itself. - Ogi Djuraskovic - FirstSiteGuide team


Make it pronounceable

You might be thinking, 'Rand, why is it so important that it's pronounceable? Most people are going to be typing it or clicking a link.'. It matters because of 'processing fluency'. A cognitive bias that human beings have where we remember (and have more positive associations with) things that we can easily say and think about. That includes pronounceability in our own minds. This is going to vary on the language and region that you're targeting If you can't easily say the name, you're going to lose processing fluency, memorability, and the benefits of brandability that you've created. - Rand Fishkin - Moz


Consider Experimenting with Non-Traditional TLDs

As mentioned in No. 1, these days you can get yourself a multitude of different TLDs that weren't available just a couple of years ago. For example, you can get domain extensions such as: .shop, .club, .store, .blog, .design, .xyz, and so on. Also, you can experiment with some of the TLDs that were originally intended to be local TLDs, but, because of their unique appearance, can be used for various other purposes as well. These are domain extensions such as .is, .io, .fm, .it, .ly, .cc and others. Just to give you an example of the latter, if it makes sense for your brand and intended name, you can try making it seem as though the whole domain, including the TLD, is one complete expression. You can achieve that by choosing your TLD creatively. For example, Microsoft Translator is available under translate.it - that's the whole domain name and quite a creative use of the Italian TLD, .it. However, the thing with these TLDs is that not every domain registrar offers them. Currently, GoDaddy gives you access to the largest catalogue. GoDaddy domain auctions Nevertheless, if you're after some specific TLD, it's still smart to shop around with other registrars, too. Here's our other resource, where we talk about the top registrars in the market, plus some of the TLDs they offer. - Karol K - Winning WP


Make it short

Length matters because of the processing fluency that we talk about above. The fewer characters a domain name has, the easier it is to type, say, share, and the less it gets shortened on social media sharing platforms and search results. Shorter is better. - Rand Fishkin - Moz


Keep it unique and brandable

Your blog domain name must be unique, so you'll stand out in your readers' minds. It's smart to research other blogs in your niche and find out what domain names they're using. You don't want to accidentally use a trademarked name, or get accused of copying another blogger. You can also choose to pick a domain name that's more brandable. Brandable domain names are unique, catchy, and memorable. For example, 'Amazon.com' is a much more brandable name than 'BuyBooksOnline.com.' - wpbeginner


Make it pronounceable

This tip is closely related to our first bit of advice. Even though users aren't likely to be saying your domain name out loud, pronounceability is still important. This is because of something called processing fluency: the ease with which our brains can process information. Names that don't require a person to think too hard are usually the easiest to remember, and also more likely to inspire positive associations. 'If you have to spell it over the phone, you've lost.' says Jason Calacanis, the serial entrepreneur and angel investor behind tech giants like Uber, the Launch Festival, and This Week in Startups. When people routinely misspell your domain name because it's too hard to figure out, all of that potential traffic is lost. Most people will give up searching for your brand's site quickly; they don't have the time or desire to try multiple Google searches of possible spellings. The lesson here is simple: make it easy for your customers to find you! - Denis Pinsky - Forbes


Avoid hyphens

Never create a domain name with hyphens. Hyphens can be a sign of spam domains, which you do not want to be associated with. You don't want to give the wrong impression to potential visitors. Hyphenated domains are also prone to typos. If you choose a domain name with hyphens because the domain you want is already taken, your users will end up at your competitor's site if they forget to type in the hyphens. - wpbeginner


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