Tips for choosing domain name from experts

Make it expandable

You never know how your business might expand, so avoid names that box you in. For example, FlyFishingLures.com is nice, but what if you want to sell fishing poles down the line too? I also recommend avoiding life-stage-specific names like AllAboutMyWildAndCrazyToddlers.com. (It's good now, but they're toddler years will be over so fast!) - Amy Lynn Andrews


Protect and build your brand

To protect your brand, you should purchase various domain extensions, as well as misspelled versions of your domain name. This prevents competitors from registering other versions and ensures your customers are directed to your website, even if they mistype it. - Andrea Rowland - GoDaddy


Avoid trademark problems

Once you've decided on your top choices for your site name, make sure you are not violating anyone's trademarks. To check within US, visit uspto.gov/trademarks and do the search before you register the name. It is always good to check now because this could kill a great website and business down the road. Also, if you are going to include some big name product, such as Twitter or Facebook, review their terms and conditions. Most will not allow you to use their name in any part of your domain. - Ogi Djuraskovic - FirstSiteGuide team


Don't Sweat It Too Much If Your Perfect Domain Name Is Taken

If the domain name you really desire is already taken, this is not the end of the world. Sometimes, you can actually still get your hands on it. Here's what you can do: If the domain name is not in use (there's no website or the domain is 'parked' - features only ads), then there's a very good chance the owner only bought it to sell it later on. You'll likely find some contact information on that parked website. If there's no info, use who.is and get the owner's email. If there's a website on the domain, you can still try your luck and contact the owner asking if they're willing to sell the domain off. Low chance of success here, but still worth a try. If the domain is completely empty and there's no contact info to be found, try looking through known domain-flipping marketplaces, such as GoDaddy's marketplace (auction based), Sedo, SnapNames, or Flippa. Buying an existing domain name is a different process from buying a new one, so it requires some additional caution. We talk about that in No. 13. One more note, domains you buy from someone's hands cost MONEY (emphasis mine). Sometimes good money! A safe estimate here would be a minimum of $250, but more like $1,000 or more. If you can't afford that, don't worry too much either - Karol K - Winning WP


Keep it short

Shorter URLs are easier to type and remember. They also allow more of the URL to show up in the SERPs, they fit on business cards better and they look better in other offline media. - Ryan Shelley - Search Engine Land


Avoid trademark infringement & confusion

The ideal domain name is distinctive. It shouldn't be easily confused with the name of another site or brand. After all, you don't want any lawsuits on your hands. If your domain name infringes on a trademark, you could be sued and forced to give up the domain. Before you register your domain name, you can check to see if it violates any US trademarks here. On a related note: if people can confuse your name with another brand, so can search engines. Picking a name that's too similar to another business can lead to your name's search engine results being littered with irrelevant links. - Denis Pinsky - Forbes


Use keywords

Have you read my post What is SEO? (And Why It Matters)? Your domain is one of the best places to use a keyword or two. And the more compact and closer to the beginning of your domain, the better. For example, if 'fly fishing' is your keyword, FlyFishingAdventures.com is better than AdventuresInFlyFishing.com. - Amy Lynn Andrews


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


Go with .com

Most of the time internet users assume .com when browsing. Having a .net, .info, .tv or any other extension puts another potential roadblock in the process of finding you. Having said that, there are plenty of successful sites that use a .net extension (or something else), but a .com is ideal. - Amy Lynn Andrews


Avoid trademark infringement

You have to be careful because it's not whether you think your domain name could be confused. It's whether you think a judge in a jurisdiction, where a company might take legal action against you, would consider your domain name confusable. This can also create brand confusion, which is hard for your brandability. You should talk to an attorney or a legal professional if you have real concerns. Trademark owners can attempt to sue a domain name owner, who's owning the domain legitimately and using it for business purposes, and that sucks. - Rand Fishkin - Moz


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