5 Foolproof Tips for Buying a Great Domain Name

The birth of a great website starts with buying the right domain name.

The number of clicks your website receives can be influenced early on. The wrong domain name can hurt your business. The right domain name can set you up for quick success. One of the earliest decisions you will make for your website is its name. You might be eager to get started with your website, but there are some considerations you should keep in mind. Luckily, we’ve boiled these factors down into a concise list.

Here are five tips for selecting a great domain name:

1. Pick a new name

You might have spent a lot of time thinking about a domain name. You might have come up with a name that you think is very unique. Regardless, you cannot skip the most important step when selecting the name of your new website. You must check to see if this domain name already exists. If the name you wanted is already taken, don’t simply change a small part of the name. We will discuss why later, but you should always seek legitimacy and originality first.

2. Pick the right Domain Extensions

You have probably heard of common domain extensions. .com, .org and .net are some of the most common ones. Some less common extensions include: .biz, .jobs, .tv and .edu. Each of these extensions is labeled for a different purpose. Before confirming a name, research which extension best describes your business. For example, if you have a car dealership, using .jobs, an extension to advertise jobs would not be a good match. This is important because it can cause confusion.

3. Keep it short, simple

You might be tempted to put a bunch of descriptors in your name. Or maybe the name of your company happens to be really long. Regardless, you name needs to be accessible to a wide range of customers. Don’t pick a name that is too long or difficult to spell. Tell your idea to a trusted to colleague to see if they can remember. If the name sticks in their memory, you have a winner.

4. Stand out from your competition

This one is trickier, but can be done if you do your research. Once you have decided on a name, do some research to see if it similar to another website. You don’t want to be confused for another company. Regardless of the other companies’ reputation, confusion creates frustration for your customers. To avoid selecting a similar name, be creative about the domain. Use puns, wordplay or a catchy title to set your company apart from the competition.

5. Only use letters

Imagine someone saying your website aloud. Think about a customer sharing the name to a friend. How easy is it to communicate your domain name? Toms-Tires1.com is harder to say and remember than Tirebiz.com. Hyphens, numbers and spaces should be avoided. This is because characters other than letters complicate things. We don’t communicate in hyphens, so it is harder to remember.

Summary

Selecting a website’s domain name is important. Failing to consider the impact of a name can have terrible consequences. Remember these tips before staking your company’s livelihood on a name.

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George Meszaros is the editor and co-founder of Success Harbor where entrepreneurs learn about building successful companies. Success Harbor is dedicated to document the entrepreneurial journey through interviews, original research, and unique content. George Meszaros is also co-founder of Webene, a web design and digital marketing agency.

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