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June 02, 2018

How to Choose a Winning Domain Name - A Beginners Guide

This guide is meant for anyone who is about to embark on the exciting journey of putting up a website. It is provides basic information useful for selecting your domain guide.

Why Do You Need A Website

The World Wide Web is  the biggest marketplaces in the world. So whether you are a business a product or service, a brand or are looking to just put out an idea to the world, then you must have a Website.

What is a Domain Name?

Websites are identified by identifiers called Uniform Resource Locators or URL.  So for instance, if you want to search something on Google, the URL that you typically access is http://www.google.com. This set of words will specifically take you to the Google Search Engine Home Page and nowhere else.

The URL above is made up of four basic parts

  1. The protocol – http- also a called hyper text transfer protocol
  2. The World Wide Web – www.
  3. The Domain Name. Google
  4. The Domain Extension – .com

All websites on the internet use the http protocol and the World Wide Web, what is often unique is the domain name.

Think of a Domain Name as a unique address number that if typed into a web browser will take the user directly to your website.

Is the Domain Name Important?

One might argue that the domain name is simply the address to the house and if someone want to come to my house, the address number is not important, what is inside the house is what is important. Well, that line of thinking would be catastrophic. Domain Names are the first pointers for any user to your website and the domain name itself has not just to relate the user, but additionally resonate with the expectations of the user and the content of your website for a seamless user experience.

Think about it, you call your website fruitshop.com, one would expect to find information on fruits or an e-shop about fruit and because typically many users would come across a website through search engines and are bombarded by literally millions of search results, the right domain name is crucial to your success.

So here below are the tips that can help you choose a great domain name

  1. Brand Tie In

If you are a business or just a personal brand, ensure that your domain name has a relation to the brand. That way it not only resonates with your clients but it also makes it easier to weave it into your marketing plans and also easier to remember. It has been shown that continuously repeating the same word over and over again, registers it into permanent memory and so it does no harm to both your brand and website if the share almost similar names. It also means that when developing your brand name, start by buying the brand domain, it always come in handy.

So suppose your brand name is already taken, what do you do? Well, the other tips in the guide will help but adding a product or service related term to your brand name is a great way to go around it. For instance, if you sell shoes by the brand Mega, and Mega.com is taken, you could MegaShoes.com or MegaWear.com or MegaLeather.com or MegaTheShoes.Com, you catch the drift right?

  1. Use a Simple Words

The human brain tends to absorb a lot of information and so it only natural that we get mixed up from time to time. For instance many people might end up mixing up letters to long words when they type or write but read it correctly. For instance if I type "complcated," omission of the letter," I "may not prevent you from reading it correctly. However when it comes to domain names, a simple spelling mistake will prevent the user from loading. For instance this website, WOWITLOVEITHAVEIT, uses very easy words, WOW, IT, LOVE, and HAVE, not that complicated to spell.

  1. Keep it Short and Connected

One may want to use a short name, but it may most likely not be available or may not be related to your brand. You will find therefore you may need to use longer domain names. If that is the case, then the best way of ensuring your website is memorable is to use a combination of short relatable words. Again go back to the WOWITLOVEITHAVEIT, when said it flows logically from for a buying process WOW to LOVE to HAVE and all three words are easy to remember. So for your domain name, try to join words that can relate to each other. This trick works well with Brand Names too, as they can carry along a trait of the product or service they stand for.

  1. Avoid Numerals , Non-Alphabet Characters

Putting a numeral, dash –other non alphabet characters in the domain name can be a  nightmare to users, not just when typing but also when there are told about it verbally. Is it www.potsfour.com or www.pots4.com? You see! While some websites may have got ahead with this, research has shown that from the user’s perspective, it is a challenging affair.

  1. Consider Ease of Pronunciation

Great domain names often are easy to pronounce. So, keep this in mind when choosing the name. Depending on the target for your website, you may need to do further research to ensure that the domain name will not come out differently under different accents when pronounced.  One great way of testing is to get non-Native speakers or Bilingual speakers to read out the name aloud. Remember, someone else might read out loud your domain name to other people and you would want it to be heard correctly.

  1. Use Industry Related Terms or Product Names

Using Industry Related Terms is especially true for E-commerce or Industry specific websites. For instances, a company dealing with building materials could use the term bricks in the domain name which makes it easier for the clients to remembers

  1. Avoid Copyright Issues

Certain brand names are already established and people are often tempted to register the names as domain names. While initially there may appear to be an increase in traffic, with time such a practice could be seen as fraud or a black hat tactic and this may not be good for your website and business. It therefore is always good to check that the name you are picking is not related to another already registered, trademarked or copyrighted product.

  1. Quickly Book The Right Name

Domain names need to be registered and pad for. So once you have identified that right name, it is sensible to pay for it immediately and pay for renewal promptly. This will avoid the name being hijacked and setting you up for another cycle of name choosing.

  1. Carefully Consider the User Experience

After you have selected the domain name try to walk in the path of a typical user and type the name, try to see what possible errors might occur and fine tune it to put this into consideration For instance typing BBQ is easier than typing EQL

  1. Domain Name Extension

The domain name extension must relate to the type of  organization you are, for instance, .com is meant for commercial enterprises, while .gov is for US  government bodies, .co.jp is commercial specific to Japan. So be familiar with the extension and choose the appropriate ones. Unless you want to restrict yourself to certain geographical areas, .com is usually the most common extension.

Summary: How to Choose a Winning Domain Name

In summary, a good domain name needs to be thought over long term and address the following, Brand Tie In, Simple to write, and say, avoiding numbers and non-English alphabet characters. It should avoid being similar to existing brands and registered products and trademarks that you do not own. Book and pay where is applicable for the right name as early as possible, think of the customer who will use the website, and finally choose the relevant extension.

Remember, this is just a guide and if you are working with a Website Developer or a SEO Expert, rope them in the process. Catch this mad more guides on http://www.wowitloveithaveit.com 


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