ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Best Tips for Choosing Website Names and Domain Names

Updated on November 17, 2016
janderson99 profile image

John uses his scientific skills (PhD) & experience developing 50+ websites to research, review & evaluate SEO, website design, Social Media

With the explosion of websites and registered URLs on the internet it is getting harder to find a suitable domain name that matches your brand name or what you site is all about.

Most of the preferred DOT COM URLs are gone and there is a tendency to choose hyphenated addresses or longer names, or to go for another family of site extensions such as DOT NET etc.

Is this a good idea and what are your options? What are the tips for choosing a great domain name that works?

Despite the shortage of suitable addresses, the key points to consider when choosing a successful URL domain name still remain the same:

Choosing a domain name that is relevant and easy to remember is important
Choosing a domain name that is relevant and easy to remember is important | Source
A good domain name is a key element in the sales strategy
A good domain name is a key element in the sales strategy | Source
Good domain names help with linking as users remember and link to 'catchy' phrases
Good domain names help with linking as users remember and link to 'catchy' phrases | Source
Dot com names are still the best URL option
Dot com names are still the best URL option | Source

Simple, Short and Relevant - Shorter URLs are always much better because they are much easier to remember and much easier to type. Potential visitors are put off by long names as most people prefer to only type 6-10 letters. Use the minimum number of letters even if you use a recognisable abbreviation, initials or acronyms. Recent research showed that short URLs get clicked twice as often as long ones from search results. So by choosing short URLs you will receive better rankings and better click throughs from the search results.

Domain extensions - If you are at serious about building a successful website, especially one for a buisiness then you should stick to DOT COM despite the shortage of available domains. This is the first extension that most people try when searching for a Website and it has a better perceved reputation. Always look fat the current the dropped domain lists as this is a great way to pickup a domain that won't appear in the standard searches. You may be lucky enough to get a domain that is several years old and may have some residual links and PR, that will give your site a boost.

Descriptive - Your web address should ideally announce the content visitors will find on your site when they see your site listed in the search results. Of course this is going to be hard in 5 to 6 letters A great web site address describes its contents and leaves the user clear about its contents. Rather than base the address on firm's name, use a descriptive name that relates specifically to the purpose of the web site.

Make it Easy to Type - If your domain name is complicated or requires attention to type correctly you will lose many of your potential customers. This may occur because of length, complexity, spelling, or the use of unusual or hard to remember words.

Make it Easy to Remember - Successful marketing your site relies on users coming back for repeat visits and this depends on how easy it is to remember. It is no good having a fabulous website if no one remembers it. There have been several classic examples of 'catchy phrases' that have worked well such as the unusual name Wotif.com. But this is very hard to achieve and may require a huge advertising budget. Use the Google Auto-suggest tool to see the sequence of keywords that are popular for your topic.

Create and Fulfill Expectations - It is important that someone who hears about your domain name or sees it in search results pages should be able to understand what your site is about. It is essential that they are not deceived.

Avoid Copyright Infringements - Make sure your domain is not infringing a copyright, a brand name or any close variant of a brand name. This is deceptive and may trigger legal action.

Set Yourself Apart with a Unique Brand - Be creative and choose a unique combination of keywords and abbreviations that readily identify your website. This is nard to do but very worthwhile as your users will remember it and link it with your website objectives.

Avoid Hyphens and Numbers - Avoid hyphens and numbers in domain names as it will make your domain harder to remember, type and will be easily confused. Many of your users may type the name without the number or hyphen and end up at your competitors sites. One possible advantage is that search engines can better distinguish your keywords, but hyphens should only be used as a last resort.

Do Preliminary research to check for similar sites - If you can, choose a domain name that is not similar to other competing sites. If there are very similar alternatives you may leak users to those sites. If necessary register those similar sites as well. Your domain host will ofter provide an automatic redirection facility which will help gather all your lost users back to your main site. This may include likely misspellings.

Check that a multiple word domain name is not misunderstood - Web addresses often involve combination of keywords. Sometimes this may create unintended meanings that you may not be aware of. This may confuse your users.

Try the Domain with Friends and Associates - Pick several available domain options and let your friends, clients and associates help you choose the best option. A domain that makes a lot of sense to you, or is 'catchy' or easy for you to remember may be unappealing to others. Let them rank your options and provide feedback to help you decide.

How much Time should you Spend Deciding on an Address? - It is well worthwhile spending a lot of time searching for an available address. You first, second or third suggestion may not be the best and so be prepared to take some time getting it right. Give it plenty of time and don't be too impatient.

© janderson99-HubPages

© 2011 Dr. John Anderson

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    bhernahdeth 

    2 years ago

    Hi can you please help me on this domain names and web hosting thing. I created a blog site in word press, now i'm trying to google it but no results were found and according to what I've read, a blog site must have a domain name and web hosting. So how can i link all those and do i need to buy the domain name and web hosting. Thanks

  • nicregi profile image

    Reginald Chan 

    6 years ago from Malaysia

    Very interesting and good insight on the matter. Keep it up and thanks for sharing.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)