Domain names. The real estate of the Internet. Chosen correctly, these are often the deciding factor between just another online business and one that is flourishingly lucrative.
Similar to how a good location is vital for a bricks-and-mortar business, a good domain name is the cornerstone of your virtual online venture. Identifying good domain names, though, is part art and part science. We’ll examine the science segment of it.
A rundown of 5 factors that make a good domain name:
They are short
Size, in this particular case, does matter. All the three and four letter words and most of the five letter words .com domains are already taken for a reason. If you are starting out with a new name, try and keep it under 10 characters if you can, and definitely under 20 characters.
Obviously, there are some cases where you want to choose a full phrase (hint, hint), but when it comes to domain names, one-word domains are pure gold.
Easy to spell
The length of your domain names amounts to nothing, unless it is easy to spell. Avoid foreign and unusual words, and stay away from complex combinations of letters so as to avoid misspelling. The last thing you want your visitors is to type in your domain, misspell it, and end up somewhere else.
Also try and avoid hyphens and numbers when you can. Domain names that include dashes and digits are cheaper on the market for this very reason — it is easy for people to skip or forget the hyphen and mix up the numbers.
Easy to remember
This builds upon the previous factor in that you want your domain name to be as simple as possible so that your regular visitors can remember it. Not many Internet users are into bookmarks these days. They just memorize their favorite sites, and enter them in the address bar when they want to visit one.
An exception might be if you are registering the domain name for a company or organization that represents the initials of that business. Or maybe even a memorable message.
Descriptive or brandable
You want your domain to be either descriptive or brandable. Preferably both. A large chunk of your visitors will come from search engines, or direct links from other websites. The best domain names are appealing, yet at the same time give your visitors an idea about what your site is before they enter.
Brandable domain names, on the other hand, are also efficient in that they can make your visitors associate the name of your website with the content you provide.
A .com extension
Business and organizations will (and should) want to register other extensions like .org or .net, or even some local geographical ones, but a .com extension is always the best way to go. It is popular and everyone is aware of it. Repeat visitors will often type in your domain name and follow it with .com.
Nothing wrong with a modern, fancy extension but you don’t want to lose potential visitors this way.