How to find the right domain name for your website.

The next step on how to create our website is to find and register a domain name. The domain name is a web address that you type when you want to go to a website. For example http://www.google.com is a domain name while the URL (Uniform or universal resource locator) can be a subdomain of a domain for ex http://mail.google.com or http://www.google.com/mail/ . There are a few rules to take into consideration when choosing your domain name, in order to be easy to remember and brandable. If you fallowed the last tutorial about keyword research, you found already at least 3 or 4 good keywords for your website.

Search for a domain name related to your business activity

Depending of what keywords you have, try and find a domain name that is appropriate for your business. Add words to your keywords, that make sense and write down the available domains you find. Finding a EMD (Exact match domain) is what you want, or at least a close version of your gold keywords.

Try getting an expired domain before buying a new one

Domain age is taking more important in the algorithm of search engines so try and search for an expired domain containing your keywords. You can find sometimes real gold domains that are about to expire for less than 20$. If you can afford it you can buy parked domains for a bigger amount. WARNING: before buying a aged domain be shore it was not removed from Google’s index also known as banned domains. To do that you need to type inside Google search box “site:http://www.domainyou want.com” than try searching in Google for the domain name “http://www.domainyou want.com”. If you don’t have any results it is most likely that the website that you try to buy has been banned for illegal activity (like spam, malware or something similar) or it was never indexed so it has no value.

Use a Ajax domain search tool

What is an Ajax tool? To keep it short and not get in to technical terms it means that requests to search if a domain is available or not, are maid when you type and you don’t need to refresh the page when submitting the form. Is much faster than usual a tool which requires a page to load again before letting us know if the searched domain is free or not. You can use a very powerful free domain search tool in our area of web tools.

Chose a name which is unique

Don’t try and copy an existing famous domain name or brand, by using plural or adding a letter at the beginning or end of the key phrase or a misspelled version of that domain name. Those cases are usually used by hackers to make a copy of the original website and steal the user’s passwords and personal data, so having your website associated with that is the last thing you want.

Try and select a .com before other extensions

Unless you expect traffic from a source different than English, for example if you try to rank for UK is better to have a .co.uk domain or for Australia is better to have a .com.au domain or if you try to rank in Germany and your site is in German is better to have a .de website that a .com

Chose a .net or a .org only when .com extension is not available

If you find a great keyword but the EMD for .com is not available but you find it free for .net or .org you should go for it. It has been proven that website with EMD are easier to rank.

Keep the domain name length as short as you can

You should do that because is easier to remember and it looks nicer. As a general rule I try to fallow keep the domain name under 18 characters if possible. You will also have to think on offsite seo like prints and business cards. A shorter domain name will look more professional.

Don’t use numbers or hyphens

It might look ok for you but not for search engines, it is also confusing and hard to remember for your users. Try to imagine you are speaking with a friend of yours and want to tell him about some great tutorials you found here and you want to let him know the name of this website. What is easier to spell abouthowtomakeawebsite.com or ab0ut-h0w-2-make-a-website.com?

Avoid using existing registered brands as domain name

Don’t use existing brand name in your domain names if you don’t have the right to do so or you risk that the brand owner to take the legal actions against you and your website closed down. Before buying the domain you can check if the words in your domain are a brand and has been registered as a brand on the office of public record for copyright registration.

Use your location in domain name if you try to rank only locally

If you have a local business and your customers are only from that region or place a good advice is to use your location inside your domain name. For example if you have a business about renting bicycles in Chicago a good domain name might be bicyclerentinginchicago.com or even better bikeschicago.com

Register your domain for more than one year

Due to the newest search engine algorithm the domain expiration date has a higher importance, so my suggestion would be to try and register a domain for at least 3years. Even if you have a bought a domain for one year try and extend your domain expiration date.

Don’t buy domains with a limited lifetime span

For example you are planning to create a website about an event that will take place this year, unless you plan to use it only for this event, don’t use year in domain name or version (for example if you plan to have a website about iphone3).

Buy a domain which you can transform into a brand

You should consider when choosing your domain name that it has to be easy brandablle. Make a test and try to imagine if you hear the website name you found for the first time you can guess what is about. Also it has to be easy to spell and to remember because after the search engine optimization the offline marketing like word of mouth is next in importance.