Choosing a domain name requires a lot of thought since this will be your identity online. You need a name that is not only easy to remember and promote but also one that describes what you do.
Here are 7 tips for choosing the right domain.
1. Choose a Name That’s Easy to Remember
When choosing a domain name try to pick something that is easy for people to memorise. If you have a simple name that is easy to remember people are more likely to come back to your site. Make sure you don’t use hyphens, numbers or alternative spellings.
It is also worth noting that domains that end with .com are usually easier for people to remember. 42.96% of all websites end with .com and it’s the first domain extension that people think of when they think of a web address.
2. Make it as Short as Possible
According to Data Genetics the most common domain length is 12 characters long. In general the shorter your domain name the better so make sure you don’t go over 15 characters.
My beauty website (ukbeautyroom.com) is 12 characters, and my personal finance and business site (influentialgals.com) is 15 characters. A domain name should be no longer than this.
3. Include Keywords
By including keywords in your domain name it will help to improve your rankings on search engines and increase your traffic.
My first website UK Beauty Room has a domain that contains 3 highly ranked keywords: UK, Beauty and Room. These three words all get high search traffic every day. I use a a chrome extension called Keyword Surfer. It tells you the search volume and similar keywords for any Google search, and it’s also completely FREE!
4. Make Sure it is Unique
Check that the name is available on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so you can promote your site on social media. Also make sure the name isn’t already trademarked or copyrighted.
When I set up my beauty website and chose ukbeautyroom.com, I first went onto Twitter and registered @UKBeautyRoom and then did the same on Facebook and Instagram. You want to ensure you pick a name that can be used on all platforms. The last thing you want is to have to pick different social media handles from your domain name. This will make it more difficult for people to find you.
5. Check for Previous Owners
You can check to see if a domain has been owned in the past and then abandoned. This is worth doing to make sure that it wasn’t owned by someone who got the domain blacklisted. There are websites such as Wayback Machine which allow you to check a domain name’s history. It will tell you if the domain has ever been used in the past and whether it was used for anything suspect or shady.
6. Find a Name That Fits Your Niche
Choose a name that immediately tells everyone what your website is about. When I started Influential Gals I knew I wanted write about female leadership and inspire women to start their own businesses. Other blogs such as She Owns It, Women Who Startup, Leaders in Heels and Women Entrepreneurs all have titles that tell you straight away they are for women entrepreneurs.
Sometimes it is the domain name that leads people to click over to your website so make sure it is something clickworthy and relevant to your niche.
7. Leave Room to Expand
If you haven’t yet decided on a niche yet then you might want to consider choosing a domain name which includes your own name. There are many Lifestyle bloggers who write about beauty, travel, food and other topics all on the same blog. If you start off writing a travel blog and later decide you want to write about marketing, a domain which suggests you’re a travel blogger will not attract traffic from people looking for marketing tips. I am a beauty blogger as well as a personal finance and business blogger but I have chosen to create two separate blogs for specific niches. If you are unclear of your niche then you may wish to choose your own name as your domain name, or your first name + blogger.com. You can always expand later on once you have a clearer idea of which area you want to specialise in.
Check What’s Available!
This post contains affiliate links to Bluehost. This means I will receive commission if you buy hosting using my link. For more information, see my disclosures here.
You can use the tool below to check what domains are currently available, and if you sign up through Bluehost they will give you a domain for FREE.
If you need help getting started with your blog then check out my post on How to Start a Blog for Beginners. You may also find the following post useful:
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What should I name my domain?
Try to find a name that ends with .com. Choose a name that is as short as possible, easy to remember and contains keywords.
How do I choose a domain name for my personal website?
Choose a name that tells people what you do. If you haven’t chosen a niche yet to write about you might want to consider using your own name.
Should I use WWW in my domain name?
You don’t need to use www as the bare domain will direct users to your website anyway.
What do I need to know before buying a domain name?
Check to see if the domain was ever owned before and whether it has a good history. Also make sure the name is not already trademarked or copyrighted.