How to Pick The Right Domain name For Your Website | Step by Step Guide

How to Pick The Right Domain name For Your Website | Step by Step Guide

Joran Hofman
January 9, 2021

Picking the right domain name for your future website is the first important step to building your brand and business. If you pick the wrong domain name for your website, it can be very time consuming and expensive to change it later on without having an impact on your search engine rankings and branding factor. 

As a result, it’s important to take the necessary time and effort to pick the right domain name from the beginning. 

In this article, we have prepared a step-by-step guide to help you pick the right domain name for your website. We will share the necessary tools and tips to help you come up with a great domain name, how to actually register your domain name for free and so much more. 

Below is our 10 step-by-step guide to help you pick the right domain name for your website.

Keep Your Domain Name Short

Keep your domain short to have the best domain for your website

Featuring keywords in your domain name is important, but it shouldn’t be the sole focus of your domain name. In an effort to help people remember your domain name it’s recommended that you keep it short and simple.

It’s recommended that you keep your domain name under 15 characters or less, unless you have two long tail keywords together. 

Having a shorter domain helps returning users to remember it easier and also keeps them from making mistakes when typing it directly into their search bar. 

So keep your domain name short and memorable. 

Use Keywords In Your Domain Name Search

Use the keywords you want to target for when choosing a domain name

The keywords in your domain name can be very instrumental in helping search engines determine what your website is about. They play a key role to help establish domain authority in your niche and can help your website rank higher. 

For the most part, single keyword domain names tend to be extremely expensive or simply not available at all. 

As a result you will need to search for domain names that have multiple keywords in the name or an iteration that is used with your brand name plus a keyword that is related to your niche.

Recommended Reading: How to Use SEMRush for Keywords Research - Full Guide

For example, if you planned to create a fitness related website a possible domain name that features the word “fitness” could be:

These are just some examples that feature the keyword “fitness” in the domain name. It clearly identifies what the website is about right from the start.

SEMrush

Avoid Using Hyphens or Numbers

When choosing a domain, avoid using Hypens or numbers in the url

It’s recommended that you avoid using hyphens or numbers in your domain name because it can make it look clunky, messy and simply difficult to remember. 

Using hyphens in your domain name can make it look spammy to search engines and they are extremely easy to make a typo error in. 

Below are examples of domain names you should avoid. 

They don’t appear natural and can be difficult for a user to remember.

Stick With a .COM Domain Name

When you can, go for a .com domain name for your business

As the online world continues to expand, so will the many different domain name extensions. However, the .COM still reigns as the most heavily used domain name extension. Over 50% of all websites in the world are .COM’s. 

It’s recommended that you stick with a .COM domain because that is what most people are familiar with. 

It’s worth mentioning that there are other TLD’s that people are familiar with. If you don’t want to go with a standard .COM domain name, other popular extension include:

  • .net
  • .org ( public interest registry )
  • .edu ( education related )
  • .in ( india )
  • .au ( australia )

Checkout some of the most popular top-level domains worldwide here.  

Check Your Domain Name

Make sure you check your domain properly before making a decision

Before you officially register your domain name, it’s important to perform a bit of research and see if there is a registered business associate with the name, social media channels and handles and even logos. 

Below are some common domain name checks you should perform before purchasing your domain name.

TradeMark Search - If you are planning on making a business with your chosen domain name it’s important to check and see if the name is registered as a Trademark.

Check Social Media - NameCheckr.com is a website that scans all social media channels for uses of your domain name. It helps you see which social media channels are available and which ones are taken.

Check Backlink Profile of Your Domain - Before you purchase your domain name, it’s good to quickly check it’s backlink profile and make sure the domain is clean and there haven’t been any sort of black-hat backlinks that have been built in the past. 

We recommend using Ahrefs Backlink-Checker or SEMrush to help you check the backlink profile of your domain.

Use A Domain Name Generator 

If you can't find a domain, use a domain name generator to help you

If you’re not the creative type and don’t want to spend the time to come up with a creative domain, another option is to use a domain name generator.

Domain name generators are free tools that can automatically generate unique domain names for you based on the keywords you supply.

One website that can help you accomplish this is Namesh.com 

Simply visit their website, type in your desired keywords and they will automatically generate an awesome domain name for you. 

Look For Expired Domain Names

When starting a new business, check for expired domains to get a head start

There are other unique ways to find a domain name that you can use for your business or personal use. Every year, thousands of people and businesses simply fail to renew their valuable domain names.

Once this happens, their domains expire and are available for public auction and registration. Expireddomains.net is a database system which shows all these domains and in many cases, these domains have backlinks profiles, traffic and even some domain authority. 

You can search for expired domain names by your target keyword and truly find some gems. 

However, we do have a warning !

If you do find a domain name in which you are interested, you should check and make sure the domain hasn’t been blacklisted by Google and also check it’s backlink profile. 

It will help ensure the domain name is clean and good to go. 

Pick A Domain Name Related to Your Niche

pick a domain name which is related to your niche

In order to align your website's message to your audience, it’s important to select a domain name that is in line with your niche. Doing so will help your audience know what your website is about the moment they land on it.

It’s also helpful from an SEO perspective in order for search engines to accurately index and rank your websites content. 

For example, if you have a website that shares gluten-free cooking recipes a few possible domains include:

Another great example is www.affiliatemarketingincome.com, it shows you directly it is about Affiliate Marketing.

These domains clearly identify the niche and a website visitor would know right off the bat the intent and purpose of the website. 

Keep Your Domain Name Brandable

Make sure your new domain name for your business is brandable

You shouldn’t solely focus on finding a domain that targets keywords alone. If you have a brand name in mind for your business or website, you should include it in the domain along with an identifying keyword if you so please.

You don’t have to even specific keywords at all if you have a different type of vision for the name of your domain. 

This can help establish your brand and also build a unique element to your domain name. Brandable domain names are short, catchy and often easy to type directly in the search bar.

Think about how easy it is to go online and type in some of the following domains below which are simply unique names:

  • Nike.com
  • Google.com
  • Amazon.com
  • Ebay.com 
  • Youtube.com

These are some of the most popular domains online and they are super easy to remember, catchy and are easy to type out. 

Analyze Competitors Domain Names

Analyze competitor domain names when picking a new one

If you know the general niche of your website you can gain quite a bit of perspective on what makes certain websites successful by researching your competitors. Take a look at ten different domain names in your niche and analyze what makes those domain names unique.

  • Do they feature keywords in the domain name?
  • What is the average length of the domain?
  • How easy is it to type the domain name in the search bar?
  • What kind of TLD are they using?

After you put together your list, it’s recommended that you start to take a look into their marketing and see what makes them unique.

Recommended Reading: How to Spy on Your Competitors Marketing Strategy 

Bonus: How to Register Your Domain Name for Free

Once you are ready to purchase your domain name and build your website you will need a hosting plan. Owning and running a website isn’t extremely expensive, but we have a great option for you in order to help you get your domain name for free. 

Bluehost

Get a free domain name with arranging hosting via BlueHost

Once you sign up for any of Bluehosts hosting plans they will let you register your brand new domain name 100% for free for the first full year and even include a free SSL certificate along with it.

They are extremely reliable and their customer server support is top-notch. We highly suggest you consider them for your website hosting needs. 

If you are read to start building your website, check out the Divi Theme for Wordpress. It will help you to get a website live quickly

Divi WordPress Theme
Alternative; check out SSLs.com for SSL for your website.
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