How to choose a good domain name
Choosing the name of a new baby is a big deal. Your site is your business’ baby and how to choose a good domain name is the first thing you have to do for your online strategy. Let’s start from the beginning to know what we mean exactly when we talk about domain names.
What is a domain name?
Domain name is a term used to identify Internet resources, such as computers, networks, and services in an easy to memorise way. Otherwise we would type an IP address when we want to visit a site. Would you be able to remember http://220.127.116.11? Difficult, isn’t it? Because this way was too complicated, a domain name system was created instead. Apart from this fact, it is a more effective method to identify a unique site because currently two websites can be under the same IP address.
The domain name is part of the URL, but this can be confusing too. Do you know the difference between domain and URL? Let me explain it. URL (Universal Resource Locator) is a sequence of characters used to name resources of the Internet and locate them such as images, videos, presentations, documents, etc.
- Domain Name: www.thewebcentre.ie
- URL: https://thewebcentre.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/logo_prosperworks.jpg?ssl=1 (this is the location of a picture of thewebcentre.ie, place at wp-content/uploads/2016/07/logo_prosperworks.jpg?ssl=1 folder within our server).
Why choosing a good domain name is so important?
We have to choose a good domain name for your company or organisation because it is the first step to define your online presence. It is the identifier of your brand and it can be really useful to promote it. When you register a domain name you are locking it and nobody else will be allowed to use it. It is a way to protect your business’ name on the Internet.
Choosing a good domain name is essential as part of your branding strategy as it defines your company and makes you different from your competitors. Overall a good domain name should be:
It is important to know that you don’t have to have a site for every domain you register. Sometimes we may need to redirect a domain to our current site, if it is the one with the relevant information for the users.
Another important thing is the jurisdiction of the domain, as the online presence of the company would be tied to a country legislation. It means that if your domain name extension is .com it will depend on the American legislation. If your business is not permitted there they may even block your domain.
What kind of extension can I select for my domain?
There are four kind of domain extension we can choose, in accordance with the list approved by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).
gTLD (generic top level domains)
They have three or more characters. They can be free use like .com, .org or .net or restricted use like .edu or .gov. They are the most important and easiest to rank internationally.
ccTLD (country code top level domains)
sTLD (sponsored top level domains)
The sponsored top level domain depend on fundations or independent organisations that try to promote the use of the domain with a particular goal. Some examples are .aero for the members of the air-transport industry or .coop for Cooperative associations.
Apart from these three options, there are other group of domain name extension that can come on to the market after being approved by ICANN. Domain names like .jcp, .yun, .shouji, .nissay y .sina. are some examples.
Kind of domain names
Your domain name should define the impact on bringing traffic and in turn success. When deciding how to choose a good domain name you have basically three options:
Keyword as domain name
We have to admit that domain names with keywords still rank better for that particular keyword. But it doesn’t mean that this is a better option for our business. If someone types hotels in dublin there are many chances that www.hotelsindublin.ie is the first result in Google. But honestly, it is not of great worth to the brand. However, in some cases, where the brand is not strong and we are certainly sure that users just look for us for the service we offer, it may be a good choice for us.
Slideshare. This social media lets you share slides about any topic. If some one types share slides in Google, guess which site is the first result. Good example of Keyword as domain name.
Brand as domain name
If we decide that boosting the brand is the most important, we must go for the brand as a good domain name. This means that we will have to work harder on the other keywords we want to be first results. We will have to take care of other on-page and off-page optimisation measures to rank better in search engines for terms that are not the brand.
We have to keep the balance between marketing and SEO when trying to find a good domain name.
In and ideal world when we start a company and we decide a name we will come up with the perfect combination of brand+keyword and it will sound great. It is difficult to happen but can happen. Let’s see some examples of perfect domain names:
- Semrush. This SEO and SEM tool is used to analyse competitors and position of a site on the internet. Is mostly used by professionals of SEM (Search Engine Marketing) The domain is https://www.semrush.com. Very convenient, isn’t it?
- MDG Advertising. This is an advertising company whose name and domain www.mdgadvertising.com are really appropriate because the domain includes the keyword advertising plus the brand. Therefore if people look for advertising companies they will probably will show up in the first results
- Snapchat (www.snapchat.com). This is an app to send files in a chat way. The keyword is in the domain name and it works perfectly as brand.
With this solution we end with the dilemma brand vs. keyword. The problem could be the length of the domain name, but here is where the sharpness and creativity enter into action.
Hopefully you now have a better idea about how important a good domain name is. If you have any doubt or opinion, leave them in the comments. If you want to buy a domain and you still don’t know how to do it, contact us and we will help you.
It is your turn now, how will you name your baby?