Choosing a domain name is one of the first steps in getting on-line. Once you pick a domain name, you are sort of stuck with it, so you need to pick a good one. But how do you choose? Here are a few suggestions:
Shorter is, usually, better.
In general, the shorter you can make your domain name, the better. It makes it easier for your visitors to remember and it’s easier to type. So, if your business is named Super-Super Widgets Service and Custom Installation, instead of supersuperwidgetsserviceandcustominstallation.com, try to get supersuperwidgets.com or, even better, supersuper.com. The less you make your visitors type, the better.
Try to get a .com.
It’s not always possible, but if given the choice, pick the .com variant instead of other top-level domains like .us or .net. I know supersuper.info is a few bucks cheaper than supersuper.com. You’re going to be selling thousands of widgets, so what’s the big deal about spending less than the cost of lunch over the course of a year for the better domain name? People are so used to hearing .com that even if you tell them supersuper.info, they still hear supersuper.com.
Fear the hyphen.
Ok, maybe you don’t have to fear it, but you should be leery of the hyphen. Only use it if there is really no other option. I know the company is named “Super-Super Widgets” but people are going to leave they hyphen out. Not to mention that if you register super-super.com and a competitor notices that supersuper.com is available, they will register it, they will direct it to their website, and they will get visitors who are trying to find you. Worst of all, there really isn’t much you can do about it, short of a possible law suit.
Does it look good on a billboard?
You want a domain name that just ‘looks’ good. If it’s all gnarly and hard to remember, people are not going to remember it. As it turns out, super.com might be up for auction, but it’s going to cost you a couple hundred (or possibly thousand) dollars to buy. Why? Because super.com would look awesome on a billboard. You have to use your judgement and decide if the extra investment is right for you, but you have to admit, getting super.com would be pretty cool.
Grab them keywords.
Maybe super.com is out of your price range, and supersuper.com and any other variant you can think of isn’t available. Try to get a domain name that has some of your business’s keywords built in. Maybe you’ll get lucky and widget.com will be available. If not, maybe superwidgets.com will be.
Make it something they will remember.
Last, but not least, it needs to be catchy. Most people don’t walk around with a pen and paper to write down domain names they come across, so make sure it’s something that will stick in their mind.
Maybe super.com would be worth the cost after all. It’d look so good on a billboard…