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Ten tips for choosing the perfect domain name

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Choosing the right domain name for your new website is a crucial step in preparing for launch. A good domain name makes it easy for people and search engines to find you and is how you’ll be identified on the Internet. Here are ten tips to help you pick the perfect domain name.

1. Make it easy to say

Having a domain name that’s easy to say ensures that when people hear you say it, they get it right the first time. An easy-to-say domain name is also easy to remember, and that’s what you want.

2. Make it straightforward

Having a memorable domain name is critical, but just because it’s easy to say and remember doesn’t mean that it’ll also be easy for someone to type. Avoid using names that use soundalike characters or numbers such as “Easy4U2Use.com”. Though the name may be easy to remember, it’s also easy to type, say, “EasyForYouToUse.com” instead. The goal is to make it as easy for potential customers to find your site as possible.

3. Pick a name that uses your keywords

Using keywords in your domain name can radically improve search engine results. Think of how people will look for you on the Internet and select keywords that reflect those searches. For example, if you make custom graphite shaft golf clubs, you might use a domain name like “CustomGraphiteShaftGolfClubs.com”.

4. Keep the name as short as possible

Granted, keeping domain names short can be challenging in a crowded market space. The best names are short, reflect your branding, and use keywords that potential customers would use in a search for your product or service.

5. Pick the right domain name extension

The domain name extension is the part of your domain name following the “dot”. While there are many name extensions available, the three big – .com, .org, and .net – are still the best choices for memorability and search. If a .com isn’t available for your domain name, consider using one that represents your country (.ca for Canada, .fr for France, etc.).

Of course, there are a number of new top-level domain extensions that can open up relevant new keyword and branding possibilities. For example, the .guitars domain name extension is available, so a domain name like “LearnToPlay.guitars” might be a very good choice for a guitar instructor selling instructional videos online.6. Don’t use numbers or hyphens

This one’s related to making the domain name memorable and easy-to-type. Both hyphens and numbers are easy to mistype and lead to a lot of confusion. Avoid them.

7. Pick a brandable name

Brandable names are memorable names, ones that sound like a product or service someone would buy. Consider the domain name for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: RockHall.com. Easy to remember and unmistakably branded.

8. Location, location, location

If you offer a product or service that’s available in a specific region or city, use the region or city name in your domain name. For example, a guitar instructor in Toronto might pick a domain name like “TorontoGuitarInstructor.com” or “TorontoGuitarInstructor.ca”.

9. Double-check the name

Is the domain name you have your heart set on trademarked, copyrighted, or already in use? Don’t use it – you risk getting into legal trouble if you do. Search the Internet using your selected domain name before purchasing it. If it’s being used somewhere, choose another to avoid conflicts.

10. Register your name quickly

Someone once remarked that ideas are like dandelion seeds – they spread fast. Good domain names are like that, too. As soon as you have selected the domain name, register it immediately. It’s a good idea, in fact, to make a habit of registering good domain names you might also use as soon as you think of them. You can always use HostPapa’s domain forwarding feature to point new names you come up with to your main site. In so doing, you’ll enjoy more search engine hits and be even easier to find out there.

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