Getting a domain name in 2016… or for that matter anytime 🙂 for your website is the first thing you will have to get out of your way when you are setting up your website. In case you are wondering about domains and what exactly they are. Or simply want to understand them (which I recommend), then do check this post over here; before you get started on this one.
Not getting the right kind of domain or any mistake in choosing the right domain, can be detrimental your website. It is the identity of your website or blog and hence it is absolutely vital to get it right.
If you are clear on what are domains and are now looking to get started.
Here are these 11 Golden Rules you MUST follow in 2016 to pick the Right Domain:
1. Get the Domain to Contain one of the top 5 Keywords in Your Niche:
I assume you would have done some keyword research in your niche. If not then do look at this post to understand it better. So basically pick any one of the top 5 keywords in your niche and try to incorporate it in your domain name.
Lets say you want to start a website about used cars.If you were to do a keyword research on that you will find your top 5 keywords to be used cars, used car valuation, used car, old cars for sale, used cars for sale.
Now you can use any of them to make a domain name. Something like UsedCarMart or TheUsedCarGarage, UltimateUsedCarEResource etc. can be fine. Of course the examples are not that well thought out, but you get the point 🙂
The reason for this is, while Google or any other search engines do not give a direct and obvious preference to the Domain Name, it still matters in SEO and does help you in your efforts to rank well for your targeted niche. The impact is not a BIG one, but it certainly does make a difference.
2. Try to get .COM if available and in your budget, or else pick a good alternative:
They say .COM is a king of domains and as a general idea is to opt for domain names for which .COM is available.
The reasoning behind it is that firstly, .com is a global domain extension. It is not restricted to a country or specific territory (refer what are domains over here). Apart from that a vast majority of people still assume that a website is all about .COM
Infact you will even find hitting ctrl+enter on your keyboard after typing a website’s name will automatically add a .com to it. Same goes for your mobile keyboard, wherein you will find a .com key.
So yeah, .COM is preferred. However, this is 2016 and you will invariably notice that the most popular names, common phrases or even high value keywords will already be taken or are a bit on the expensive side; as far as a .com is concerned. In such cases that you can always go for an alternate domain like a .net, .in, .co, .io etc.
Times are changing and if you are not looking to get a lot of direct traffic and Google searches will be your primary source of traffic then just go with any available domain.
If you are targeting a specific country or a geo-location go with ccTLD like .in, .us, .uk, .au etc.
So, if .com is available GREAT! But if it is not, there are still plenty of options. So don’t delay getting started with your website this year.
3. Keep it easy to pronounce and write:
Your domain needs to be easy to pronounce and spell out. Go for commonly used terms and easy to pronounce names. Also avoid usage of q, x, z and such as they may not be the best to remember and type out.
Also chose words with easy spellings. Like in the above example UsedCars is a pretty simple set of words, which is followed by garage or a mart again simple words.
The reason for this is, it helps people to quickly remember your domain and access it without much trouble. The easier you make it for your audience the better it is your website’s growth.
4. Avoid Numbers, No Special Characters or any Gimmicks:
Following up on the above, ensure you do not use any special characters in your domain. While a hypen [ – ] is allowed, avoid it. Also using numbers is fine as long as the number is easy to remember like 99, 101 etc.
As a general rule – Avoid numbers, special character and fancy names.
5. The shorter the better, Grammar… not that important:
Keep it as short as possible. Something like alongnameofwebsite.com is too tedious to type in. So go for as short a domain name as possible and again see it is easy to speak out.
BlogMeHow is not the shortest, however it still a short domain name which is easy to pronounce and can be said as a single word and I am sure, is catchy enough too 🙂
6. Be Unique:
Now, when I said try to incorporate any of the top 5 keywords in your niche to your domain name, it doesn’t mean to have domain that is run-of-the-mill. Keep it unique, such that people associate that with you.
This also brings us to the next rule….
7. Ensure the Domain Name you make up, doesn’t get you in trouble:
Just when you freeze upon a domain name, run a quick Google search to see what turns up in results. Ensure the domain doesn’t mean anything derogatory or objectionable. While people will frown upon it, Google too would not let it rank well.
It is always better to be safe than sorry.
8. Ensure the Domain Name does not intrude on any Copyrights:
Copyright infringement too should be taken into consideration. Just make sure the domain name you pick is not similar to any other company, organisation, person etc. Again a quick Google search will help out.
9. Try to get Self-Explanatory Domain Name:
A name like BlogMeHow does tell you that it will be something related to blogging, how to do it and stuff. That’s the idea. The domain name you must convey to the audience what your blog or website is all about.
There are exceptions to this rule too, and you will find that some competitors or even other website as blogs having completely unrelated domain names still ranking well for their targeted niche. Yes it is possible, but I advice you try for something that is easy to relate.
10. Don’t go for Trends or the ‘Flavor’ of the Season Domain Names:
If you are all pumped up to start a blog or a website and go after something that is currently trending or ‘in’ or is the ‘flavor of the season’, you will fall flat once the trend dies. So go for something more generic within your niche and not something that sounds to ‘currently trending’.
Something like Top…., Best…., Happening ……, Hot …. etc. are not advisable domain names to go after.
11. Once you Freeze on it, Buy it:
Once you are done with your research and happy with a domain, just go and buy it. Good and unique domains are hard to get and if your choice of domain name is available and all other factors and above rules are checked (atleast most of them), just go an buy it right away. If you don’t someone else would.
Also delaying too much will, kill the mood for you and might leave you demotivated. So my advice is, just go for it and start your website right now.
Getting the right kind of domain is a very important task. However, spending a lot of time on it is also not advisable. The whole idea of this post was to solve this problem and give you a set of actionables and rules to follow, so you can pick a good domain name, quickly enough!
You can also refer this get started guide to blogging, over here and get a domain free and setup your website in less than 5 minutes.
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