Well, would you have used Google if it was named Googol or BackRub? The latter was, in fact, the actual name of Google when it started and Google (a vast number) was intentionally misspelled to come up with Google. It is simple and easy to remember just like Apple and Windows. It goes without saying that domain names have a massive impact on a business.
- It must be brandable – That is difficult to define except that it means the registered domain name must be relatively short with no more than eight characters. If you are opening an online store selling pre-mixed curries, then curryinahurry.com seems slightly too long to remember, but curryup.com is more comfortable to remember (being 7 characters long and rhymes with a hurry-up).
- It should roll off the tongue easily – Do not make the registered domain name too difficult to pronounce. That is why Amazon and Uber are a success (well at least one of the reasons why they are a success). Who can remember a website named Ask Jeeves – a very popular search engine in the last century?
- Go with a dot-com TLD – We are nearly two decades into the new century but .com extension still rules when it comes to a registered domain name. There are a lot of new domain names including .pizza. But there is a mental association that users have between a business and .com top level domain extension. Somehow Amazon.net and Facebook.ninja just does not have the same ring to it, isn’t it?
- If possible exploit keywords – Not always possible but if you can then why not make a keyword your registered domain name? If your business is painting walls then why not paint my home since “how to paint my home” must be a popular search keyword.
- Do not use a hyphen – never register a domain name that is hyphenated. No self-respecting business has a domain name with a hyphen. Only not very reputable websites which spam or deal in illicit content have hyphens in their name. They are also susceptible to typos. If you own curry-up.com and your rival goes ahead and registers curryup.com, there is a fair chance that he will get more traffic.
- Do not use obscure names – It is hard to remember bw340.com a few minutes after seeing the domain name. Make the name catchy yet familiar. At the cost of repeating, Amazon.com is a great example.
- Make it relatable – Do not create a domain name such as DavidPaints.com for painting homes. David is the painter of what? Make it relatable to your product or services such as paintmyhome.com
There is an excellent way to find a domain name. Ask about 100 potential customers what they would type into Google if they required your product. That would give you a fair idea of the common words that flash through a person’s mind when they browse for similar services online. Combine this knowledge with the few cardinal rules above – short, no hyphens, easily pronounceable, not obscure. Give it some time to ferment in your mind. If you begin to think about a good name today you might actually come up with one a month later. Ask around for advice from friends and family. Who knows you might land up with the perfect domain name sooner than you thought possible.