What to look for in a domain name

When choosing a domain name, the goal is to bridge the gap between availability and awareness. Here are some things to consider:

1. Brand recognition
A domain name that can be easily turned into a brand name goes a long way. A good brand name distinguishes your site from all the others and provides an emotional connection.

Branding is important over time because people tend to develop a preference for things often because they are familiar with them.

Familiarity is a strong motivator of human behavior. In general, people like things that are familiar because they don't require as much mental work as things that are new and different.

Choose a domain name that uses familiar keywords; it helps build brand loyalty and recognition right off the bat.

2. Location… location… location
Without a great domain, people have trouble finding you online.

Site owners need to be wise enough to choose the right domain extension. Millions of businesses around the world use .com due to the credibility and recognition it provides.

There are many examples which show how people were attracted to other TLDs and then realize that they have difficulty boosting their online presence and traffic because they don't own the .com.

The majority of Internet traffic is generated by websites using the .com extension, making .com the global standard for doing business online.

3. Short, concise domains are best
Shorter domains are easier to type and remember while improving brandability. A shorter URL is better for social media, in advertising, and in email accounts.

4. Correct spelling
Avoid domains with intentional misspellings. Generally you'll just confuse people.

5. Easy to pronounce
If you can't easily say the name, the name will be harder for others to remember, and you'll have trouble building a brand name.

Try saying the name out loud to a couple of friends. If you find yourself having to repeat the name a couple of times before they get it (or spell it out for them), chances are, it's not a good domain.

6. Avoid hyphens and numbers
Hyphens and numbers will confound users when they type the domain. Hyphens are hard to brand, say, and remember. Numbers cause confusion. Was that 4Sale.com?, FourSale.com, or ForSale.com?

7. Relevant keywords
Use intuitive keywords that succinctly describe your company, product, or service.

8. Check for trademarks and social media availability
If you purchase a domain with a trademarked name, chances are likely you'll find yourself in a legal battle. If possible, choose a name that you can use across social networks.

9. Target your location
Many people prefer to do business with people in their area. If your business is local, consider including your city or state in your domain name.

10. Act fast
Don't get stuck at the very first step of purchasing a domain. We've seen too many companies lose 2 or 3 months looking for the perfect domain.

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