Before getting into ins and outs of domain names, lets get simple steps out of the way.
Domain name is the identity of your business online. It is an extension of your offline presence. Therefore, choosing a domain name is very important step while taking your business online. Hence you need to make sure to choose a name which is easy to remember, fits your business and is memorable.
What is a domain name?
Domain names were created to make Internet protocols or IP Addresses more human friendly.
An IP address is a set of numbers which is unique in combination is assigned to every computer connected to the internet IP addresses work like internet addresses. They identify location of the computer on the web and help route information so that it can easily travel between computers.
However, IP addresses are long, random string of numbers and hard to remember. It is unrealistic and impossible for a human to remember IP addresses of every website a person visits. This is where domains come in.
While Computers require IP address to locate one another, we computer can use a domain name like google.com to visit a web page The domain name system or DNS takes these domain names like google.com and translates them into IP addresses that computer needs to communicate. So instead of 220.127.116.11 we can remember google.com.
When someone enters domain name in the browser, the browser translates this domain name into IP address and returns the web page associated with the IP address.
When you tap a contact on your phone, the system automatically detects the phone number associated with the name and dials it for you. You do not have to remember the physical location of the person in order to dial their number.
Also consider the analogy of a house. When you build a house, you buy a plot of land, so the land coordinates are the IP address however the house number or name plate is the domain name.
Why is a domain name important?
• First impression is the last impression: Your URL is the first thing your visitors will see. A good domain name can make a positive and lasting impression, while a bad domain name can send visitors running.
• It affects SEO: While exact match domains (EMDs) are no longer a necessity, keywords in your domain name can still help your SEO ranking.
• It defines your brand: Your domain name is a branding opportunity! The right domain name can increase brand recognition.
Factors in choosing a domain name
Choosing a domain name is like choosing a name for your business, it requires a lot of thought and consideration. The domain name is the identity of your business online. It is however, an extension of your offline business. Therefore, one need to make sure, a name not only fits the business but also is easy to remember and promote. In the next few slides, we will discuss how to choose the perfect domain for your business.
- Make it easy to type: Finding a domain name that’s easy to type is critical to online success. If you use slang (u instead of you) or words with multiple spellings (express vs. xpress), it might be harder for customers to find your site.
- Keep it short: If your domain name is long and complex, you risk customers mistyping or misspelling it. Short and simple is the way to go.
- Use keywords: Try using keywords that describe your business and the services you offer. For example, if you’re a glass replacement business, you may want to register GlassRepair.com or GlassReplacement.com.
- Target your geographical area: If your business is local, consider including your city or state in your domain name to make it easy for local customers to find and remember.
- Avoid hyphens and numbers: Numbers and hyphens are often misunderstood — people who hear your website address don’t know if you’re using a numeral (5) or it’s spelled out (five) or they misplace or forget the dash. If you need these in your domain, register the different variations to be safe.
- Be memorable: There are millions of registered domain names, so having a domain that’s catchy and memorable is essential. Once you’ve come up with a name, share it with close friends to make sure it sounds appealing and makes sense to others.
- Use the right domain name extension: Extensions are suffixes, such as .com or .net, at the end of web addresses. These can have specific uses, so make sure to choose one that works for your business. The .com domain extension is far and away the most popular, but it can be tough to get a short and memorable .com domain name because it’s been around for so long. A bevy of new domain extensions — like .photography, .club and .guru — offer a great opportunity to register short and highly relevant names. And here are some other top extensions and how they’re often used:
.cricket : for youth leagues, pro teams and fans.
.dev : for web developers, coders and other tech professionals.
.green : for businesses involved in the global sustainability movement.
- Build and protect your brand: Creative and brandable domains are always better than generic. For example, do you know the difference between Healthinsurance.net, Newhealthinsurance.com, or Healthinsurancesort.com? Probably not, right? Sites like UnitedHealthCareOnline.com and Anthem.com stand out because they stand for something. When people hear those domain names, there is a trust factor there. To protect your brand, you should purchase various domain extensions, as well as misspelled versions of your domain name. This prevents competitors from registering other versions and ensures your customers are directed to your website, even if they mistype it.
- Check your trademarks: Before moving on with a specific domain, if the domain is available on social medias as well as if there is any trademark already registered on the name. You can use a tool called Knowem to check if a name is trademarked or not. Search your potential domain name – it’ll show you if it’s available throughout over 25 popular social networks and if there are any trademarks already registered to the name. If it’s taken, consider tweaking it so that you can create original social media profiles.
Domain name generators
At this point, you should have at least a general idea of some possible words to put in your domain. Some of those words may already be taken, trademarked, or just don’t have the “sound” you’re looking for.
That’s where domain name generators come into play. These generators can turn your ideas into fresh, available domains.
Here are some of our favorite domain name generators to try out:
Wordoid. This tool allows you to plug in a word; it will come up with ideas that either contain that word, begin with that word or end with that word.
Lean Domain Search. This tool matches your keyword with other keywords and generates a list of available domains.
DomainHole. This tool allows you to search keywords, find expired domains, generate new names, and more.
Domain name registrars
Here is a compiled list of domain name registrars that you can use to register your domain name:
After registering a domain name, the next step is to buy a hosting and you can start building your website.