What distinguishes a good optimal domain name from a bad domain name? It’s simple: You can remember a good name right away and even weeks later you can still enter it correctly into your browser. A bad name you read or hear and immediately forget. Very bad names are characterized by the fact that you not only forget them but they cannot even be googled, because name and content have nothing to do with each other.
You have probably heard it hundreds of times, but nevertheless, day after day new adventurous name creations appear on the net and often disappear again very quickly: The best content and the best look are of little use to your web project if the domain name acquisition does not fit. A good domain name is a crucial element for your success on the net – accordingly, you should give it a lot of thought. It is your identity on the web and can add enormous value to your marketing and branding activities.
Since it is very important to us to check the domain that you, our customers, are happy and successful with your website, we have put together a checklist with the most important tips. Maybe this will make your search for a name a little easier…
Tip 1: Keep your domain name short
www.digital-marketing-certification-course.com: Admittedly, this freely invented Internet address reveals with comparatively few letters what you can expect on the website. But 37 characters or 4 words and 3 hyphens? It is unlikely that the masses of buyers will storm this store. Because the most important rule for a good domain name is the shorter, the better.
Given the scarcity of resources, especially for the .com domain and the .com domain, that’s easy to say, of course. Domain names with only four, five or six characters are hard to come by. Nevertheless: Your desired name should not be longer than 20 characters, otherwise, it will be difficult to remember. And before you start using combinations (à la name-online.com or name-hamburg.com) due to a lack of free addresses, you should also think again. Because also such combinations are only conditionally memorable.
Tip 2: Use your brand
Sounds banal, but it is important: If you already have a well-known brand, it is important that you include it in your domain name. Because if people already know you, they will search for you and find you. A strong brand is already known in the minds of the users and therefore the potential readers of your site will look for it. You can take advantage of the community you have already built up.
Tip 3: Be uncomplicated
Yes, there are unusual fantasy names that mean absolutely nothing and make no sense but are now well-known brands on the web – such as zalando.com or opodo.com. However, the probability of getting such a hit is not insanely high.
Therefore, the simpler and less complicated a domain name is, the better.
An optimal domain name can be understood, remembered, and typed in without mistakes. Therefore, avoid foreign words as much as possible and never combine foreign words from two languages – mistakes are inevitable. In addition, you should do a typo test so that you can exclude typical typos. Typos usually mean that your visitors end up on another website.
Imagine one of your customers telling a friend about your company. Is your domain name easy to remember and pass on? It would be better to keep the domain name simple. Avoid hyphens, numbers or weird spellings that are prone to misspellings. A short domain name is easier to remember.
Try to secure a web address that is easy to remember (and spell) and reflects what your brand is about. Investing in a domain name with only two to three characters may be worthwhile, but for most new and small businesses, the high price tag probably won’t be.
New domain extensions are practical and let you choose a simple, memorable and, most importantly, available domain name. Remember: the domain name tells the user which niche the website might fall into.
Care should also be taken with abbreviations. Shortening a long name to a few characters is good (see point 1), but it can be at the expense of memorability.
Tip 4: Create an image
The name of a domain shapes an important part of the image of the site. A professional web project needs a professional name, which fits exactly to the project and reflects what you or your idea stands for.
In principle there are two possibilities: Either you think of a project name that sounds good, is short, understandable, and still free and that you develop into a brand yourself (not that easy – see point 3). Or you choose a self-descriptive name. To call a portal for vacation with children for example familytravel.com (by the way, this domain is still available) is meaningful and increases your chances to be found in the big wide www.
Because at least in the beginning most visitors will not come to your site, because they specifically enter the name. You will be found mainly by search engines. And the more meaningful your domain name, the higher up you will land in the results list of Google and Co.
Tip 5: Take your time for the domain name
The classic: You have a good idea. More precisely: THE IDEA. And you want to implement it very quickly. Because everything must happen so quickly, the child doesn’t have a real name yet. You postpone this decision when everything else is in place. And until then you register dozens of domains that might fit somehow.
You can do it, but you don’t have to. As in all other areas of life, it usually makes more sense to use resources in a targeted manner. That means: Limit yourself to a few, really good possibilities. However, this is usually anything but quick but requires time and perseverance.
But you should invest this time in the selection process. Think about names, discard them, discuss your selection with friends/colleagues/relatives.
Tip 6: Be aware of copyright risks
And what you must not forget: Don’t just subject your desired candidates to a domain check, for example here, but also check them from the legal side, so that you don’t violate the rights of others.
For example, third-party trademarks and company names are taboo for you. The same applies to word combinations.
Titles of books, magazines, or newspapers, for example, are also particularly protected. Even if this means that you have to say goodbye to a good idea. This is the only way to protect yourself from warning fees and disputes in court. Such lawsuits can quickly incur high costs and a lot of time and nerves.
Unfortunately, there is no central point of contact for checking. For this reason, we recommend comprehensive research. Use search engines and evaluate the results. You can also analyze the commercial register to see if there are companies with the same or similar names.
Tip 7: Hyphens, numbers & umlauts
Domain names must be easy to remember and pass on. For this reason, you should avoid hyphens, numbers, and umlauts if possible. These only make it more difficult to pass on your domain and the danger that it will be passed on incorrectly is great.
If you can’t avoid using hyphens or umlauts, register the so-called typo domains (i.e., without hyphens and umlauts) at the same time.
Tip 8: Find a relevant domain extension
Or: Good things come to those who wait… You’ve found a good name, now all that’s missing is the right ending or domain extension. As with the name, the same applies here: It has to fit the project and should of course be serious, especially for companies and stores.
Ideal candidate is .com. Simply because users are used to this the most common domain extension. However, due to this popularity, there are bottlenecks as already mentioned. In addition, the Internet has now evolved with domain extensions for every industry imaginable. To make domain names more relevant and brandable, hundreds of new domain extensions have been developed to meet specific needs and purposes.
So, it’s time to switch – for example to .com, .net or .io. With our domain check, you can check in real-time which endings are still available for your desired name – we wish you good luck and hope that you will find the right name for your web child with our tips – and of course, we would be happy if you provide us with reports from the christening!
Tip 9: Familiarize yourself with domain security
Cybercriminals are constantly out to rip off businesses on the Internet. If you’re not careful, you could become one of their targets, too. Domain hijacking is when a fraudster changes the domain registration to transfer ownership of the site to themselves without the rightful owner knowing. This can lead to loss of identity, email addresses, social media presence and more. Here are some ways you can prevent this from happening:
- Register the domain name under your own name.
- Keep the domain management under your own control
- Restrict access to website management to selected team members
- Prioritize emails related to your domain
- Be on guard against phishing attacks
Checklist for the perfect domain
- Find a short & concise name and test on friends & acquaintances to see if it’s easy to spell when you hear it.
- Make sure to do a trademark search to protect yourself legally.
- If possible, avoid hyphens, numbers & special characters and secure the equivalent at the same time.
- Use relevant domain extensions and in any case the TLD of your country, e.g. .com
- Take your time and get opinions from your environment