This is the first of a two-part series of articles dedicated to helping you choose the right domain name for you or your business.

Is choosing the right domain name a huge issue? Does it really matter or will quality content and good SEO always trump it? Well, the answer isn’t straight forward as the success of your site will always depend on multiple factors and how much hard work you’re prepared to put in, but if you underestimate the importance of acquiring a quality domain name it is something that you’ll regret.

 

Think of your home. Imagine you’ve bought the perfect furniture, all of the appliances you could ever wish for and you have immaculate décor, if your front door is the wrong colour, design or its rotting on its hinges it ruins everything.

 

Your domain name is your website’s front door; more than that, it’s your business’ front door.

 

You’ve got to be memorable but in a good way, you’ve got to make an impression, but the right impression. Your domain name is your chance to make a good first impression

Less is More

Keep your domain name short, sharp and snappy; being concise is a must. If you do a little digging you’ll find that the top websites in any niche have short domain names. It makes perfect sense; www.thebestcarpetcleanersintheworldbarnone.com doesn’t exactly look trustworthy does it? The days of keyword stuffed domain names has long since passed; its spammy, old school SEO that you need to leave behind.

Think about your brand

Branding is incredibly important; your domain name should be something you want to be known by, not a keyword stuffed mess. www.confused.com is far more brandable than www.comparecarinsurancecompanies.comwww.confused.com is instantly recognisable because it rolls off the tongue easily so it’s easy for customers to identify its purpose.

So you can conduct word searches to find the perfect word for your brand, or just make one up (we’re looking at you Google and Bing!).

Git yuor spellin rite

Joking aside this is important; your domain name has to be easy to spell; how do you know whether it’s easy to spell? Try explaining it to a bunch of people and if it takes more than one go for them to get it right you’ve probably got the wrong type of domain name.

Letters only please!

This one is a big bugbear of ours; hyphens and numbers in domain names.

Just don’t do it. Please!

Hyphens make your domain name more complicated and, frankly, they make you look cheap; when someone sees www.delivery-driver.com, they immediately know that you either missed out on www.deliverydriver.com or you were just to cheap to buy it!

That’s not the impression you want to give.

 

As for numbers [shudders] they get in the way and in our opinion they look like typos which is never a good thing.

 

Joking aside this is important; your domain name has to be easy to spell; how do you know whether it’s easy to spell? Try explaining it to a bunch of people and if it takes more than one go for them to get it right you’ve probably got the wrong type of domain name.

Clarity

Nobody should be mispronouncing your domain name.

Test it by giving it to random groups of people and just ask them to read it. It should roll off their tongue with ease; they should be getting it right 100% of the time, any less is not acceptable.

So that’s part one; look out for part two very soon!
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DotWhat is Europe's leading independent domain consultancy helping companies optimise their portfolios, acquire and sell their domains and create effective domain strategies.