One of the most important steps in establishing an online presence is buying a domain name.
Choosing the right domain name for your website is important both for search engines and your target audience. It is always best to not go with the fads and trends of the day and choose a name which is relevant to your subject matter or business and would be 10 years or 20 years down the line.
Once that is done, the next step is to secure the rights to your domain name by buying it.
Listed below are 10 things you should do before buying a domain name.
Doing some research before buying a domain name is always smart. You can use certain sites to check the kind of domain name your competitors are using. You can also research to find an available name with keywords using media Openhost NZ domain names search tool. Conducting research would also help you get information regarding the history of a specific domain name-when it was sold, for how much, the website broker and so on. Conduct research is a good way to avoid buying domain names that have been flagged as spammy by Google.
2. Go for an easy to type and remember domain name
It is important to optimise your domain name and website for search engines but above all else, user experience is key. Your domain name should be a name web users will find easy to type and remember. It is best to avoid multiple hyphens and weird characters, odd spellings, numbers and so on.
You should also avoid using words with more than one spelling as this can cause confusion and lead to typos. The alternative would be to get both versions of the name and redirects visitors from one site to the author (this can be expensive). For short domain names, do not go for cryptic, instead, look for memorable names. Word-of-mouth is is a strong marketing tool and you want to make it easy for web users to tell their circle about your website.
3. Avoid using slangs
It is always best to avoid using slangs and words that are native to you, the goal is to ensure your domain name would be meaningful for years to come and can be easily understood by non-native speakers. You should do this whether your business website is for local or international markets.
4. Short domain names are best
Long domain names are harder for web users to remember, they also increase the chances of your domain name being misspelt, which can lead to loss of traffic.
Even though a lot of good single word domain names are gone, you can still make use of a short domain name by being a little bit creative. If the single word domain you prefer is not available, you can try adding a verb or an adjective in front of it and checking to see if these variations are available. Above all this, remember t your domain name is part of the online brand identity and it needs to match the image in you hope to project.
5. Avoid trademark domains
If you intend to buy trademarked term in order to leverage the traffic it will generate, you would be doing yourself more harm than good. Buying trademark names opens you up to litigation and can hurt your online brand in the long run. To ensure the domain name you intend to register is not a trademark, you can quickly search on the US trademark website, www.uspto.gov and confirming if the domain name you choose is a trademark.
6. Choose “.com” when possible
A lot of web users assume a website ends in ‘.com’ even when it doesn’t, so if you buy domain extension with another TLD for example, .org, .net, .info and so on, you would have to put in extra work to get web users to remember your website extension. It’s also one of the first steps to improve website user experience.
Do not fret, if you cannot find your preferred domain name in the.com extension, a lot of websites do quite well on other extensions but the.com domain name should always be but if it is available.
7. Do not buy a domain name similar to another popular domain
Even if the term isn’t trademark, it is best not to buy a domain name that is a derivative of another domain name. If your preferred domain name has similar variations available, you might want to consider buying them for yourself, so traffic to this domain name as a result of a typo will be redirected to your main website.
8. Numbers are best avoided
Including numbers in your domain name is something which can quickly get confusing when being typed in, as web users may not know if it is supposed to be a word (three) as opposed to a digit (3). If you absolutely have to have a number in your domain name, we recommend buy both versions – digit and word, so you do not lose out on traffic to your website. We especially recommend that you avoid the number zero as it is it can often be mistaken for the letter O.
9. Hyphens are tricky
Making use of hyphens to separate words in a domain name makes it easier for it to be read by search engines. However, when web users type in a domain name with a hyphen, they often forget to include the hyphen. If you intend to use hyphens in your domain name, do not have more than three or it will get too messy.
10. Do not forget to check for availability on social media sites
After you settle on a domain name, it is always smart to check if your domain name is available on social media sites like Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and so. Even if you are not going be active on social media right away, it makes more sense for you to have the same name on your website across all your social media pages when you are ready.