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How To Choose A Good Domain Name

Registering a domain name is easy and cheap but choosing a good domain name can be tricky. If you want to kick start your online presence, do it right from the beginning.

Guideline #1
An easy-to-remember domain name is becoming increasingly important.

According to the report of market research conducted by Clickz, as of March 06, 2003, 65.48% of website traffic arrived at sites by Direct Navigation - typing a URL in the browser address bar or using a bookmark in the browser. This percentage was only 42.60% measured a year earlier.

What does this mean to you?

If your site has valuable contents to users, they will try to memorize your domain name or bookmark your site. From marketing perspective, remembering a domain name makes the old "word of mouth" marketing tactic easier to implement. To make your domain name be memorized as easily as possible, you should

  • Choose Top Level Domain (TLD) name such as .biz, .com, .info, .name, .net, .org
  • Shorten your domain name to one or two words. Try word variations or combinations but don't go too far - Microsoft: We took MikeRoweSoft too seriously.
  • Be creative

If your domain name is long or difficult to memorize, the only way of Direct Navigation is to bookmark it.

If you have used internet for a while, you probably have bookmarked hundreds of sites and categorized them for easy search. When people bookmark a URL, they tend to use domain names for easy identification. Your domain name should easily be recognized from a possible long list of bookmarks.

If you registered a .com domain name, consider also register the same name for .net domain. You could lose traffic if the .net domain is registered by another party.

Guideline #2
Embed your business nature into the domain name.

Here the business nature may include your company name, major product/service name, product brand, company geographical location, etc. In terms of search engine optimization, it is like writing your targeted keywords into the domain name.

For example, reflects his car wax business nature.

Guideline #3
Separate a long domain name by hyphens to distinguish individual words (arguable).

Hyphenated domain is read like a normal phrase or sentence. For example, is more readable than As you may notice the easy readability comes with the price of losing speakability and typability. You have to balance the pros and cons.

It's arguable that hyphenated domain could drive extra traffic to your site. My advice: Don't take domain name hyphenation too seriously.

Guideline #4
You may be able to purchase an expired domain name.

Why webmasters let their domain names expire? They may forget to renew or they no longer carry on businesses as usual.

An expired domain name may bring you some existing traffic if it was already indexed by search engines, listed by directories, or linked by other sites. To see whether an expired domain has any links to it, you need to use a link popularity checker. See this article Dig More From Link Popularity By Yourself for information on how to take advantage of the best and free link popularity checker.

Be aware that if your business is different to that of the previous site, no point to have untargeted traffic from the old domain visitors. To research an expired domain name, see my article How To Find Out Everything You Want To Know About A Website.

Make sure you always research an expired domain name before making purchase decision. Some domains may have bad history such as spamming or get spammed, illegal activities, or penalized by search engines.

Guideline #5
A good domain name can be sold for profits. Always take this into account when choosing domain names because for any reasons, your project to build a web site may never happen. In this case, you may want to sell your unused domain name.

Some people do domain name trading for profits. It is the same "buy low and sell high" tactics as any other normal businesses do. To obtain a domain ownership, you may

  1. register a new one
  2. buy an expired one
  3. buy an existing one that is for sale

Next, you need some domain resources where you can register, research, buy and sell domain names.


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