Share and Enjoy

blog-markammay-http
First of all, what the heck is a domain name and what does it consist of? A domain name is basically the address to your website. When you tell a friend your home address, you’re giving them the information to go to your physical home. It’s the same for your website, and you would give out your web address in the form of a unique URL. Example: markammay.com

Did You Know?
The first commercial domain name was registered on March 15, 1985.

Listen to this blog post:

What Is A Bad Domain Name?

So you want to get a domain name, right? Getting a domain name is easy but there are things you want to keep in mind. Anybody can get a domain name, but not everyone knows how to get the right domain name. Let me explain.

Case Study: I once had a client who wanted a domain name but didn’t know what to name it. She had her own startup film business, but she did not have a company name either. We went through a brainstorming session and I noticed a few things. Firstly, she hadn’t done any research on her brand or what name she wanted for her startup. Secondly, all the names she chose were already taken (yes even back in 2007 most of the good domain names were already taken). And thirdly, the domain names she was looking in to were no less then 20 letters long! All bad.

Let’s take a look at this client and understand her problem. Since she didn’t do any research about her company name, it was hard to look for a domain name first. You don’t want to base your company name and brand after you pick a domain name; in fact you want to first make sure that your company name isn’t already trademarked and taken. The last thing you want is to accidentally buy a domain name, in which there’s already a company established under that name!

Did You Know?
Nissan.com is still fighting a lawsuit against them by the company Nissan Motors for their domain name. My advice is to try and avoid these situations from the get go.

The next thing my client was facing was that all the good domain names were already taken! This is an issue we all face, and that’s where you need to be creative.

And finally, since the domain names that she wanted were all taken, she was choosing very long and drawn out domain names, that not even an elephant could remember! An example would be choosing a bad domain name such as howtogetawebsiteforfree.com (actually that’s not as bad as some others).

How To Choose A Domain Name

Now for the good part of this post, choosing a good domain name. Here are some questions and tips for you to answer and know, to find the best domain name you can:

Questions to ask yourself before buying a domain name:

What is the purpose of this website?
Brainstorm the top 10 keywords and the main purpose of your website to get a better understanding of what kind of domain name you might want. You really need to have a domain name that is relevant to your brand and or company. Now, if you already have a business name, obviously you would want to use that, unless someone else already has that domain name. You may want to avoid choosing a domain name that could potentially confuse your brand with someone else’s.

You should try to incorporate your top keywords into your domain name, if possible. Don’t force keywords just for the sake of it, but at least keep them in mind, especially if you don’t have an official company name to go by. For example, if you’re a professional designer, you could make your own brand by picking a unique domain name with your keywords in it (or your first and last name, or nickname). Be creative, be innovative.

Is the domain name already taken?
My suggestion is to go directly to your web browser such as Firefox or Chrome, and type in your desired domain name in the URL address bar. You should already know if that domain name is taken. If the page errors out and cannot find that domain name, then you may be able to get that domain name!Personal Opinion: I personally avoid going to websites that let you buy domain names, just to look up if a domain name is already taken. You can just do that on your own, in your own web browser as I mentioned above. I have not done any research, but I want to assume that my domain name search is being recorded, and somehow, for some reason my domain name that I wanted could potentially be purchased before I purchase it. Why? Who knows, maybe so someone else can charge me more to buy that domain name from them? Again, this is just me, and probably only me who thinks this way!

Is your desired domain name unique enough?
Like Imentioned earlier, you want to get a domain name that won’t get others confused of your brand or identity. You wouldn’t want someone to go to your website and mistaken you for a different company (especially if they were looking for something totally unrelated). You want to choose a unique and memorable domain name, that you wouldn’t mind keeping for years to come.

How easy is it to remember?
If you were to tell someone to go to a hard-to-remember domain name, then chances are they will not remember it, even if they wrote it down somewhere beforehand.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Examples of good domain names:

  • Twitter.com – It’s easy to remember, and it’s widely known now.
  • Homes.com – It’s a domain name that people would just type very easily
  • Cafepress.com – It includes it’s keywords in it’s domain name and you can easily figure out what they are all about

Examples of bad domain names:

  • therapistfinder.com – Good intentions, could be mistaken as something else
  • nissan.com – Gets a lot of visitors, but most are trying to get to their car dealer
  • fortressw.com – You would probably try to go to fortressware.com since the companies name is in fact “Fortress Ware”, but they chose this domain name instead.

A Look Foward

You just got a look into how you can find a good domain name for your website. My next articles I’d like to explore are the ways to purchase a domain name for yourself or your brand.

Share and Enjoy