Thinking of creating a website? Choosing your domain name is a crucial step that you shouldn’t take lightly. In this guide, discover the important criteria to take into account when choosing the right domain name.
How to choose a domain name?
Your domain name (NDD) identifies your business in this immense jungle that is the Web. Its choice is just as important as the choice of your business name. It is therefore essential that you select a domain name that not only matches your business or organization but is also easy to promote and find. If you choose the wrong domain name, you will have a hard time changing it without hurting your search engine rankings. This is why it is crucial that you choose the best domain name from the start.
A good domain name is short, unique, easy to remember and pronounce, and it inspires confidence. Your best bet would be to go with a brand name that your competition is unlikely to use. For example, “Google” and “YouTube” are not common names. They are not overly wordy and do not contain complex vowels. Users are unlikely to confuse them with the brand of their competitors. In other words, the ideal would be to think about your domain name at the same time you choose the name of your company, your brand, your blog, etc.
Be simple and predictable! Indeed, simplicity should be your watchword in choosing an effective domain name. Avoid using dashes, let alone underscores or any other punctuation. Banish complicated words and specific jargons. Also avoid including numbers unless absolutely necessary, especially if it’s part of your brand name.
Once you have found the right domain name, you should now check its availability. At this point, you will also need to think about what type of extension you plan to book. This is essential to avoid cybersquatting. To check the availability of the domain name, simply go to the site of an accredited host. If it is available, all you have to do is buy it. Also, consider buying common spelling mistakes for your domain.
Which extension to choose and why?
The domain name is made up of 3 parts: the subdomain (www), the domain and the extension (.com, .ug, .net, org, etc.). The choice of extension is also important, as it helps to find you easily on the web. Extensions sometimes have specific uses, so it’s important that you choose one that suits the purpose of your website. There are niche extensions like “.pizza,” “.photography” or “.blog”. However, these may mislead users.
.Com is by far the most popular extension and the most secure option. If possible, choose this extension for the simple reason that most people automatically type “.com” when looking for a site. You can reserve multiple extensions (eg .co.ug, .ug, and .org) to minimize the risk of cybersquatting and to ensure the sustainability of your brand. You don’t need to create a website for every domain. Just transfer the additional domains to your main site.
What if the domain name is not available?
In the event that the domain name you want to buy is not available, the first solution is to choose alternative extensions. For example, if mysiteweb.com is already taken, try using mysiteweb.net. This has no influence on the natural referencing of your site except for the case of geographic extensions such as “.ug” or “.africa”.
Another solution, you can opt for the new extensions of type “.boutique” or “.shop”.
If you do not want to use the new extensions, you can find out if the domain name you have chosen can be redeemed. The first thing to do is find its owner. If the domain name refers to a website, you can contact the administrator through the site’s legal notice. On the other hand, if it returns to a landing page indicating that the domain name is for sale, it will be easy for you to make an offer to the domainer. After you have established your budget, negotiated the price and bought the domain name, the owner will have to give up their administrator rights to transfer them to you. An initial authorization form for a registrar transfer will be required to confirm the transfer.
Why choose a short domain name?
While keywords are important, make sure your domain name isn’t too long. It is highly recommended that you choose a short and memorable domain name. To be effective, make sure it is no more than 15 characters long. Longer domain names are more difficult to remember by your users and take longer to type in the URL or even for sending email and printing communication media.
On the other hand, short domain names are very popular and their value is often high. It can be difficult to acquire a short domain name (less than 8 characters), but the game is worth the effort.
Additionally, visitors are more likely to make typos with longer domain names, which can lead to loss of traffic. This is the reason why it is in your interest to limit the length of your domain name.
Do you have to insert the main keyword in the domain name?
The importance of the choice of keywords is one of the most important elements for natural referencing (SEO) Keywords have a significant role in a domain name. By inserting keywords, you show search engines what your website is all about. You can benefit from a good ranking in Google with quality content, a good user experience and of course the keywords of your domain name. It is not easy to find a good domain name with the keywords you are targeting that is still available. You will then have to be creative and combine your keywords with other words.
International domain names
If your business tends to expand internationally or if you are targeting foreign users, your domain name should be easy to read in all languages. Remember that what makes sense in French may not have meaning in another language … At worst, your domain name could have a negative connotation depending on the country where you are located. So remember to find out more about it.
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