10 Definite Rules on How to choose a Domain Name
A Domain Name in a common man’s language is just a specific name of something to get identified from a group of so many similar or non-similar things. The particular name helps it to stand out among the group and get identified easily by the person who looks for it.
Like any street address or a zipcode helps us to reach the destination without fail; In the world of the internet, it is an online address or a web address called URL (Uniform Resource Locator) that will help us to find the desired website we are looking for from a pool of websites. It acts as a permanent address and an online ambassador for your website.
What is a Website?
A website is a collection of web pages that includes text, animations, images, videos, etc created by an individual, organization, government body, or company. People create websites for the promotion of their brand and to develop their business.
They positively look into each visit to their website to be converted into a sale or deal. For that, the consumer who is looking for that particular brand should be able to reach up to their website without any hassle.
Here is where the role of a domain name becomes relevant. A Domain should carry either your brand name or a keyword related to your business to make people aware of your business and search for it. A strong unique name will drive the customer to your website.
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The actual address of a website is a unique IP (Internet Protocol) address which is a collection of numeric that helps computers to communicate with each other. But it is not human-friendly. For a common man, it is impossible to remember these many numbers and execute them whenever necessary.
While the name of the domain of a brand or business will help to eradicate the confusion of how to reach the desired website. Searching for a domain that carries a brand name, or a business keyword is simpler than searching for a particular IP address.
To be more specific a Domain Name is something that a consumer will type into a browser window to reach on to that particular website.
The minimum character for the domain is one and the maximum is 63 characters.
For example, the website of Google is ‘google.com’. In which Google is the domain name or second-level domain of the website and .com is called the generic Top-Level Domain (TLD) extension or G Top-Level domain extension.
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While most of the global websites go for the .com extension, there are different other types of domains also available.
Top-Level Domain (TLD): Along with .com, few other popular domains come under this category like .org and .net. And least popular and rarely recommended ones like .biz,.info,.buzz, and many more.
Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD): These are country-specific domains that end with country codes like .uk for the United Kingdom, .in for India, and .de for Germany. These websites target audiences from specific countries.
Sponsored Top Level Domains (sTLD): sTLD is a category of TLDs that has a sponsor representing a specific community served by the domain extension. For example, .gov for government websites, .edu for educational websites, and .mil for military organizations, etc.
Second-Level-Domains: These domains come just below the Top-level Domains. It is better to illustrate with examples like.co.uk and.ac.uk etc which gives the hint of organizations which carries it.
Subdomains: These are useful as they don’t require webmasters to purchase any additional domain to create divisions within their site. Instead, they can create a subdomain that directly points to a specific directory on the server. This is highly useful for campaign sites. Examples of such sites are developer.face.com and support.google.com.
Free Domains: Free domains are also available from different website builders like wordpress.com, Square space, Weebly, etc. These domains are like subdomains ae they use the name of the website in your domain. For example, rather than having mytoys.com, it would be like mytoys.wordpress.com or mytoys.squarespace.com. these types of domains are not recommended for long-term business and especially if you are looking for unique branding. It is always advised to pay the fee and own one.
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Why a Domain Name is important for a website?
- It gives you an identity: Among the world of thousands of websites, it ensures a unique position for your business/brand.
- It gives online and offline credibility to your business: having the ownership of a high-value name for your website, establishes credibility, authority, and professionalism both online and offline.
- It sets user expectations: People will be hesitant to click on an unfamiliar domain, to avoid this it is important to invest in a high-quality domain that sets a user’s expectations.
- It increases organic search value: All the online branding activities are related to Search Engine Optimization or SEO. SEO is a collection of activities on and off your website which helps your site rank well in various search engines like Google or Bing.
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Why should we have a catchy Website Name?
- It gives an instant attraction: Anything which is attractive will draw people’s attention. Since the purpose of building a website, itself is for the promotion of your business or brand, having a quick catchy name will help to bring you more customers.
- It will attract walk-in businesses: People will show up directly into your shop/institution. Instead of simply clicking through your website, it may trigger a thought of a quick visit, that might or might not end up in a sale. But eventually, your brand name has already got a place in the public’s mind and the greatest way of publicity Mouth to Mouth will bring you more business.
- It builds your brand: A catchy name creates awareness about your brand. A domain that carries the concept of your business will reinforce your brand that makes it easier for customers to remember and return. As it is easier to remember, people will share the name with their friends It will boost the reputation of your brand.
- It affects SEO: A strong name will directly affect your domain traffic. There is no profit or use if none is willing to visit your website. Hence a name that contains relevant keywords related to your business or your brand itself would help to drive more traffic into your website.
10 Rules to choose a perfect Domain Name.
- Use .com extension: It is highly recommended to buy a .com extension because it is a more recognized and standardized extension and trustworthy as well. This extension is in the top-level domain (TLD) in the Domain Name System of the internet.
- Should be unique and brandable: Choose a name that is more brandable for your domain, that promotes your brand in the name itself. Research for a unique name which is not matching with any other brand. If you select a domain of an already existing brand it comes under the copyright act and the company can penalize you.
- Make it attractive and concise: It should be short, simple, strong, and most importantly unique. Short names will be easy for people to remember. It should have the capacity to attract people into it and make your website clickable. It is hard to remember a long name. People might not have that much patience to type a long name in the google search box and that will force them to leave your brand.
- Use keywords related to your niche: Using keywords related to your business in your domain will help to elevate your ranking. Niche-related keywords in Website Name will increase your search ranking and conversion of sales attracting more customers to your website.
- Pronounceable: Choose a name that can be easily communicated to others. If you cannot spell or make people easily understand the name of your brand, the whole effort you put in is going to be in vain. In short, the name should be user-friendly. Easy to spell, read and memorize.
- Avoid Using Hyphens, Symbols, and Numbers: Say a firm no to these things in your domain. It will confuse people while searching for your website. And it is hard to remember such complicated names. Look for clear and class names which stick to people’s mind for a long time.
- Use a Domain selection tool: If you have exhausted brainstorming for an idea, try a domain selection tool to get it done. Tools like NameMesh or DomainsBot can help you find a perfect one.
- Let it be intuitive: Make sure your domain reflects what you do. People can guess your business seeing you’re the name of your website and will reach for you expecting that you might do it.
- Register your Domain: Once you fix your name do not wait long to get it registered. Thousands of domains are getting registered all over the world in a single day. So, if you have fixed yours just take the next step without wasting time.
- Get hold of other variants also: You have fixed your TLD to be a .com extension, then try to buy the other variants also like .net, .in, .org, etc so that the competitors won’t be able to rank over you. It means no one else will be able to set up a competing website on a similar name. Let all your variations be redirected permanently to your main domain so that anyone who tries to access them will end up on the actual website.
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How and where to get a Domains registered?
You don’t need a website to get your domain registered. This means the domain is important, whether or not the website is built while the name is getting registered is secondary. You cannot buy a domain permanently. It needs to be renewed yearly by paying a nominal amount.
We can buy Domains from any of the popular domain registrars. A registrar is a company accredited by ICANN (International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) to do the registrations. There are many accredited registrars and you should carefully choose one.
Few ICANN accredited registrars are:
- GoDaddy: It is the largest domain name registrar in the world. They provide world-class customer services.
- Google Domains: Launched in 2014, this is operated by Google itself. Simple and transparent Backend UI is its highlight.
- Name Cheap: Founded in 2000, it is the most reliable and trusted independent domain registrar.
- Bluehost: Well-known and one of the biggest brands in the Web hosting business.
- Enom : Founded in 1997, It is the second-largest domain registrar after Godaddy. It has 15 million domains in its management. eNom offers other services like reseller hosting plans, shared hosting plans along with domain registration.
- Namesilo: Founded in 2010, they offer the most flexible pricing and more powerful security measures.
- Hover : Third largest ICANN-accredited and one of the best straightforward domain registrar. You can easily manage the DNS settings with the clean and straightforward look of hover.
- 1and1: Best reliable Domain Registrar in the world as they offer cheap hosting plans and in the first year of registration you can expect huge discounts as well.
- com: It provides top-level domain at a cost-effective price, along with that it offers website hosting plans, emails, and DIY builders.
- Gandi: Founded in 1999, now it manages more than a 1.5million domains. It provides some security benefits as well during the domain registration.
Few things to be considered while choosing a registrar are:
- How much they are charging, as the cost varies from one registrar to another.
- Do you need to purchase it from your web host?
- Does the registrar offer you high-quality support?
- Does the registrar provide you any additional services such as reminders for renewal?
- Do they provide WHOIS privacy?
Steps to register a Domain Name are as follows:
- Choose a Strong Name following the rules mentioned above. You can shortlist a minimum of five names before fixing one.
- Check the availability of your domain in a tool like DomainTyper
- Choose a domain registrar. Godaddy, Name.com, Domain.com, etc are few popular registrars
- Create an account with the registrar,
- Search for your desired domain,
- Add to cart
- Do the payment and own it.
Registering and Purchasing your website doesn’t mean you get a website, for that you need website hosting. For example, Bluehost, which is one of the largest website hosting providers and powers millions of websites. Hostgator is another major one.
Once your domain is registered with the chosen registrar, the domain will be pointed to the server by the website hoisting named DNS, Domain Naming System. The DNS will map your domain name with the IP address of that particular website. To elaborate, when someone types a website URL into a browser, a DNS query is generated to learn the IP address of the webserver associated with that name.
Can you choose an expired domain name?
Yes, Of course. An expired domain is the one that an owner has either failed to renew or doesn’t want to continue with due to various reasons. Before the expiration date, every website owner will be noticed with a grace period to renew it. If they don’t do, then it will be put for auction, still, if none is buying then slowly it will get deleted.
These Expired Domains are normally least valued. But the people who have thorough knowledge about SEO and the value of good backlinks, Expired Domains are valuable. They know how to use it. The skill is in how to segregate between the good and bad ones.
ExpiredDomains.net is a website where you can find good expired domains and before they get deleted or released to the public you can backorder. Currently, this website supports 477 TLDs.
Like Expired Domains, there is another category called Dropped Domains or Deleted Domains. You can consider these domains also along with expired domains.
Expired Domains or Deleted Domains are attractive due to key SEO reasons that are already associated with an existing backlink profile. If you plan to buy an expired domain, you can determine the quality of the domain by looking at the inbound links. The value of an expired domain can be assessed by considering the relevant keywords contained in the second-level domain.
Benefits of Buying an Expired Domain
- An advantage of buying an expired domain is that it helps you to target the right traffic. Most of the old websites will be having the kind of traffic your business needs.
- The older the domain, the more it is established. Google considers domain age when it comes to ranking a website. In short, websites that were running for a long time carry more weight than newer ones.
- In an expired domain, there are chances to have a backlink profile with authority links. Finding and building high-quality links will take a much longer time. Buying an expired domain minimizes your workload, by utilizing the existing backlinks.
- It takes a long time for your PageRank with a new website. Page Rank is assessed by Google based on the number and quality of its backlinks.
Factors to check before buying Expired Domains:
- By using the Internet Archive check the domain history. Enter the domain into the Internet Archive box and get all the previous activity of the website.
- Check Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) passed on the factors such as the quality of content, quality, and the number of backlinks. These are scored on a scale of 1-100 score. You can check these metrics using the MozSEO Toolbar.
- Uncover an expired domain’s complete backlink profile using Ahrefs. This will help you to know the quality of its backlinks. Having a detailed check will ensure you avoid negative SEO.
- Use Google Analytics to check whether your expired domain is getting real traffic or bot traffic. Domains with poor traffic are useless.
- Page speed is considered a ranking factor by Google. When the site loads faster the customers will be able to complete the online transactions soon.
- Check Google Bans for the website domain you chose.
- Make sure that the backlinks included in the domain is related to your niche otherwise it is going to impact your business negatively.
Both new and expired domains have both advantages and disadvantages. Expired domains will work only if the previous owner has put the effort in building in its value. Authority links, content quality, social signals, and high organic traffic can add to its SEO ranking.
Choosing a perfect Domain Name is a challenging task. To get a perfect one you need to brainstorm behind it. It has to be strong, catchy, attractive, and effective enough to run your business online and offline for the long term.
It’s advisable to choose domains that carry keywords related to your business. So that simply reading through the name itself people can have a fair understanding about what you do. It is a long-term investment. As long as your business runs well, you should put the same effort into your website as well.
Keep updating and promoting your website with discounts, offers, blogs supporting your brand, promotional fares according to seasons, etc anything that would help your brand and business to grow can be added to your website.
A website name is an integral part of your business, so you should put high effort to choose the right one to stand out in the crowd.
Should I Trademark my Domain Name?
If your website name and brand name match, then it is advisable to trademark it, to legally protect your business; especially if you are planning to operate fully online.
Can I change the name of my Domain?
Yes, You can. If the purpose of SEO demands then certainly you must.
Why do I need to renew my Domain? Why can’t I just buy it?
You cannot purchase a domain for your lifetime, you need to continue renting it year by year. As the operating cost of the domain registry increases with the growth of the company and inflation, the registry would automatically increase the price of the domain extensions, which is not at all good for the businesses Hence the renting option is more economical
Who are Domain Registrants and Domain Registrars? Also resellers and registries.
A person who registers a domain is a Domain Registrant. Registrars have accredited organizations that do the registration of Domains. Resellers are those who register on behalf of registrants, for example- web hosting companies. They don’t have any contractual relationship with ICANN. Registries store information about all domains, they act as authoritative master databases.
How can I keep my Domain safe?
Cybersquatting and Domain hijacking are the major issues of Domain safety. Owning an SSL (Secure Sockets Level) certificate provides an extra layer of security.