8 tips to select a good domain name?

by Kamanashish Roy

Buying and selling cool domain names is such a big business, that you will often find that someone else has booked your dream domain and parked it for no reason. And sometimes they charge such huge amounts to release it, that you are forced to go for something else.

I am sure that the domain name you thought to buy is the best one but in the changed situation, here are some suggestions that can help you to find the best domain name.

How to select a good domain name?

SEO Test:
It is good to have the keyword you are targeting in the domain name. Experts say (so do I) that having the keyword in the domain name helps a lot in ranking for that and related keywords. However, remember that ideally the domain name and site name should be the same. For example, if your domain name is example123.com your website should also be named Example123 and not just “Example” or “123 Example”. Let’s not make the target market confused. However, if your company name is Acme and you sell cars, AcmeCarSales.com is a good domain name. However, make sure that your domain name is not confused with other popular domain name. It is a different issue, if you want to take some value from the established brand.

Short and Sweet:
Make your domain name short and sweet. For example; mywebsite.com is far better than thisismywebsite.com and website.com is the best. Short and sweet domain names are easy to remember and pass to friends. And I will do that even at the cost of a .com Top Level Domain (TLD).

You can go up to 67 characters in a domain name. But it is better to stick to 12 to 15 characters — the shorter, the better.

Hyphen Somewhere:
If the domain name MyCompany is already booked you can try My-Company.com. However, in this situation, you have an extra job to do. You must highlight the hyphen enough so that the target market is not confused.

The Phone Test 1:
Call some of your friends and tell them that you have selected a domain name to book. Tell them the domain name a few times and get back to your usual conversations. Call them again and ask them the domain name that you said a few days back. If they do not remember the domain name, give them some clues. And even after that if they do not remember it —you should reconsider the domain name.

The Phone Test 2:
It may also be called the phonetic test. Call some of your friends and tell them the domain name once. If they can tell it back to you, that’s good. If the answers are not good enough, there may be a problem.

The billboard test:
Print the domain name in a piece of paper and paste it somewhere like a notice board / wall. If people can read the domain name in one go, that’s cool. To add, this is also a good practice for selecting a logo (font, logo, style etc.) for the website.

My, The or Online before the domain name:
It is often common that when the domain name is not available, the booking company suggests names like MyAcme or TheAcme or OnlineAcme. Is there anything wrong in having these domain names if Acme.com is not available? It all depends on how you intend to use the website. For example, if you want to use it for user interaction / feedback collection; that’s good. Otherwise, it is good to think about something else.

.com or something else?
People often get confused whether to go for any other domain name than .com. There is no doubt that .com is still the most popular domain name. However at present country level TLDs are also getting popular owing to the offline promotional campaigns by big companies. And things are going to be real good pretty fast. I would suggest you to go for a country level TLD if .com is not available. And if you are developing the website to do business in another country, getting their TLD is a good option.

Last but not the least: there is always a good domain name available and waiting to be discovered. Just continue brainstorming a bit longer.

Guest post by Kamanashish Roy. Today, if you do not have a website, you are missing loads of business and other opportunities. Here is a good article on why you need a website.