7 tips to help you choose a good domain

“The domain determines the address of your site, how you are found and how you are remembered.”

Your domain name is possibly more important than the design of the website when it comes to attracting visitors. The domain determines how you are found, the address of your site and how you are remembered. Choosing a good domain name can be a fun but daunting task, so we have gathered some tips to help you find the one that is right for you.

Make sure the domain is yours

Make sure that the domain is registered in your name before you add it to promotional material, like posters or business cards. If for some reason, you can’t get the domain you have in mind, you would need to redo all of that promotional material. Unfortunately, we see this too often, and it always involves a lot of frustration and wasted time. By making sure to register the domain name in your name, you can avoid this.

Keep it short and simple

A short domain is easy to remember and type, and makes sure you are easy to reach. A good example is our own One.com. While short is good, your domain should also mean something. An abbreviation or acronym might make it harder to remember, unless of course you are known by your acronym, like WWF, or FIFA.

Easy to spell and pronounce

Like a name or poetry, a domain name should be easy to pronounce and roll off the tongue without too much trouble. This makes it easy to remember and gives positive associations to your brand. To avoid people writing the wrong domain, the spelling should also be simple. Avoid unusual spellings, dashes and numbers that replace words. If you have to spell the domain over the phone, you have already lost the visitor. It can be helpful to go by the advice that there should only be one possible spelling.

Research the name before ordering

Is the domain already in use? Are there similar domains or companies with the same name? Did someone else own the domain before? Doing a little research will help to make sure that your domain doesn’t have a bad reputation, or is associated with something that does not align with your intended brand and message. It could also have a different meaning in other languages that can be misunderstood. It only takes a couple of minutes on a search engine to avoid a mistake.

Descriptive but not a full sentence

It has been very popular to get a domain that includes your search keywords because it was good for SEO. This is no longer the case. These domains are now more seen as bad for SEO and untrustworthy by visitors. For example “bestbedandbreakfastinalloffrance.net” does not scream trustworthiness and could make potential customers stay away. Instead, use a domain that fits the name of your business better, and use SEO tools to improve ranking.

Don’t limit yourself to .com

There is a tendency to avoid the new topic-specific TLDs, like .kitchen or .today, and stick to good old .com. Unfortunately, the best .com domains are taken so you may need to consider other options. Luckily some wonderfully creative TLDs are available. Want some colour to your name? Try .pink, .blue, .red or go darker with .black. Or maybe signal your area of business with .actor, .club, .coffee or perhaps .ninja?

Country TLDs are most useful in the country you are operating in. Some cities and regions have a TLD as well that can enhance your domain. Consider adding .berlin, .cymru or .paris to your business name for a local flair. Did you know that One.com owns their own gTLD called .one? You can order it from our website!

Don’t be too generic

In some cases, it can seem like a great idea to get something simple and generic that everybody searches for as a domain. However, this can make you very hard to find in a sea of other options. A domain like “restaurantnewyork.com” sounds great and is easy to remember. But is your restaurant really in New York? Is it the only one? “restaurantny.berlin” might be better for a restaurant placed in Berlin.

If you are trying to decide on a new domain and you want some tips to generate more ideas, try our website. When you search a domain, our order process suggests alternatives in case the one you want is taken. It helps to give you ideas for you to choose from or continue brainstorming. Try searching for “hello” and see where it takes you.