Choosing a domain name is no easy task. It’s one of the most important branding decisions you’ll have to make for your website, and factors like availability, pricing, and keyword targeting make the decision more complex than meets the eye. If you’re not sure where to start, follow these basic guidelines to help select a domain name that will serve you for years to come.
Domain Name AvailabilityBefore you can choose a domain name, you’re going to need to do some research to see what’s available. The most appealing domain names are often bought by investors hoping to sell them at auction for a profit, so finding an available domain name at standard pricing can be quite a challenge. Pricing is fairly reasonable for an available domain, typically $5 to $15 per year, while domains at auction are frequently listed for tens of thousands of dollars. Your top 10 domain name picks may not be available at a reasonable price, so you’re going to need plenty of time and patience to find something you like. Most of the big domain name registrars have search tools for domain name availability and discovery. GoDaddy is one of the most well known registrars, and their domain name search tools work very well, even suggesting available domain names based on your searches. Google has also thrown their hat into the domain registration business at domains.google.
Best Practices for Domain NamesWhen choosing a domain name, there are some key guidelines that shouldn’t be ignored. Mess up here, and you’ll be spelling out your URL for years to come.
- Keep it short. You want your domain name to be easy to say and easy to remember.
- Avoid tough spelling. If your domain name includes words that are hard to spell, people might have trouble finding your site.
- Be original. You don’t want to be confused with someone else, so check to make sure your domain name is not too similar to another website’s.
- Think long-term. Domain authority builds over time, and you won’t want to change domains after your domain has already become established. Choose a domain name that you can use for the rest of your career.