A domain name is the web address people click on when they want to visit your website. You need to choose your domain name before you begin building your website.
Your domain should be easy to remember, tell your customers what your website is about, be inviting, and get the customer excited about visiting your website, as well as be related to the name of your business or niche.
It’s also a good idea to include keywords that help users understand what services your business provides. For example, if you own a small business called “The Baseball Card Store,” choosing the domain name BaseballCardStore.com meets all five of these criteria.
Choosing the Best Domain Name
To understand how to choose the best domain name for your website, it’s helpful to know a little bit about how people use the Internet. While there are billions of websites available online, people search for the ones they are interested in by using search engines like Google.com and Bing.com.
Google – the largest and most important search engine in the U.S. – uses a search engine algorithm that has digital “spiders” that crawl through the web constantly looking for new websites.
When a spider finds a new page, it scans the page and then indexes it according to the keywords that are included in its domain name, headline, content, and other places on the page.
Keywords are how the spider knows what the website is all about. The algorithm then compares that website with other websites with the same or similar keywords and ranks them all according to how useful it thinks the page will be to its users.
So when somebody types keywords into Google, the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) generates what it thinks are the most helpful websites based on those specific keywords.
Using Keywords in Your Domain Name
Putting the best keywords in your domain name will help get your page ranked in the Number 1 spot on the SERP for those keywords, or at least on the first page. Most people who land on that SERP will click on the top result. And hardly anybody ever goes further than the first page.
In general, the shorter your domain name, the easier it will be for people to remember. The maximum domain length is 64 characters, but for optimal results, you should limit your domain name to 15 characters or less. One way to do that is to use abbreviations, acronyms, and homophones that make your domain name brief, fun, interesting, and memorable.
The last three letters that come after the period are the suffix for your domain. They often provide information about what the website is about or where it originates. For example, domain names that end in .edu or .gov usually are owned by educational institutions or governments, respectively. And domain names that end in .ca or .uk originate in Canada or the United Kingdom, for example.
The Best Suffix
While you can buy domain names that end with many different suffixes, it’s a good idea to choose a domain name that ends in .com, because that is the default suffix that most people – about 60% – will look for automatically. Domains that end in .net are the second-most popular (14%) while .org are third (10%).
If the purpose of your website is to promote your company’s product or services or promote you or your interests, you might consider buying a domain that features your name or the name of your company. For example, ChicagoBears.com, is short, essential, and tells the website visitor what the page is all about instantly.