Your domain name is your business name. At least online it is. That's one reason why it's important to choose a good one. This article will explain more about why a domain name is important and give you some tips on selecting a good one.

What is a Domain Name?

A domain name, put simply is your web address. The domain name for this website is imlearningjoomla.com. There is a lot more to it but for the purposes of setting up a website, that's all you need to know. If you want to know more, this article explains it well.

Selecting a Domain Name

A great domain name is an easy one. Easy to say, spell, remember and one that is relevant to what you do. However, domain names have been on sale for decades and so the best have been taken. However, creativity will take you a long way. When brainstorming your website address, remember that a good domain name will be:

  1. Keywords
    This is in deference to the almighty search engine - Google being the most commonly used. Having keywords in your domain helps let Google know what your site is about. Let's say you're making a site for your fish shop in Seattle and you've decided most people go to Google and type in "buy fish Seattle", or similar. From this, you might want the domain seattlefish.com, as it has two of those words - keywords. If that's taken, you could try freshfishseattle.com or similar variations that include other keywords people might use if they're searching for your product.
    Of course, the domain is only a small part of what Google looks at so abandoning keywords and going with something like anchoredcatch.com is fine, especially if that's your business name.
  2. Easy to Say
    You want people to be able to share your website. By email, copy and pasting a link is no problem. Verbally, things like numbers, hyphens, and words with multiple spellings can make sharing a website difficult. If you found seattlefish.com was already taken but seattle-fish.com was still available, thinking of a new name would be preferable. If someone were to tell a friend "Go to Seattle fish dot com." and forget the hyphen, they friend could end up at a competitors website.
  3. Easy to Remember
    Customers will return if they have a good experience the first time. Don't make it hard for them to find you again by having a vague domain name. However, this is where branding plays a big part.
    One thing that is easy to forget with domain names is if your site has something other than a dot com top level domain. For this website, learnjoomla.com was unavailable - learnjoomla.net was available but too often
  4. Easy to Spell
    Let's say you want to make a mixed drinks recipe blog - fierydaiquiri.com sounds cool, creates a nice mental image for memorability and could easily be branded, but these two words are notoriously hard to spell. Make sure your domain name is easy to spell. Avoid:
    • Words where English / American spellings are different.
    • Numerals. People may try to spell numbers.
    • Hyphens. Hyphens are the only non-letter/non-number symbol allowed in domain names but avoid them whenever possible.
    • Words most people can't spell.
  5. Short as Possible
    Shorter, single word domain names are likely all taken but still, in general a shorter name is easier to type and thus more likely to be typed. Even though some keywords in your domain name can help your site, a long domain name with many keywords is just going to be hard to use. The shorter it is, the quicker someone can type it, the more likely they are to type it.
  6. Original
    Two things are important here. First, stand out if possible (with all of the above in mind).
    In addition, you should be wary of using trademarked brand names in your domain name. A domain name like mymicrosoft.com may be a potential legal problem for you down the road.
    If you're really clever, you can make up your own word - just make sure you can say it easily, you can spell it correctly after hearing it said and that it's not too long (ie. easy to remember). After that, it's just a matter of branding!

These tips can help you think up a domain name that will help you retain visitors and put no impediment to them returning when they recall how great your website is. Not every website needs to follow all these rules but as long as you follow the golden rule - make it easy for your visitors, you'll stay on track to finding a great domain name.