A domain name sets the tone for your entire website. A website called GoatsInRaincoats.com will attract a much different crowd from one called SeriousFinance.org. Domain names are obviously important, but sometimes people spend months brainstorming, only to end up choosing a name that never attracts a single visitor.
Here are 7 rules to follow when you buy domain names, so you can attract hordes of visitors who’ll love your content!
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7 rules to help you buy domain names
1. Choose the right web host
Web hosting is the service that makes it possible for your website to exist. Choosing the right web host is the best way to make sure your site is always up and running instead of constantly crashing or experiencing downtime. Good web hosts also offer better support and have more resources to help you if you ever run into trouble with your website.
2. Buy domain names that are available (unless you don’t need to)
Before you buy a domain name, you’re going to do a search to see if the name is available. If the name is available, you’re in luck! You can buy it at the lowest price your web host is willing to sell it to you. If the name isn’t available, you might be tempted to just buy it from the domain owner. Usually, that isn’t advised. Because there’s no cap on the price at which a domain can be sold. That’s why the domains Lasvegas.com and Cars.com both sold for millions of dollars.
There’s an exception to this rule: If you have the budget for it and the seller is offering you the domain at a price within your budget, go ahead and buy it (after looking up the history of the domain). But honestly, it’s usually best to avoid the whole thing and just come up with a domain name that’s already available.
3. Include keywords
Keywords are the words your visitors are likely to type when they’re searching for a website like yours. So, if your website is about gardening, one of your keywords might be “gardening”. Whenever possible, it’s best to include one or two relevant keywords when you buy domain names. This makes it more likely that people will find your website.
4. Make it short and sweet
When people finally find your website, you’ll want them to keep visiting again and again. The best way to do this is to choose a memorable domain name. The longer your domain, the more likely it is that your visitors will forget it. So, when you buy domain names, choose short names over long, forgettable ones.
5. Avoid symbols
If you want people to remember your domain name, you should also avoid symbols like dashes and hyphens. Most people will have trouble remembering whether the right symbol was a dash or a hyphen, and even if they remember the right symbol, sometimes they don’t remember where in your domain name it appears. It’s true that most of your visitors will have your website stored in their browsers after the first visit. The trouble is that when they’re recommending your website to their friends, they might say it incorrectly, and you’ll lose potential visitors.
6. Use “.com”
A “.com” extension is the easiest way to make your website look more expensive. When you scrape the bottom of the barrel for obscure domain extensions that are borderline unpronounceable, it’s a sign that you either don’t want people to find your domain or that you couldn’t spring for the more popular “.com” extension. When you buy domain names, it’s important to think about the image of your website and the longevity of the name. So, choose the “.com” extension from the start.
7. Consider brandable over basic
Generic domain names are easy to forget, but brandable names stand out. To make your name brandable, think about what your brand stands for, and brainstorm some names that might reflect that. For instance, Google is a variation of the word googol, which is a 1 with a hundred zeros after it.
Google chose this name to show you the sheer volume of information you can find on their website. Websites like Amazon, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are also great examples of memorable branding.
If you take the time to brainstorm, you can come up with your own snappy domain name that’s short, sweet, and easy to remember. Do this and you’ll be rewarded with more visitors than you even thought possible.
The right domain name will set the tone for your website and attract the kinds of visitors you want. Follow the steps in this guide to come up with a domain name that you (and your visitors) will love. Start your website with the perfect domain, choose top level domains from our extensive library.