Tips for choosing domain name from experts

Protect and build your brand

To protect your brand, you should purchase various domain extensions, as well as misspelled versions of your domain name. This prevents competitors from registering other versions and ensures your customers are directed to your website, even if they mistype it. - Andrea Rowland - GoDaddy


Go for a .COM

If you are serious about building a long-term brand online, there is nothing better than a .com. Using a 301-redirect to drive traffic to a .net or .org is totally fine, but owning the .com or the equivalent TLD for your target market country is critical. There are a number of reasons why this matters, but the most crucial one is for your users. While there are thousands of TLDs to choose from, .com still carries the most trust with it. Many internet users are still unaware that the other TLDs exist and may hesitate to click when they see one. Make it easy for your users and choose a .com. You'll thank me in the long run. (Note for transparency: I am currently working on getting ownership of the .com for my site's domain. When I rebranded a few years ago, I was unable to claim it and now have to bid to own it.) - Ryan Shelley - Search Engine Land


Make it easy to type

If your URL is hard to type, people won't. Difficult words to spell and long URL strings can be extremely frustrating to your end users. Sure, you may be able to add a nice keyword with a long URL, but if the user experience is negatively impacted, you'll ultimately suffer. - Ryan Shelley - Search Engine Land


Choose a unique name

If you are marketing yourself, ideally you'll be able to use your first and last names (johnsmith.com or janesmith.com). Even if you aren't marketing yourself, it's not a bad idea to register your name as a domain now, in case you want to use it in the future. If you are marketing your business, you should see if your business name (yourbusiness.com) is available. Using a search engine like Google, search for your proposed blog or website name. Does your search show any sites with similar domain names? If it does, try a different name. Giving your website a name that's similar to other existing sites is the first step to failure. Also, don't choose names that are plural or misspelled versions of existing sites. - Ogi Djuraskovic - FirstSiteGuide team


Create and meet expectations

What is the expectation you want to set when someone hears your URL for the first time? If they can't instantly grasp what you do or who you are, you have a problem. While sites like Amazon, Trulia, Google and Trivago sound cool, it takes a lot more marketing and branding to make them work. Domains like NYtimes.com, Homes.com, and Overstock.com all let you know what to expect up front. - Ryan Shelley - Search Engine Land


Easy to Pronounce

As easy as your domain name rolls off the tips of your fingers, it should roll off the tip of your tongue. This makes it easier for visitors to share your domain name by word of mouth, and makes it easier for you to share your site with friends and potential customers. You can test this the same way as with the 'spelling'. Write your domain name on a piece of paper and ask 10 people to pronounce it. If more than a few people struggle to pronounce it, you should simplify it. Here's what to keep in mind: You want your domain name to be passed along easily by you and others. And the only way for that to be possible is if it's 1) easy to spell and 2) easy to pronounce. - ROBERT MENING - WebsiteSetup


Use an appropriate domain name extension

Extensions are suffixes, such as .com or .net, at the end of web addresses. These can have specific uses, so make sure to choose one that works for your business. The .com domain extension is far and away the most popular, but it can be tough to get a short and memorable .com domain name because it's been around for so long. A bevy of new generic top-level domains - like .photography, .nyc and .guru - offer a great opportunity to register short and highly relevant names. And here are some other top extensions and how they're often used: .co : an abbreviation for company, commerce, and community. .info : informational sites. .net : technical, Internet infrastructure sites. .org : non-commercial organizations and nonprofits. .biz : business or commercial use, like e-commerce sites. .me : blogs, resumes or personal sites. Pro tip: You don't need to build a website for every domain. Just forward any additional domains to your primary website. - Andrea Rowland - GoDaddy


Make sure the name is available on other social media sites

When picking your domain, check other social media sites to make sure it's available on those sites too. If you use the same name on your blog and on Twitter, Facebook, etc., it solidifies your brand and makes it more memorable. My favorite tool to check your name across all networks at once is Namechk. Another tool is called knowem? (hat tip, Kikolani) but as of this writing, they don't check Instagram for you which these days, is a must. - Amy Lynn Andrews


Keep it short, but not too short

Shortness can help keep a domain name simple and memorable, but going too short can have the opposite effect. Compare 'PastaScience.com' to 'PastaSci.com'. Thanks to the abbreviation, the latter is harder to both pronounce and remember, despite it having fewer characters. The first version works fine. The key here is to strike a balance. Go for something brief, but don't mangle your name by hacking off whole parts of words. In the pursuit of brevity, many consider using an acronym for their domain name. But that's usually only wise if your brand or product is regularly referred to by the initials. For example, the World Wildlife Fund's website can be found at WWF.org. That's perfect for them, since their charity is widely known and referred to as simply 'WWF'. - Denis Pinsky - Forbes


Research it

Make sure the name you've selected isn't trademarked, copyrighted or being used by another company. It could result in a huge legal mess that could cost you a fortune, as well as your domain! Don't forget to research the value of your possible domain. As the largest reseller of aftermarket domain names, GoDaddy has access to extensive data that we use to analyze millions of historical domain sales. Try out GoDaddy Domain Appraisals to determine the value of your domain, so your can name your business with purpose. - Andrea Rowland - GoDaddy


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