Domain name: You don't have a website yet. You are about to create one, but you are still at the first stage of its conception: the choice of the domain name.
If some people manage to get the domain name they like, others struggle. In this world, first come, first served! So how do you choose an original domain name?
Unfortunately, in some cases, even if you take the time to choose your domain name carefully, you run into a big problem: the domain name is already taken. And yet, it was so perfect, so original...
You have no choice but to start your research all over again. So, to avoid making the same mistakes again and thus, choosing a perfect domain name that is already taken, I advise you to follow these steps to the letter.
But first, I would like to make a point about what a domain name really is.
#domainname #domain #url #webflow
How do you choose your domain name?
A - Just like that, a name that comes to mind
B - I prefer to do a study
Do not hesitate to share your opinion with us as a comment.
- Good keywords
- Unique name
- Short domain name
- single URL
- Intuitive word
- Name "new"
- Practicality by appointment
- Avoids copyright problems
- Check out namechk.com
- Reserve your domain name
- You need to work on the extension
- Why don't you add some extra words
- Be creative, make a sentence
- Acquire an existing domain name
A domain name: what is it?
I'm not going to go into the definition, as this is a user-friendly form of internet addresses (for example: happydesk.be). I know that as a webdesigner or web professional, you already know what it is.
It's also called "internet address". It's the equivalent of your postal address on this incredible technology that is the internet. Thanks to it, your clients will be able to contact you easily.
I would like to point out that a domain name will then be widely used in other sectors, often including :
- username for various software
- social networkpage name
That's why it's important to take the time to choose the right one. However, domain names have other equally important roles. What are they?
Domain name: Why choose well?
The domain name is not only the identity of a company on the internet . If you decide to create one, your goal is surely to bring traffic to it. There are several ways of doing this (SEO, indexing, metadata, etc.), but one of the most important is of course: choosing the right domain name.
Indeed, your site will have to be easy to find, and therefore, have an easily memorable domain name (we'll come back to this later, but the principle is to facilitate the "word-of-mouth"process )
Furthermore, having a well thought-out domain name (i.e. a website) reflects your professionalism, credibility and creativity. For visitors, your site will even be considered as a pledge of trust.
Choosing an effective domain name also allows you to protect your brand or business. As I said at the very beginning of this article, "first come, first served". When buying a name, for example, some people take advantage of the opportunity to make a defensive registration. Let me explain: it consists in buying the name with several extensions and names with similar spellings. In a way, they establish a security perimeter.
Alternatively, it can be seen as a means of broadening the scope of the site in question.
And what? How do you make sure you choose the right domain name? How can you be sure that it is unique and, above all, still available?
10 steps to choosing the perfect domain name
If your companydoesn't have a name yet, you should know that when you choose a domain name, your company's domain name will automatically take the name of the URL. You might as well stay original!
1. The right key words
Because there are some bad keywords. The good keywords are more like your business. As you are a webdesigner, you have every right to include all the strong keywords related to this domain: design, web, etc. You can even make a list of keyword ideas that come to mind when you talk about your activity. Once you've finished this list, what about associating them or adding prefixes to some of them.
This way, people who come across your site will have an idea of what you do.
No need to boast about the advantages of choosing a domain name with a keyword at the SEO level. Google will also know what you're doing, so it won't have any trouble ranking your site in the best search results (of course, as long as it respects the other SEO rules).
Yes, but how to find an original idea for a domain name with a keyword?
I advise you the domain name generator tools. They are easy to use, because you only have to enter a few keywords on the sites, and they take care of proposing you a few domain names (still available).
Do you know that you can simply skip those steps if you choose the easy way out? That would be to choose your own name or the name of your company.
2. A Unique Domain Name
The best way to fail in the choice of a domain name is to choose a name close to that of an already existing brand (perhaps it is simply its name in a feminine, plural version, etc.).
Flickr made that mistake once. Many confused it with Flicker (because of the pronunciation which is very similar, but also the way it is written), so the brand ended up buying this domain name. And nothing tells us that it's affordable.
3. A short domain name
By definition, what is a simple, short and concise easy URL? It is a name without special characters, easy to type on a keyboard, easy to remember and no more than 10 characters long. How is it advantageous?
Humans have a limited memory. A short domain name would therefore be easy to remember and easily mark the mind. In fact, the most popular domain names are usually about 7 characters long.
Remember the word-of-mouth thing I told you about earlier. Imagine we're talking about your website, and yet the pronunciation of the name is somewhat complex. People who are not yet familiar with your site may hear it wrong and move on to another brand. That would be a shame. Otherwise, they might forget the name easily.
4. A Simple domain name
Even if your domain name is easily pronounceable but difficult to write, it's not worth it either. Difficult to write?
This is the case when numbers and signs are added to the domain name. Logically, these elements integrated into the domain name make it more difficult to pronounce the name.
Studies have also shown that sites that are poorly positioned all contain hyphens or numbers in their URLs, which is unfortunate.
In the practical case, know that your email will be linked to your domain name. You yourself will not be comfortable when you write this way: email@example.com.
5. An Intuitive Word
When others hear about your domain name, they should be able to find out what it is all about right away. Here's an example: hotmail.com. You can tell right away that it offers a service related to the processing of e-mails.
In the same way, there's careerbuilder.com. Even if I didn't tell you, you'd know right away that he's talking about careers, how to build a career... Then there's Webflow.com, which obviously deals with web-related topics.
But what about Amazon.com, Zillow.com and many other sites that don't have intuitive URLs? Well they have invested a lot in their brand, so they are currently very well known to the public. So, if you're sure you can follow their model, there's no problem adopting a name like theirs (but I admit it's easier, with an intuitive name).
6. A "new" domain name
Yeah, it's easier to have an intuitive name. But I didn't say it's better. Let me explain: by creating a name that belongs to you (whether it's a brand new name or the name of your company if it already has one), you automatically create added value to your domain name.
So avoid stupidly combining different words or keywords. Since you are a webdesigner or future webdesigner, no matter how creative you are, you won't have much trouble finding a more convincing name!
By the way, let me ask you a question:
If you are asked to choose between investmentimmobilier.com and immoinvest.com, which would attract your attention the most?
I bet you're going to turn to the second one: immoinvest.com. Not only is it eye-catching, but it meets all the requirements we've just discussed: unique, clear and concise.
7. Practicality at the appointment
Did you know that more than half of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices? That means that more than half of the people who type your domain name on the internet are on mobile devices. However, mobile devices include a whole other issue: automatic correction.
The domain name you propose should therefore not mislead mobile users. Secondly, the name in question must be "practical", in the sense that Internet users should have no trouble writing the word. For example, they should be able to use a numeric keypad.
To make sure that everything should go well, why not try it out yourself (this is called a usability test)? Pick up your phone, and try to type the chosen domain name. Is it easy to write on a mobile phone?
8. Avoids copyright problems
The best way to harvest problems is to propose a name that is similar (or almost) to that of an already well-known brand (or a brand for that matter). The first example that came to my mind is this one: ovh.com is already taken. And you're thinking of taking a name like sitewebovh.com? I wouldn't recommend it at all! Then you would have violated the copyrights of the company OVH.
After a few days, you will receive a cease and desist letter from a law firm. The problems have only just begun! It is therefore very important to check that the domain name you have chosen does not bear any resemblance to other registered trademarks. You only need to do a little more research.
On the other hand, having such a domain name will make you come out a loser, especially if the other site is a competitor. What if your target confuses you with him, and then goes after him?
9. Check your name on namechk.com.
Now that you have an interesting list of domain names, all you have to do is check if they are still available. This tool is a great help: namechk.com. (Yes, not namecheck ! It is indeed namechk) Very complete, it checks in 2 clicks and a few seconds the social networks, software... to see if it is still available.
Demonstrate it with the name: Amazon. As a result, you will see different colors displayed on the networks and software concerned. The color codes used are :
- green: to say that the name is still available
- yellow: to indicate its unavailability
- red: shows that the name contains an error
10. Reserve your domain name
Before someone else takes the chosen domain name, it is now time to reserve it. 2 choices are then available to you :
- You only buy the domain name, and you take care of the technical details when you have finished choosing the hosting that suits you.
- You buy a hosting package right away.
In the case of Webflow, all you have to do is buy the domain name. No need to buy a hosting because Webflow takes care of it.
What to do if the domain name is already taken?
Finally, you were able to choose a name that was original, clear, simple, intuitive, practical and not yet a registered trademark. You check it if it is already present on the internet, and bad surprise: it's already taken!
You need to work on the extension
You're gonna have to go with the extensions. This is the little word that follows the domain name in question, i.e.: .com, .fr, .be, .net, .org...
It's true that .com is the most interesting. It is obviously the most popular. It's the one that's easy to remember. But if it's already taken, nothing prevents you from taking another extension. Besides, new TLDs (Top Level Domains) have recently appeared. They accentuate the originality of your domain name, and thus, will certainly be better on other media such as business cards.
First, however, check for thecountry extension. Chances are that this one hasn't been taken yet. In particular, it is used by local companies. For France, it will be .fr; Canada, .ca; Belgium, .be; and many others. At the local SEO level, it's even the best solution! Indeed, Google uses it to geolocate sites.
Do you understand better why I chose happydesk.be as my domain name?
Why don't you add some more words?
Sometimes you don't have to look far. If a domain name is already taken, just add a word and eventually change the word order to get a new one. Be careful though! You have to take into account the advice I explained earlier: copyright is very important.
I thought of this as an example:
instead of opting for flowdesign.com (because it's already taken), you can add "ly" and get a domain name like flowlydesign.com
Your clients will know that you work in the world of design. Maybe if they know you well, they won't have any trouble becoming that you specialize in creating (web)flow sites? And even if it's not the name of your company, at least you'll be easy to find on Google.
Be creative, make a sentence
If none of these solutions work for you, you will have to start from scratch in your domain name study. Instead of choosing a word, however, focus on a sentence.
This method also works very well. When we search for information that is still unclear to us on Google, we tend to type in a phrase that roughly describes what we are looking for. In this case, Internet users will be very likely to come across your site if its domain name is a creative phrase that more or less describes your activity.
In any case, don't forget one of the basic rules: the domain name must be no more than 7-10 characters long.
Acquire an existing domain name
Finally, you can also ask to be the owner of a domain that already exists.
Good idea or bad idea, do you think?
For some reason, I think it's a great idea:
- It already has enough traffic, and therefore, a high PageRank and a domain authority.
- He's also got authority blacklinks
Not all the domains you will have found may have expired, so it will be less likely for you to acquire these names.
So let's assume that you are really looking for an expired domain name. You will save a lot of time by using the specialized tools. I know two of them:
Vigilance is still required, because even if the name has expired, it will still be necessary to check that it does not belong to a brand. Also take a look at his traffic patterns. A steady downward trend maybe? So it's not a good idea to buy it! Who knows, maybe he's been hit with a Google penalty? Or maybe the owner just went out of business?
Another solution that can be more expensive in some cases is to buy a domain name from the company that owns the domain name you want. There are procedures that your hosting provider can carry out for this.
You can also try to contact the person concerned directly and negotiate a price.
This solution is usually required when a well established brand wants to buy all related domain names such as: Amazon, Google, Apple, etc...
Choosing a domain name is not as easy as it sounds. It's not just a name. Your image rests entirely on it, hence the importance of taking the time to choose it carefully. Making the wrong choice of domain name and then, realizing it too late, can cause you a lot of problems (loss of money, referencing, time, etc.).
So, from now on, when you choose a domain name, for you or for your client, you know what steps you have to go through:
- Make sure that the name conveys the image you want to convey, possibly including key words related to your activity.
- Be sure that it does not look (or almost look) like an existing domain name or trademark, both in pronunciation and writing.
- Make sure that it is simple to write on both mobile and computer, and above all that it is easy to pronounce.
- I mean, that it doesn't exist anywhere else. I really recommend namechk.com for that last step.