how to choose

How to choose a domain name. What extension, using keywords and finding alternatives. How to choose a domain name that works best for your website or business.

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It’s okay to be unique
But unique may just place you in a position where you are forced to spend a fortune on advertising or on seo promotions/companies or spend hours and days promoting your business when you could have been out doing something else.
You’ll hear people talk about “branding” but branding takes A LOT of work.
If you were to buy a domain name like gegege.com it wont match up to any searches either in search engine results OR in any ordinary situation.
If you were selling bananas all the other banana sellers would be way ahead of you.
It IS possible to make ANY domain name work for your websites search terms, it will just take a lot more work, a lot more time and can cost you a lot more money.

Search Terms are your best friend
And will save you a lot of work. Think about what you’re promoting, selling or doing at your website. If you’re selling car seat covers you should have a domain name with those words in it, the same if you are a florist, domains with the words flowers, florist, bouquet, floral and etc will work best for you!
The same goes for your type of website. Are you selling? Or are you an information site?
If you’re a BLOG there’s nothing wrong with a domain name like: fishermansblog.com or tapdancingblog.com
And WHERE is your main business? If you can’t find: birthdaycakes.com there’s nothing wrong with buying birthdaycakesusa.com or your city: kidspartiesnyc.com
Search terms used on searches are called KEYWORDS.

Think about what people will type into search on search engine pages to find your services or website.
If you can MATCH that, and find an available domain name you’ll be out ahead from the start!
So, lets say you polish wooden floors…
floorpolisher.com = wont be available! If it is, buy it instantly, but there are other combinations you can try, eg: floor-polisher, floorspolished, floorpolishing, polishedfloors and even bestfloorpolisher, floorpolisher.
Cheaphostr.com has a domain name suggestion tool that will help you to find available combinations.

Have you already NAMED and registered your business?
And have you already listed it in the phone book, and printed stationary, and put ads in the newspaper?
You DONT need to name your website or your domain name with the SAME name as your business.
A domain name like: grocerydeliveries.xyz works better than joesminimart.xyz
If your business has a non descriptive name or it’s really LONG like: Harold, Barry and Sons Landscaping and Garden Services well…that’s just TOO LONG.
You’ll be paying a fortune per line for newspaper ads, and by the time you put it in a tweet you’ll have no room for anything else!
Landscapeco.com would be better, or landscaperstx or any landscapehire or etc.
You can then make a page on your website named (titled) Harold, Barry and Sons Landscaping and Garden Services so that anyone that is searching for you specifically can find you.
OR if you haven’t named your business yet, perhaps you should first find the best domain name and THEN name the business after your domain name.
OR you could do what I did with my real brick and mortar business, I bought 2 domain names, one in the business name and one with the search term name. Guess which one has the most visitors and I get emails from? And guess which one I get an email from maybe once a month? That’s right, I get MORE results from the keyword domain than my business name! Eg: DogTrainerWalker.xyz (no, I don’t own THAT business! It’s just an example!)

What extension should you use
.com is always best, but there are many other tld (top level domain) name extensions, like .net .org .info and also country extensions like .us .in .com.au .ca .cn, and there are now “boutique” extensions available to match your website or business type, eg: .lawyer, .school .sport .shop. There’s a LOT to choose from, and maybe one of these will suit you perfectly.
People tend to stick with a .com or nothing approach, or they’ve been convinced by the herd (listening to people that have heard from someone else who heard from someone else) that they should use a country extension.
Please only use a country extension if you only EVER want to do business in your own country!
You should know that if your website extension is .co.uk your website will ONLY be displayed on searches inside the UK! So, if you’re in canada or new zealand and you’re wondering why you never get anyone from overseas to buy from you, that’s why.
Again, they will work for you BUT you’ll have to get extremely active in social media campaigns (those websites are global and reach everybody!) or spend a lot of money on campaigns.
Avoid country extensions where possible! Even if YOU only work in your local area there’s no reason why you can’t start something global, ie: bigjohnsmowing.com can always open a classifieds site and let people pay for ads for themselves to be hired to mow lawns, or you can sell advertising space…
Country extensions lock you OUT of doing business with the rest of the world or ADD to your expenses in doing so. These extensions benefit the governments that charge higher prices for them, and in some countries you will also require to register a business name at the same time, adding another $100+ out of your pocket.
Where possible choose com, net.

Are hyphens and numbers ok?
Yes.
They are. Though people will tell you they’re not, it’s not true.
There’s two reasons why people “say” not to use them, 1) No-one will ever search a 4 and 2) people wont remember it when they’re typing the domain name.
1) People DO use numbers on search engines. Eg: Where 2 find shoes, restaurant 4 steaks, 7 days, 6 months, 52 cards. You’d be surprised how often this happens.
AND search engines will read a number 2 as the word two and show your domain in the same results.
Eg: somewhere2stay.com will be read as somewheretostay and also somewheretoostay and somewheretwostay.
2) When was the last time you TYPED a domain name instead of clicking it? You KNOW you save them to your bookmarks. And hyphens are IGNORED by search engines, so a domain name like free-drinks.com works the SAME as freedrinks.com
And then there’s the third reason: It leaves them available for people like me to buy…

Misspellings
Yes, to a point.
Example:
Cheaphostr.com
You’re here. You found us.
The R on the end makes no difference to the search engines.
Where possible TRY to stay within the bounds of correct spellings, like shoess, or coffeee.
There are a few terms that work on the net, like i and e. ecommerce being one of them. Or eshop, efix, and i stands for internet, so itunes, etc.
You should avoid spellings like dawg for dog, or kofe for coffee. You should always TRY to have the word in there somehow. IF you have a word that ends in one letter and the next word starts with it, like red door, you can drop one of the d’s to redoor. The search engines will read it as both words.
The search engines are looking for words, they don’t know where one starts and the next finishes.
Adding S on the end of words, or ED, or ER etc works fine too.

Using replacement words
Quit and Stop will be substituted by search engines, the same as search and look and find.
So for example, your domain name is StopSneezing.xyz, the search engines will also show your domain name in results for QUITsneezing.

Add something to it
Especially if it matches a search term, like buy, shop, read, use.
Example: If you can’t get leatherboots.com can you find buyleatherboots.com, or leatherbootbuys.
The person that owns the domain name buybooksonline.com probably sells more books than amazon or any bookselling site in competition with it! And definately would make a lot of money from advertising!
It doesn’t matter what order the words are in!

Use a domain name suggestion tool
These will let you put in keywords and then search for available domain names in the extension of your choice. You’d be surprised what’s still available!

Never assume that your .com domain name is already sold.
Many people make this mistake. They don’t even bother to look because they assume it was registered at least a decade ago. Not true. There are plenty still sitting there. It can’t hurt to run a search!

The best advice I can give is STAY ON MESSAGE
Meaning use a domain name that says exactly what it is, and exactly what you’re website does.
GreenBananas.com is great if you’re selling green bananas, and not the best choice for selling used cars… or showing up in search results for rug cleaners. And it’s not likely to catch anyones eye on any ad, whether it’s on a website banner or they see it from a train window.
If they see something that says: wecleanhouses.com and they want their house cleaned, they’ll remember it. Green bananas they wont even notice because it means nothing to them!
BTW CleanMyHouse would work better than WeCleanHouses because words typed into search are entered from THAT persons perspective. In other words, they’re more likely to type in: Find someone to clean my house. They’re LESS likely to type in: We clean houses because that is NOT what they are searching for.
So, clean my house works, find a house cleaner works, and so would house maid…

Quirky might be cool but it’s expensive in the long run.

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