How to choose the right domain name in 2020? [Guide]
What is a domain name?
A domain name is the identifier of your business on the internet. Your business domain name is the equivalent of your home address. It allows your contacts and customers to find you on the internet.
Here is an example of a website domain name chosen (at random) in orange:
How is a domain name made up?
A domain name is made up of two elements:
an extension (or suffix)
Why is a domain name important?
Your domain name is crucial as part of your web strategy. It simply reflects the identity of your business on the web. A good domain name allows you to:
strengthen the credibility of your business
increase your visibility on the web
improve your SEO on search engines
generate more qualified traffic to your website
protect your brand
1. How to choose an effective domain name?
To be optimal, your domain name should respect the following points:
A short name
The faster and easier a domain name is to find, the more it will be in demand. Avoid too long domain names containing several words, or dashes. This increases the chances that the user will not type it in correctly and be unable to find your website.
A domain name of the right length: wikipedia.org
A domain name that is too long: foods-pour-animaux-domestiques.com
A name that’s easy to remember
Your domain name should allow your customers to find you easily and intuitively. For that, choosing the name of your company is often the best option. From a marketing standpoint, choosing your business name as a domain improves your brand awareness among your visitors and current customers.
Make sure the spelling of your domain name isn’t confusing. Assume that a good domain name is easy to remember and spelled correctly. Avoid including words that ordinary people have difficulty spelling, such as:
Choose the right domain extension
There are several different types of extensions:
These extensions are the most used on the net and are international. Among them, we find:
.com – for any commercial website
.org – for organizations (usually non-profit)
.edu – for educational institutions
.gov – for government sites
Generally, companies operating in a defined geographical area opt for a local type extension, such as:
.ca – for Canada
.fr – for France
.be – for Belgium
.ch – for Switzerland
The “original” extensions
Some companies wishing to stand out sport more original extensions, such as:
.X Y Z
If you plan to develop your business beyond its current borders, or if this remains a possibility for your business, we will advise you to always opt for .com if it is available. Since it is not linked to any specific geographic area, this extension is the least restrictive.
What to do when my domain name is not available?
If your domain name is not available, don’t panic. It is not impossible to recover it.
Contact its owner
To find the person with the name you want, you can use a tool called WhoIs. This platform allows you to find the contact details of this person so that you can contact them.
Negotiate a trade
If you were able to contact the owner of your target domain name, you will now need to convince them to pass it on to you. Very often, this exchange will be made for a set amount. Some trades are for $ 250, others for several thousand dollars.
If the owner of the domain name you wish to register has not publicly communicated her personal information, certain platforms such as Sedo or Flippa allow you to put you in touch with the owner and proceed to a secure exchange.
How to generate ideas for domain names?
If you have not yet set your business name and domain name, there are some free tools like Shopify’s name generator provided for this purpose. Depending on the current name of your business or the services you want to offer, these tools will give you variations of the names available.
2. How do I register my domain name?
Once you’ve chosen your domain name and its extension, you’ll need to make sure it’s available. Today, with increasingly fierce competition on the internet, some entrepreneurs are forced to choose their business name based on the domain names available.
If you are starting your own business, before investing in its merchandising and registering your brand, be sure to check the availability of your domain name.
To check the availability of your domain name and register it, you will need to purchase it (between $ 8 and $ 15 per year) through something called a registrar.
A registrar is a platform with the necessary accreditations to validate a domain name. One of the most famous is godaddy (see above).
There are many registrars. Just make sure that the one you choose is recognized, reliable and secure, because if your registrar goes bankrupt, your domain name is sinking with it!
3. How to properly protect your domain name?
Domain names are part of the intellectual property of a company. This implies that certain legal aspects must be taken into consideration.
Before validating your domain name, you must make sure that it does not contain a name, or a combination of words already registered by another company. If you have any doubts, the best way to ensure the legality of your domain name is to call on specialized web lawyers such as Yulex or Derhylaw.
Automatically renew it
A domain name is generally paid for by an annual amount defined at the time of purchase. When purchasing it, you have the option of automating the renewal of your payment each year. This will ensure that you keep control of your domain name. If you forget to renew it, your domain name will simply be relisted and anyone (including your competitors) can acquire it.
4. What is the preferred holding period for your domain name?
Our last piece of advice when acquiring your domain name is to opt for a rather long rather than short holding period. Why? According to some SEO experts, Google would promote the natural referencing of domain names with a longer holding period because of their higher reliability. A point to include in your SEO strategy!
There you have it, you now know how to choose an effective domain name!
5. Will I be number 1 on Google?
If you get a positive answer to this question, then you should keep looking for an SEO specialist. There are no guarantees that an SEO campaign will get you to the top of the results list. Even the best SEO firms struggle with these mundane realities:
- Google doesn’t say it all: only Google employees – and again, not all – know precisely what formulas are behind the search engine’s algorithm. This secret, on which a large part of the company’s revenue is based, is unlikely to be revealed any time soon. The multinational will always be one step ahead of SEO experts.
- Google is hard to follow: As mentioned, Google’s algorithm changes regularly, and updating takes time, effort and expertise in the field.
- Google is giving everyone a chance: which means that if there are multiple players in your industry, you can expect stiff competition.
You are now ready to interview an SEO agency or specialist!
Want to test the knowledge of our SEO specialist before consulting our SEO rates? Call us now and put us to the test!