So how to choose a domain name for your blog?
This may be one of the most common questions for people who are planning to create their own website.
So I thought it is a good idea to create this article to shed some light about the best practices in choosing a domain name.
There’s actually a couple things you need to note so as to make the most out of your new domain name.
Choosing a Top Level Domain
A top level domain (TLD) refers to the last part of a domain name.
Let’s use www.google.com as an example, the “.com” is the TLD and “google” is the second level domain name in this case.
There are several top level domains to choose from such as .net, .org, .me, .biz to name a few and even country specific TLDs such as .us (for USA), .ca (Canada), .in (India), .sg (Singapore) and the like.
Country specific TLDs usually require you to be a citizen or a business entity operating within the country before you are allowed to register them in your name.
However, if a .com version of the domain name is available, take the .com version.
Since the start of Internet, people have been used to domains that ends with .com. Therefore, it is natural that most people will assume your domain name ends with a .com.
Another website address with a TLD other than .com can lose some traffic to their .com competitor as a result of this when people try to type in the site’s name directly into the address bar.
This is not a grave issue though, but I just want to point this out. You can still win back a lot more organic traffic through optimizing your site for the Search Engines.
If you have the budget, you can buy all the variations of TLDs to safeguard your website name across all TLDs from other competitors.
A .com domain typically sells for anywhere around US$9 to US$15. Domains that are .info are the cheapest, about US$3-US$4.
Choosing a Name for Your Site
Another common question when it comes to choosing domain names is “What domain name should I use for my new site?”
First and foremost, it has to be a domain name that is still available. You can easily find out if your domain is still available using the search query on any of the domain registrar.
You cannot buy domain names like Google.com, YouTube.com and Yahoo.com since they are already owned by someone else (unless these companies decide to sell you their domain names. Be prepared to pay a hefty sum.)
Choosing a domain name is not a random choice.
You typically want to choose a domain name that:
- (A) Has your important keywords in it
- (B) Tell people clearly what your site is about
(A) A keyword is a word or a phrase that people most often type into the search engine to look for that specific information.
For example, if I am interested in finding information about dog training, I’ll type in “dog training” into my Google search bar.
If a lot of other people around the world also used “dog training” as their search term to find information about dog training, then this is a keyword and a good one because it has a high search volume.
A website such as dogtraining.com will be a good start for a website related to dog training. (Last I checked, this site has been taken by someone.)
In my later posts, I’ll show you how to find keywords with high search volume so you can use them for your domain and SEO. That’s a topic that stands on its own. So stay tuned!
(B) Your domain name should not confuse people what it is about. If your domain name is dogtraining.com, make sure that majority of the information is about dog training.
If it’s all about training a horse, it confuses people and turns them off. Your site can lose credibility as a result.
Additional Tip: Registering The Domain Name with Private Whois
The domain registrar will allow you to hide your particulars when you sign up for a “private whois” or “private registration”.
If you don’t want others to know that you own the site, opt for a private whois.
Some domain registrar may offer this feature for free, but most registrar will require a fee (around $5 – $10 a year).
Like I said in my previous posts, Google has partnered with GoDaddy and Enom to offer purchasing of domains and you can opt for private whois at no extra charge.
In another post, I talk about how to buy a domain through Google and I’ve included a video demonstration on how to do that. So remember to check it out!
I hope this article has benefited you.
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