Step 1–How to Choose a Domain Name
Choosing a Domain Name
The first thing to consider when purchasing a domain name is your purpose. Will your domain be for personal, business or professional email? Domains for professional email are usually based on some combination of a person’s first and last name. Since this is pretty straightforward, I won’t go into detail about this. However, the tips below for choosing a domain for your business email or for personal email may help when choosing a domain for professional email. Just to be clear, the below tips are not business advice. They are based on my experience which you may find useful. Since this step is so important, I have divided it into two parts. Part one for personal use and part two for business. If you still have questions about choosing a domain name after reading this section, you may want to consult a branding expert.
Tips for Choosing a Domain Name for Personal Use as a Lifetime Email Address
1. As a General Rule, the Shorter the Domain Name, the Better!
Most of the short domains are already taken, and since they are renewed on a yearly basis, your chances of finding a short domain are very limited — unless you choose random combinations of letters and numbers. Also, any expiring domains with any value associated with them are not just put back on the market for anyone to register. They are normally put into a domain auction first, so this further limits the availability of short domains unless you are watching the auctions.
2.Choose Real Words If You Will Be Giving out Your Domain Email Address Verbally.
Of course, real words make it easier for others to understand your email address. Almost all of the single “real word” domains are taken, so you will need to choose a combination of two, three and possibly up to four words. They don’t all have to be long words. For example, you can add “Mine”, “My,” or “Own” to the beginning or middle of your domain name and words like “Site” or “blog” at the end. An example of a domain name using this technique would be MyOwnEmailSite.com.
3. Think Memorable.
It helps to have a personal email domain name that is not only comprised of real words but has an easy-to-remember combination also. Again, this comes in handy if you are giving out your website or email address to others verbally.
4. Will a Domain Composed of Random Letters an Numbers Work for You?
If you will mainly using your custom domain email for establishing online accounts or in texting where people don’t need to remember it or understand it over the phone, you may want to consider choosing a random combination of letters and numbers to get the shortest combination possible. In this case, a combination of five or six letters and numbers may be a perfect choice for you. However, if you will be using your domain on your phone a lot, you may want to stay away from numbers to save yourself having to switch to the numbers on your phone when typing your email address.
5. Choose A Made-Up Word As Your Domain Name.
Another technique you can use is to create a name based on a made-up word that is pronounceable. This gives you the best of both worlds — a short available domain name and one that should be easy to remember and understand when telling someone your domain over the phone. A number of new business websites are using made-up words like “Zoomerang,” for example. If you are the creative type, this is always an option.
6. Choose A .COM, .NET or .ORG Domain Name Extension.
These extensions are some of the most recognized and will make it easier when giving someone your custom email over the phone or in person. The most popular extension is .com, with .net coming in a close second. In most cases, it will be easier to find a domain name you like with the .org extension like I did. However, from my experience, the .org extension is generally used for non-profit organizations, but it can still be used for personal email as I do. Of course, there are dozens of other extensions also available such as .biz, .info, .mobi, as well as country-specific extensions. However, these extensions may not work with all email systems. For example, as I mentioned on the home page, the .info email domain I had previously didn’t always work when signing up for an online account. I have never heard of any problems with the .com, .net or .org extensions in an email domain name when signing up for online accounts.
Tips for Choosing a Domain Name for Business Use
There are many different factors to consider when buying a domain for a company. While I can’t possibly cover all of them, here are a few critical points to keep in mind. In addition, most of the rules for a personal domain still apply to choosing a domain for business use such as keeping it short, pronounceable and memorable with a few exceptions.
1. Choose an Effective Extension.
I believe most people would agree that having a .com domain extension is the best one for a business website. However, for the business email addresses, some businesses choose to use the .com for their website and the .net extension for their email address. While the .net extension is not a common choice, choosing a .net extension may help prevent one type of spam attack.
2. Dashes – Yes or No?
Dashes are a trade-off when it comes to getting a short domain. However, people may not remember where to put the dashes if they hear your domain verbally so think carefully before you use them. If your site will be found primarily through the search engines or accessed through a link online, then dashes can help you get a business name that says what you want when the one without dashes is already registered.
For a business, you will generally want your domain name to say something about the business you are in. If you want to use search engine optimization or SEO to have your business website show up in search engine results, then you may want to consider the number of other websites using the keywords you want. This is a very basic SEO tip, but to check the amount of competition for the keyword phrase you are considering, you can type the keyword phrase into Google in quotes. For example, if I typed in “my own email domain” the number of sites with this keyword phrase is shown just below the search box on the results page. If there are less than 70,000 sites with these keywords in this exact order, then you may be able to rank for this keyword phrase, depending on the strength of the competing websites, of course. The rules of SEO are changing all the time, but as of this writing, this tip may be important if you plan on using SEO to get your website on the first page of the Google search results.
P.S. Having the right domain name for your business can mean the difference between success and failure. I’m not giving you business advice on this site, but I am sharing what has worked for me over the years and strategies that may work for you.