Choosing the right domain name for your website

If you’re looking at starting a website from scratch and already have an idea of the community you’re going to be targeting the website at then you’re in a wonderful position of being able to find a domain name that suits before you launch your website.There are a few different schools of thought on what to do when picking the right domain name for your website however here are my suggestions, some will be obvious but it’s worth getting the obvious points lined up in a row to make sure you’re covering all the main questions you should ask yourself;

Is this domain relevant to my community?

Picking the right domain name from scratch is something some people worry about a lot while others just don’t put that much value on the domain itself but are more interested in the content and traffic.Coming somewhere between these two opposites is a solid approach. Try and find something that your community will immediately recognise is something they would be interested in. Having keywords that you’re targeting for SEO in the domain is good but shorter domains are easier to type in for repeat visits so the decision becomes a pay-off between those two factors.If you’re hoping to have people type the domain directly into their browser at some point, try to steer clear of using hyphens “-” and never use abbreviations.Overall, you have to be comfortable with the domain name yourself as it’s going to epitomise your website’s front to the world.

Would a localised domain be better to target my community?

For example in New Zealand it’s a good idea to be using a .co.nz however if you’re targeting Australia the best option is a .com.au. While there are exceptions to the rule in every case, localisation is a good idea.

Is there a domain I could purchase that would be worthwhile?

Generally I would not suggest purchasing a domain to build a website on as there are still plenty available (particularly local .co.nz domains) that will be relevant to your users that will not cost you more than standard registration.One situation where this may be useful is if there is a live website already that has been around for some time building content and links from a community that matches your new venture. If you can find a site for sale such as this (rare but worth looking into) you’d be best to work through a domain brokerage service such as sedo as there are more than a few dodgy domain sellers out there who will promise the world and not deliver.

Have I asked some other people for their opinions and/or ideas on the domain I’m thinking of registering?

Feedback from people who are likely to use the website (or at least other people in the industry) is invaluable. Someone else may see something in the domain that you didn’t see which has happened is some rather embarrasing corporate blunders in the past!

4 thoughts on “Choosing the right domain name for your website

  1. There are some PRIME domain names still available in the NZ domain market, I just scored moneytransfer.co.nz today! Which I’ll have a crack at utilising Eldridge Lynch’s affiliate program.

  2. I would be when taking advise from some of the above as it was last updated in 2008 – now there are not as many domains about and the good ones have skyrocketed in price.

    Thanks

  3. Hi Niki,

    Thanks for the comment, do you believe that the information above is not as relevant now just because it was written in 2008?

    There are still plenty of domains available, you just need to get creative about choosing the domain that you’d like to have.

    Of course there are many specific keyword domains that are no longer available however there are just as many variants that are available and it continually surprises me when I find more domains that are interesting keywords that have not been picked up.

    One thing to remember is that your domain is only one part of the mix.

    You don’t need a keyword oriented domain, while it can help with some search engine stuff (and that is lessening over time) it can also be a lot more valuable if you can build a brand around anything that is strongly memorable and more likely to attract visitors.

    On your pricing point, what would you consider a price that has skyrocketed?

    I’m of the opinion at the moment that domains just aren’t worth what they were in 2008 so unless there’s a working website on a domain then people really shouldn’t be paying huge sums for them.

    With the setup of a website becoming more of a commodity and the installation of new domain extensions set to explode in the next few years I think spending lots of money on a domain (with the exception of the few best) will become less and less common.

    Your thoughts?

    Gary

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