Your domain name is your online address, your site's brand name and the first thing that a lot of your visitors will know about you. It's the beginning of something awesome.
But there are a lot of examples of domains going wrong – whether it's Pen Island making penisland.net or Speed of Art making speedofart.com, you don't want to be the next one to register one of these ridiculous domains.
Luckily, here are 10 pieces of advice to make registering the right domain name Crazy Easy.
Use your business
If your business is called Rick's Body Shop and you're in Australia, then ricksbodyshop.com.au is probably what you should look at. That's pretty easy.
But what if you don't have a physical business? What if your site is your business? Should you use relevant keywords – like pets.com – or try to create a brand – like amazon.com?
One of the best ways to make your site memorable and eye-catching while still retaining the slight boost you get in search engines from having a keyword in your domain is to create a brand that includes a keyword.
If you have a name that people can't immediately link to your business, then it requires a lot more time spent establishing your brand. If your brand includes what you do, then it's easy to understand from the first glance. That's what makes brands like hotmail.com or careerfinder.com so effective – they do what they say right in the name.
Including your business right in the domain name has gotten even easier with new domain extensions – nothing says that you're a plumber like a .plumbing domain or florist like a .florist and – well, you get the idea. These new extensions take a lot of the headache out of branding.
Make sure that people can type and remember your domain name. A big part of this is making it short – longer things are just harder to remember and type.
Being short is another advantage of the new domain extensions. Take Alphabet, Google's parent company, who registered abc.xyz. These short domains are often not available in the more established domain name spaces.
Make it uniquely yours
You don't want your site to be mistaken for one that's already been established – it makes you look like an imitator. Even worse, it can lead to legal challenges in rare cases. Make sure you do your research and register a domain that's all yours.
If you've got a local business, you will want to include the city in your domain name. You can do this by making it sydneykungfu.com.au, but if you take advantage of new domain extensions it can go on the other side of the dot – like kungfu.sydney.
Protect your brand
Okay, here the advice is going to be "spend more money" but we promise – it makes a lot of sense.
If you have a new domain extension, then you're going to have an easier time creating a memorable brand. But, on the other hand, when people type your address into their browsers, some of them are going to forget that anything other than .com (or .com.au or whatever local extension is used most often) exists.
For this reason, you're going to need to register multiple domains – perhaps two or three – and create a 301 redirect to your main site. It's a small extra expense, but it's usually worth it when you consider the type-in-traffic you'll get.
Another way to protect your brand from unwanted attention is to register the .porn, .adult and .xxx extensions for your domain. You don't want anyone connecting your business to the adult industry without your knowledge.
Don't use a bunch of numb3rs-and-hyphens
It might be tempting, but these are hard to remember, hard to pass around via word of mouth (that's numbers with a three, like the number, not the word, instead of the e and hyphens between every word, the symbols not the word – you know what, forget it) and correlates badly with good Google results.
Reserve the name early
When it comes to creating a website, the domain is rarely the biggest expense. Registering domains is affordable and involves no obligation to do anything else with them. If you have a great idea for a site but don't know if you want to create a site just yet, you can register the domain and sit on it until you're ready to make a site.
Make it professional
This bears saying although it seems obvious – make sure that your domain name is spelled correctly and doesn't include any slang.
Even ideas that seem good can be ridiculous when written down. That's how IHA Las Vegas ended up with the domain ihavegas.com. Make sure it doesn't spell anything that you don't want to say.
That's it. If you follow these 10 tips on how to choose a domain, you're going to have a Crazy Easy time being successful online.
A domain name is the beginning of something incredible. Make sure you start out right.