And the right TLD for your business website

choosing a domain nameChoosing a domain name for your business website is one of the most tedious and difficult step of starting a website for your business! If you think choosing a domain name is easy, you must've been blessed with seeing the future!

By sharing this article you, we hope it will help you choose the best domain name for your business that is not only short and easy to remember, but catchy - and why not Cool?

think of a name that best describes your business

Not only you need to think of a word, or keyword that describe your business, but you also have to make sure the domain name you choose is short, catchy, easy to remember, and can be easily written down (or in the browser's address bar) without having to spell it out!

Remember, you will be including your website address to your business card and you don't want your domain name to be too long that it might not fit well.

Using a domain name generator

To make it easy on yourself, or to have some domain name ideas, you can use a domain name generator tool, such as Bust A Name, NameBoy, 123Finder just to name a few. Using a tool to help you find a good domain will make the process easier and faster. However, don't rush the process of searching and finding a domain name for it is a very important part of your business success!

You have chosen your domain name - Now what?

Now that you have chosen a good domain name for your website - that meets your business image and needs, you might think you are ready to purchase the said domain from a trusted domain registrar or a hosting company! Well, you are not done yet and if you thought you were, sorry for the wake up call!

Check domain availability

You not only have to chose a domain name for your website, you also have to make sure that your chosen name is available, and with the right domain extension (TLD) - YES, the one that everyone is used to - We are referring to the .com extension (TLD).

Purchasing your domain

When you are ready to purchase your domain name, you usually have two options!

  • The first one is to purchase it through the hosting company you are thinking of using - maybe because they are offering a free domain name (for the first year, or for as long as you are hosting with them)
  • The second option is to purchase the domain directly from a trusted domain name registrar - This is actually our preferred option (read one of our existing client's experience with a previous hosting company, below)

Why you shouldn't purchase your domain from a hosting company

You might think that you will only own one domain, but trust me when I tell you that you will own more than one (because they are cheap), and just in case we end up being right, we recommend to keep all your domains in one place, and preferably, a trusted registrar, and not a hosting company.

Did you ask why you shouldn't buy YOUR domain from a hosting company yet?

  • When you purchase your domain name from a hosting company, and then later on you decide to buy another domain, but this time, from another hosting company (because they are offering a better deal), you will end up with two domain names residing on two different servers - Why not choose a trusted registrar, like Namecheap, and have all your domains reside in one place
  • Thinking of firing your hosting company? - Just in case you get mad at your hosting company, for any reason bet it changing the color of their theme, support went overseas and you are not happy about that, they don't update their software (PHP and MySQL) regularly, and more, you can easily move your site to another host withing hours, if not less.
  • Your site got hacked - For security reasons, and just in case your site gets hacked, the hacker(s) will not be able to transfer the domain to them and do whatever they want

Avoid EMD (Exact Match Domain) name - Unless you offer high quality content!

EMD exact match domainYou can look for an EMD name but it is very Risky due to the fact that EMDs have their own algorithm (called EMD Algo) - The EMD algo is a filter Google released in September, 2012 as a way of trying to demote websites, with EMD name, because of their poor quality content! But if your site has an exact match domain name and poor content and you got hit with Google's EMD algo, it does not mean you lost the war (just the battle). What you will need to do to try to gain your ranking back is improve your content.

If you have an EMD name and you haven't been hit by Google's EMD Algo yet, don't think you are out of the water yet because Mr. (or Miss Penguin) will revisit you and surprise you with a check down, unless you improve your content before that surprise visit!

Looking at Expired domains

You might think of looking at expired domains and purchase one that you liked! You can do so but be very careful for you might end up with a domain name that had a penalty because of reasons such as spamming, cloaking, etc... And you could risk of carrying over those penalties to your site.

You might also visit a social media site, like Facebook and visit the Buy & Sell group where you can fine people (possibly scammers) selling PR2, PR3 and PR4 domains. You can get yourself a good domain name with a high PR (Page Authority) and DA (Domain Authority) of 20 and up but before you purchase the domain, I recommend that you perform the following:

  • Check the domain with Google Banned Checker
  • Check it with Google AdSense Ban
  • Check PageRank
  • Use 'Way Back Machine' archive to see what type of site it was (was it an adult site?)

Our tips on choosing a domain name

  • Choose a short domain name - make it easy on your would be customers to come directly to you (when you give them your domain name) by choosing a short and sweet name. If you have to spell your domain name, then it is a sign it is not a good domain
  • Unless you know that you will have no problem branding your domain and people remembering the domain, make sure that you spell the domain name correctly. You can be creative if you want but don't use your creativity in the spelling of your domain name with something like 'carzforsale' for example. Yes, we know Google did it but that's a whole different story
  • EMD (Exact Match Domain) - If you think you can't offer quality content, then avoid EMD name - Again, Google is not trying to KILL EMDs but just the fly-by-night businesses. As far as we know and our experience, if you have an EMD that is old (at least before Google started targeting low quality EMDs), you should be fine
  • TLDs (Top Level Domain) - Always aim for a .com TLD, unless you are a non-profit organization, school, government. However, if you can (only if you can afford it), try to buy the same domain name with other available TLDs. You don't have to buy all of the available TLDs for your domain, just the ones that people are used to, like .net, and .org. Especially when the yearly cost is extremely affordable!
  • Outside the U.S. - If your business is outside the U.S. but still want to sell internationally, get a TLD for your country, plus the .com (again, if available) versions.
  • Watch out for Bad Words - If you decide to connect your 2 or 3 word keywords, make sure that the keyword does not have a tasteless or improper term in it.

Read about a client who purchased a domain from a hosting company(Click me!)

We not only have heard of horrible stories, but also witnessed a bad experience one of our client had with a big and well known hosting company.

Our client decided not to host with them anymore because when he contacted us to work on his SEO campaign, we performed a FREE SEO audit on his site! The audit report was not good and listed various technical problems that not only resulted in his site to be extremely slow, but also going down, at least once a week, and take for days to go back online!
When he hired us to work on his search engine optimization campaign, we knew there and then that we needed to do something about his site being slow and offline (most of the time) problem. So we proceeded with doing a full backup of his site, through Akeeba backup, and download the backup to our server.
Then we installed his backup on another server and a fresh Joomla install, with the data, on his existing hosting company server! We run two tests, one with the new Joomla installation on his existing hosting company, and the other one on the new server, using the installed backup.
There was a big difference in speed! For the fresh Joomla installed on his existing hosting company, the site was still extremely slow, but on server where we installed his backup, the site was fast even though we did not make any changes to the installed modules, components, plugins, or content!
We decided to call the hosting company on the client's behalf! The customer service and support were awful, plus, the hosting company was still using old versions of PHP and MySQL. When we asked as to when they plan to update their PHP and MySQL to the latest versions, we were told that they are still being tested on their server, and they were not sure as to when the updates will take effect.
At the end, we were able to move the hosting (to a hosting company that we recommended) but it was after going through days of wasted time (and money) with the hosting company's tech support that lacked technical skills and experience!

Only fouls rush in!

Choosing a domain name for your website should not take you a couple of minutes! The process should take hours, or even days if you want to do it right and end up with a domain name that is easy to spell, remember! So don't rush in!

We spent 15 days, and sleepless nights, writing down domain name ideas, and researching our competitors before choosing "SimplerWebs' as our domain name!

In Summary

Our recommendations to choosing a domain name for your business website are as follow

  • Think of 4, or 6 keyword, or keyword phrases and try to come up with one that better and clearly describes your business
  • Use a domain name generator to make it easy on yourself, or to give you more domain name ideas. You don't have to use any geneated domain name
  • DO NOT purchase an EMD (exact match domain) unless you are 100% sure you can provide great content
  • Make the domain your own by avoiding to purchase an already expired domain name unless you have researched it and made sure there are no bad inbound links, and has not been penalized by Google, or other search engines. You can also use 'Way Back Machine' archive to have an idea of what kind of site it was
  • DO NOT misspell your domain name (i.e.: carzrepair, karpetrus,orthopedicenter) - You are not Google!
  • Make it short, sweet, easy to type and remember
  • Don't use underscore (_), or hyphens (-) - This will make it more difficult to give someone your domain name verbally
  • The domain name should right away give your searcher a good idea of what your website is about
  • Check for domain name availability
  • Purchase your domain from a trusted domain name registrar, and not from the hosting company you're thinking of hosting your site with

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