There are many things to consider when choosing a domain name for your website. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to get your first choice as many domain names are already taken. Domain names are made using the rules and protocols of the Domain Name System (DNS). The Domain Name System allows numerical IP addresses to be translated into more convenient and memorable domain names.
- Ideally you should choose a domain name that is easy for people to remember. Long domain names can often be easily forgettable, confusing and may not read how they were originally intended. Furthermore, the domain name should relate to your business and brand name. Incorporating a significant keyword in the domain name can be beneficial.
- Some domain names may have been registered before. Checking the history of the domain name you are thinking about registering is a very important step. The domain name could have been blacklisted or incurred penalties from search engines. Occasionally you may find a domain name with a great history, plenty of link juice and domain authority. It is always worth checking. Various tools are available to research the history of a domain name.
- Depending on the purpose and target audience of your website you need to choose between generic top-level domains (gTLDs), for example; .com, .net, .edu, .info, and .org, or country code top-level domains (ccTLDs)which are based on the two-character territory codes of ISO-3166 country abbreviations such as .es, .de, it. If you plan to target different countries, registering the ccTLDs of the countries can help with International SEO. You can read more about Multilingual Website design and International SEO in one of our other articles.
- Registering a number of different gTLDs and ccTLDs for the same domain name is a good way to protect your online image and prevent others from trying to profit from your hard work and popularity in the future. Although registering multiple domain names can soon become a costly exercise registering the most commonly used variations gives some level of brand protection. A domain name is not necessarily a trademark. It is advisable to seek legal advice about registering your brand name as a trademark.
- Domain names are registered on a yearly basis, registration does not imply ownership. There are some benefits of registering a domain name for longer periods, ideally 5 or 10 years. Primarily, you don’t need to worry about renewing it every year. However, it is advisable to set your domain name to auto renew, just in case you forget. Registering your main domain name for several years can also be considered by search engines as signal that the website is part of a long-term business plan. This can help with SEO and increase Domain Authority (Moz DA).