Over the past few years, creating a website has only gotten simpler, to the point that anyone can do it, even if they have no experience coding or building databases. When you’re setting up a new site, you have quite a few decisions to make, and one of the most important ones is your domain name.
A site's domain name is the part of the URL after the "www." and there are plenty of domains available, but the most popular one on the web is .com. Throughout this guide, we're going to discuss how to choose a domain name for your site and why it's so crucial to do so.
Picking Your Domain Name Can Be The Single Most Important Thing You Do
When you’re just getting started with your site, it can be tempting to rush things so that you can get it up and running, but you’ll want to put time and effort into choosing your domain name. This will determine how easy it is to share your site, as visitors won’t want to sit around typing a long string of text into the URL bar.
You’ll also have to ensure that you choose a domain name that is reasonably memorable, as that will make it easier for visitors to come back. If someone forgets your domain name, then they’ll also have a much harder time sharing your site with their friends or associates, which could be a huge source of new visitors.
Site Design And Logos Will Depend On It
Your domain name will also determine the design of your site, as well as your logos, as you may want to feature your domain on them. Even if your domain isn’t directly visible in your site’s logo, you’ll still want the overall design to be linked to the name, making things more cohesive.
Remember that you can always update your logo as you expand, but changing your domain name can have some serious consequences, and the same goes for your site’s theme. Be sure that you’re comfortable with your chosen domain to avoid this issue later on.
Your Links And References
Choosing a domain name that is easy to remember or looks professional will also make it easier to get links and references to your site. One of the main ways to build up your SEO and become more visible on search engines is to have enough links to your site, and that will be easier with the right domain name.
For example, a .com address will look much more reputable than a .club domain, and will, therefore, make it easier for you to get some extra links. As you can see, choosing a domain names extension is usually a little more important than the name itself, when looking to build links.
Understanding Domain Names And SEO
To ensure that you get the best SEO possible with your new domain name, you’ll have to understand the two ways that it can impact it. The first way is through keywords because a domain name that contains them will be more likely to show up on search results, though that isn’t the only difference.
Another thing to consider is your site’s branding, as the domain will have to fall in line with the rest of your branding efforts. Keep in mind that branding is often more important than stuffing keywords into the domain name, so be sure to focus on it first and keywords as a secondary concern.
Switching Domain Names Is Very Costly For SEO
You'll also have to pick out the best domain name right off the bat due to the potential impact that changing it can have on your SEO. When you alter the domain name without any redirects or further actions, then you'll lose all of your link value, and you will have to start over in SEO terms.
However, if you want to ensure that you maintain your rankings, you’ll have to keep both the old and the new domain name, and you’ll have to implement a redirect. There are eight different kinds of redirects, but we’ll take a look at the three main ones that are used in this case.
301, 302, And 307 Redirects
The 301 redirect is the most commonly-used one in this scenario, and it represents a permanent redirect. This means that the clients using the old one should switch to the new URL for their subsequent visits. On the other hand, a 302 redirect has an undefined reason, and clients should not use the new URL for their next visits.
302 redirects are relatively rare, and most site runners will instead opt for a 301. Finally, there is also the 307 redirect, which is only temporary. This shows that the site may return to the domain name later on and that the visitor should keep using the old domain for any future visits.
Tips For Picking Your Domain Name
Now we’re going to move on to how to pick a domain name, and there are a few key tips that you should follow. As we mentioned earlier, the most important thing you can do is choosing a brandable domain name instead of one that is filled with generic keywords that will delegitimize your site.
When you choose a domain name, you’ll also want to keep it as short as possible, as this will make it easier for visitors to type and remember. The most successful sites on the internet all feature relatively short domain names but keep in mind that shorter names are more likely to be taken.
You’ll also want to be sure that your domain name is available across social media sites and that it isn’t trademarked, as this can cause you all sorts of headaches further down the road. Finally, you should stick to the better-known domain extensions, like .com, .net, and .org.
Picking a domain name is usually a matter of logic, so it shouldn’t be too hard to come across the right one, provided you take your time and don’t rush through it. Feel free to let us know what you think about our guide down below.