The Golden Rule when Choosing a Domain Name

When choosing a domain name there is only one Golden rule to remember: KEEP IT SIMPLE.

Simple means Short

Short domain names are easy to type, easy to remember and easy for offline marketing (e.g. Word-of-Mouth). A long and complex domain name will increase the risk of visitors misspelling it. The most common length of new domain registrations between 2002 and 2011 is 9-10 characters (

In a research carried out by Marketing Sherpa in 2008, it was highlighted that having smaller URLs in SERP made them more clickable. Having a short domain name, will keep the URLs shorter.

Simple means Alphabets Only

If you use Numbers and Roman numerals in the domain name, it can be confusing when conveying the domain name verbally. “8days” can be misconstrued as “eightdays”. Imagine the confusion if the domain name is “VIIIdays” – is that V, I, I, I, days? or 8 days? A hyphen (-) could easily be confused with an underscore (_).

Simple means Simple Words

Avoid slangs, plurals and alternate spellings as these may confuse the visitors. Many popular internet brands do not follow this rule – e.g. Google. But until your brand is established and popular, the name can be mistyped. Even after years of branding, Flickr underwent this problem because of its unique spelling. They eventually purchased because the pronunciation vs spelling issue sent many to the wrong place.

Simple means Dot Com Extension

It is ideal to choose a “.com” domain extension as it is the most popular and easiest to remember. But if the preferred “.com” domain name is not available, then you can go for other not-com domain extensions. In which case, using extensions that are specific to your business or location will make it more appealing and memorable (e.g. .photography or .us).

If you find the perfect domain name ending in .com, it’s a great idea to pick up other extensions (like .net, .org, .info, .us, etc.) as you can park these domains to point to your actual account to pick up any visitors that just may happen to type in a different extension. In addition, it also helps protect your site in case you become the next big internet sensation and someone tries to purchase another extension of your domain.

If you want to know more about choosing Domain Names let me know in the comments section below.

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