Is it brandable?
What we mean by this is - does your domain sound like a brand? Does it slip off the tongue? Avoid hyphens and numbers as they sound generic. For example, if you wanted to start a car valet business and you created a website with the domain car-valet-24-7.com, its hard to remember and even hard to say.
Shy away from generic keywords, they're not really memorable and are showing a downward shift in ranking too.
Looking back at the car valet business a couple ideas for a brandable domain name could be:
Carvaletservice is cool, it's memorable but a bit long, I really like carvalet.com as it's short and you know what the websites purpose is.
Is your domain name easy to pronounce?
On first glace you might think, "People don't say the domain name aloud, they say it in their head or they click a hyperlink or through search on Google, don't they?"
When we get down to it - humans like fluency and we're naturally wired to remember and have a positive response to things that can be pronounced easily. So if YOU can't pronounce the domain name and the people of the wider world can't, they're less likely to remember it and all the work you've done to create this brand could potentially have gone to waste.
It's easy to read, memorable and has a bit of mystery to it. Could it be just to do with cars? We just don't know at this point.
It's not all about how big it is!
Implement the previous rules before thinking about length but this a vital one. It relates back to the domain name in terms of the fluency as I spoke about earlier. In short (parden the pun) the shorter the domain name, the quicker it is to type, for people to share on social media and easier to remember,
Long tailed domain names tend to get squashed and shorted and compressed or may not show at all.
So, shorter is always better.
It's short, easy to pronounce and it's brandable. Ticks all the boxes.
Do I go with .com, .co or .co.uk?
Yep, we know. The internet has evolved and there's so many different domains out there and the big question is - which one do we choose? The simple answer and most obvious answer is sticking to .com or .co.uk. My reasoning behind this? They're the most popular brands in the land of the World Wide Web.
If you're a start up and want to attract the best developers around then a .car domain name might work but if you're car valet business who just wants to attract the every day person to your business then stick with .com. As I previously mentioned, people tend to lean towards something they recognise and .com is certainly recognisable. If you want to build your brand and make the domain brandable then .com or .co.uk fit the bill.
This is a big one. You might not think that your domain name confuses itself with another brand. It doesn't really matter what you or your audience think, what matters is, is the judge who is dealing with a complaint made against you and your domain name for trademark infringement.
You don't want your domain to be confused or misrepresenting another brand. It's as simple as that. I suggest talking to some legal representation if you have any pressing concerns regarding this because it's murky waters and it can be confusing for all parties.
This could make people think your car valet and wash service is linked to the Formula 1 brand which should definitely be avoided
Choose a domain name that describes what your brand does
If you can choose a cool domain name that your audience can take a stab in the dark and guess what you stand for, the industry you're in or what you sell, well that's a really good thing.
This domain easily describes what you do and the industry you're in. Winner winner chicken dinner.
Keywords in the domain are important but not imperitive
No surprises here it's something I would have to mention here as we're looking at this from an SEO view point. Keyword implementation in your chosen domain name is important but it's not the end of the world.
I've already spoke about how a domain name should tick the boxes in terms of being easily pronounceable etc. It's also important from an SEO perspective because of the type of anchor text that people use when linking to your domain but as we know you don't rank as well as you used to based on keyword inclusion in the URL.
Of course, try get a keyword in here or there that describes what you do as a business but it might have a detrimental effect on ranking if your domain is something like:
There's a balance in this.
If you're chosen domain isn't available, be creative!
Don't cry if your domain name isn't available. You can be creative with it. Add a prefix or suffix which is sometimes even better.
For example of you wanted a domain such as valetcar.co.uk, change it to thevaletcar.co.uk or thecarvalet.co.uk.
These TLD's (top level domain's) are available and it's just about thinking outside of the box if you've got a road block in the way.
Use these rules when choosing your domain name and you could see the benefit in the long run.