6 Ways to Choose a Domain Name for a Startup

Eliza Medley

Basically, a domain name acts like a website address. People type it intotheir browsers, and it will lead them to a website. 

When building a startup, having the perfect domain name for its website is one of the most important steps. The general rules are that the domain name should be catchy, brandable, and, most importantly, legal. 

This article covers the criteria of a great domain name and six tips for choosing the best domain name for your startup. 

What makes a great startup domain name?

In general, simplicity is the key to creating the best domain name, and winning an excellent startup domain name is no different. To accomplish this, consider these three factors:

  • Length: Shorter domain names are easier to type, read, and memorize.
  • Domain name elements: We recommend avoiding numbers and special characters. Also, choose from the best domain extensions and include niche keywords in your domain name.
  • Brandability: It helps a startup quickly gain recognition and stand out from the competition. Be sure to not to use similar names to any existing brands to avoid trademark infringement.

How to choose the best domain name for your startup

Based on the three factors from the previous section, here are six tips for how to choose a domain name for your startup:

1. Keep the name short and simple

Choosing a simple and short domain name is vital as you want visitors to easily remember your business website and visit it again. 

Here are some tips to consider:

  • Shorter is better: Keep your domain name around 6-15 characters long. 
  • Opt for simplicity: Avoid using uncommon words with complicated spelling to ensure users type your domain name accurately. 
  • Don’t use numbers: They contribute to spelling confusion, as people may forget if they should write the digits or type out the word. 
  • Avoid hyphens: They can make a domain name look less professional. Also, hyphens can be easily overlooked.
  • Refrain from using double letters: They are also susceptible to typos. 

That said, short domain names can be challenging to get. Utilizing a domain name generator can be a great way to save time. 

Furthermore, such a tool gives suggestions on available domain names. This can ease your domain search process as the starting point.

Once you’ve got a shortlist of potential domain names, check their availability. To do so, choose among the best domain name search tools. 

2. Choose the right domain name extension

Domain extensions, often called Top-Level Domains (TLD), are located at the right of your domain name. Some of the popular domain extensions come from the generic top-level domain (gTLD) category, like .com, .org, and .net.  

The right extension helps people understand what a website is about. Short for commercial, .com might be the best domain extension for a startup. On top of that, .com is popular, easy to remember, and considered a trusted domain extension. 

However, there is a high possibility that the .com you want is already taken. In this case, choose a .com alternative from other domain extension types below:

  • Country Code TLD: Also known as ccTLD, this domain extension defines a particular country, territory, or geographical area. Some popular examples include .uk and .in. 
  • Sponsored TLD: It refers to any domain extension with sponsors representing specific communities or organizations. For example, Tralliance Registry Management Company uses the .travel sTLD.  
  • New TLD: Any TLD launched after January 2014 falls into this category. An n-TLD is great for immediately telling leads about a website’s niche. To illustrate, the .site domain extension is associated with a real estate business, and .design can represent graphic design services.

3. Pick a brandable domain name

Brandable domain names are often contextual, expressing what a company is and what it does. On top of that, they should be unique and true to a particular business, as they should be helping it to stand out from the competition.

Apple.com, Walmart.com, and Adidas.com are examples of highly-branded domain names. To get a brandable website address, business owners can consider the products or services their company offers and its target market

4. Make it easy to pronounce

Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most powerful marketing strategies available– even 92% of consumers trust their friends and relatives over other media sources. For this reason, be sure to choose a domain name that is easy to share. What’s more, a study revealed that the use of digital voice assistants is projected to reach 8.4 billion units by 2024. Having an easy-to-pronounce domain name is crucial to ensure such tools hear the domain name correctly the first time.

5. Consider using keywords

Including keywords in domain names, apart from telling users about the industry your business is in, can help search engines understand a business website better. 

Combined with an excellent content marketing strategy, keywords in domain names can give a search engine optimization (SEO) boost to a new website. 

That said, be sure not to stuff keywords as they can make a domain name generic. Keyword-rich domain names also look spammy, greatly harming your SEO efforts.

To find the right keywords to add, conduct keyword research. Some of the best keyword research tools to help with the process include Semrush, Google Search Console, and Soovle

6. Avoid trademark issues

A domain name, especially a startup’s, shouldn’t cause you any legal issues. A lawsuit involving domain name trademark infringement can cost business owners over $100,000

Here are three simple steps you should take before registering your chosen domain name:

  • Check USPTO to ensure it isn’t trademark-protected 
  • Make sure it isn’t taken elsewhere, including various social media platforms 
  • Search the domain name on Google to see the results on the first two pages

In addition to the company logo, tag line, and design, business owners should also trademark their domain name. Doing so will help maintain your brand’s uniqueness and reputation.

Conclusion

Throughout this article, you’ve learned six tips for getting the perfect domain name for your startup. Here’s a short recap:

  • Keep the name short and simple: This is to improve readability and memorability. You don’t want your potential customers to misspell your domain name and end up on another website.
  • Choose the right domain extension: .com is an excellent TLD for a startup website. If the .com you want is already taken, come up with a new name or find an alternative with another domain extension. 
  • Consider the domain name’s brandability: Contextual names help express a brand’s personality and what it does.
  • Make it easy to pronounce: This is to ensure that your domain name will pass the radio test.
  • Use keywords: Like new domain extensions, keywords help explain a website’s niche. Be sure not to force or stuff keywords into your domain name.
  • Avoid trademark issues: It’s because lawsuits involving domain name trademark infringement can be costly.

If you encounter some difficulties, take advantage of a domain name generator. Remember that you don’t have to take the suggested available domain names, but you can use them to draw inspiration. 

Good luck with your domain search!

Eliza Medley

Eliza Medley is an experienced writer and psychologist. She is actively interested in management, new technologies, and writing motivational articles. And also trying to go with time with modern trends.


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