Hosting Tutorial & Guide

How to Choose Domain Name

updated on Oct 13, 2016
How to Choose Domain Name The guide introduces the domain name in details, helping you choose the right domain name for better growing website through search engines in the future and disclosing domain name registration traps.

Domain Name Introduction

A domain name is an identification of a website in the Internet. For example, the domain name besthostingsearch.org represents a website hosted with the IP address 184.173.27.248 so that you don't need to remember the complex IP address for entering our website.

How to Choose Domain Name Suffix

Each domain name has a suffix that indicates its top level domain (TLD). The popular domain suffixes include ".com", ".info", ".biz", ".net" and ".org" but there are lots of domain suffixes approved by ICANN and available for registration. Here, we list some of the most popular top name domains
  • .com - for commercial business. It's most widely used in the Internet and easiest for users to remember your domain name.
  • .net - indicating the purpose for organizations involved in networking technologies, such as Internet service providers and other infrastructure companies
  • .org - for non-profitable organizations.
  • .info - for informative internet resources.
  • .biz - be used by businesses. The name is an abbreviation of business.
  • Sensitive domain suffix like .gov for government agencies; .edu for educational institutions; .mil for military. You should not register a domain with such suffix unless you represents for one of them.
  • Country-specific domains, such as .us, .in, .ie or .fr which are already associated with a country or region. If you don't want to build a website for users only from a specific country, we suggest you don't choose such domains.

In general, we suggest you consider .com first as it's easiest for users to keep in mind and best for search engine optimization. If the domain name has been registered, you can consider .net, .org, .info or .biz in sequence.
Domain Name banner

Here, we have to remind you that the traffic statistics of the websites over the Internet is necessary to consider. The traffic of all websites comes from three parts, search engines, referrers and direct traffic. Unfortunately, based on the research, 90% traffic of the 95% websites over the Internet are from the search engines directly or indirectly. Even the well-known ebay.com or alibaba.com has about 50% of traffic from the search engines directly and with another up to 40% indirect traffic from there. It’s the same to you high possibly when you come to the online business.

Let’s introduce the impact of domain suffix to different traffic sources,
  • search engines: the domain suffix has NO help to search engines unless you choose a localized domain suffix such as ".us", ".de", ".in". (* By the way, the whole domain name has big help to search engine but it’s not the topic in this guide.) If you choose a localized domain suffix, search engines promote the users from these geographic areas to you rather than worldwide searches.
  • referrer traffic is the smallest portion of traffics to most of websites. It’s more depended on the external link building, email broadcasting and advertising. The domain suffix has nearly no impact to referrer traffics in fact.
  • direct traffic: as most of users are used to type domain suffix ".com", it’s the best domain suffix choice at any time. But please remember, the direct traffic only takes 5 – 10% traffic of most of websites. When you have an ideal domain name but find ".com" has been registered, it shall be wise to switch to ".net", ".org", ".cc", ".biz" or others.

How to Choose a Right Domain Name?

The domain name is essentially designed for Internet users to easier remember the access entry of your website, so you need to make it short, simple, easy to type and remember. But now, it also plays an important role in search engine optimization. Therefore, you also need to keep the below tips into mind.

Include Keywords in Domain Name

include keywords in domainNearly 90% traffics of 90% websites worldwide come from search engines such as Google.com unless you can invest a lot more money to advertise your website. After all, there are hundreds of millions of websites on the Internet and the number is still growing daily. It’s very important to include the major keywords of your website in the domain name because such domains take high weight in the Google search ranking.

Besides, including the keywords within domain name also helps you target your business area. Take an example, if you're designing a website to guide people to buy an online SAT course, it's better that you can include "online SAT course" or at least "SAT course" in the domain name. So when customers type the keyword "online SAT course", "SAT course online" or "SAT course" in the search engines, your website containing these keywords can be more possibly listed in the top position of the search result.

Long Tail Keyword Domain Name

Short domain names are favored by all people and they may be registered by others at first. Then, you can simulate what your users' thinking again beside the main keyword like "online SAT course". They may use adjective to describe the search keyword such as best, top, cheap, affordable, and so on so forth.

Take the besthostingsearch.org as an example. It's designed to help users find web hosting so the domain name should contain web hosting definitely. The adjective I considered at that moment were "cheap", "top" and "best" but I found all three-keyword domains had been registered soon. Finally, I decide to use "Best Hosting Search".

long tail keyword domain

Decide Keywords in Sequence

You may come out a list of important keywords for the domain name. But the principle is to keep it short and meaningful. The suggested keywords for a domain are 2 or 3 and 4 is still acceptable. Besides, the sequence of keywords is also important for Google search at most time. The best tool for you to make a decision is Google Keyword Tool. You can check out how many global monthly searches and local monthly searches for each buildup of your domains there. Then certainly choose a potential high traffic domain name.

Domain Name Traps

domain name traps
  1. Abbreviation of Keywords in Domain Name - if we shorten our domain besthostingsearch.org to BHS.com, I can tell that the traffic is 50% below than now at least. I cannot imagine we can have a good position for both the keywords Top Web Hosting and Top Cheap Web Hosting.
  2. Localized Domains - it's inappropriate to choose localized domain such as .us or .uk if the .com has been registered. You can benefit from Google local searches from the localized domain, but you may lose more from the global searches. However, if you intend to open a website for a hotel in San Francisco only, it's suitable that you can register a domain with .us, or even California localized domain .ca.us.
  3. Free Domain Name - most of the web hosts advertise their free domain name for the life with the web hosting plan. The scam here is that some web hosts legally register the domain in their name for you. That means when you want to switch to another web host, and you may lose the domain name because it's legally their possession, and you have no claim for it.

Domain Privacy Protection

When you register a domain name without domain privacy protection, your real name will be displayed associated with the domain. If you have a concern on exposing your name, you can choose domain privacy protection which is an add-on service for the domain. It will protect your private information like name, address, email. It usually costs $12/year. By the way, don't fake your name for registering a domain name, it will be trouble when you have to claim on it.

How to Choose Domain Registrar?

The only trusted domain registrar over the Internet is GoDaddy. By the middle of 2011, there are 50 million domain names are managed by them. Now they're offering the special sales for 35% off at least on the domain registration for the visits from besthostingsearch.org. Their .com domain is pricing at $7.49/year, .info at $1.99/year, .org at $6.99/year, .us at $3.99/year, .biz at $5.99/year.

Besides that, you can also refer to some domain hosting providers. We have reviewed 100+ web hosts on their support for domain, price, feature, performance and technical service, and finally decide to recommend the following ones.