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How Do I Choose a Domain Name?

Choosing a domain name is essentially like choosing a name for your business, so it's worth putting a little thought into. 

We recommend that you choose a domain name that is:

Why choose a short domain name?

A shorter domain name is easier for visitors to type into their address bar and offers less chance that someone will make a misspelling. It also seems more professional. Long domain names can make it look like you got last pick of all the domain names on the internet, and can seem less trustworthy.  

There are two kinds of shortness: Not-many-characters, or not-many-words. A domain name like doesn't have so many characters (letters) in the name, but it has a lot of words. 

A domain name like has a lot of characters (letters), but it's only two words. They're both about as good as each other.

The best solution would be one like Few words, few letters, and quite memorable! 

Try to get something under 20 characters, or fewer than 3 words, or (ideally) both. 


Why a .com?

The old staples of .com, .net and .org have been joined by a whole new lot of TLDs (top level domains) recently. You can now get .guru, .today, .tips, .solutions, and more. 

But you're still better off with a plain old .com if you can get it.

It's not so much that the search engines prefer a .com over any of the new TLDs. The bigger reason is that your visitors and customers will see a .com as more trustworthy ... at least until the new TLDs become more common. This affects your click-through rate from the search engines (because your domain name is visible in the search results).

Plus: If you bought the domain, there's a chance you'd end up losing some visitors to your competitor with the domain name. People remember the "PitSniffer" part... but they probably won't remember that you're a guru too. 


Why are hyphenated domain names not ideal?

Again, it's not so much that the search engines prefer a non-hyphenated domain. It's because if your domain name is, you will invariably get confused with and you could end up losing links and traffic.

A hyphen also has a faint whiff of “this was the best I could get”  — it looks more spammy and you might get fewer people clicking on your listing in the search engines.


Does your domain have to include your keywords?

It helps if your domain name is somewhat related to your topic, so that potential visitors who see your listing in the search engines believe that it is related to what they're looking for. But it does not necessarily need to contain your keywords. 

There used to be some SEO benefit to having an exact match domain (EMD — where the domain name is the same as the keyword entered into the search engine), but this benefit has been rapidly decreasing, and in future it is likely to have little or no impact on your rankings.

So there is little point in trying to cram all your main keywords into your domain name. It just gives you a domain name that is long, hard to remember, and easy to confuse with other similarly named domains. 

If you have to choose between a short, catchy domain name that is only slightly related to your topic, and a long, forgettable domain that includes all your keywords... we recommend you go with short and catchy. 


Brainstorming ideas

  • Use a name — Is taken? How about There are an infinite number of names in the world. Find one that's simple, memorable and easy to spell. It has the benefit of adding some personality to your brand. 
  • Use a place —,,,, there are lots of places where things can happen too. Find one that's catchy, and ideally one that makes sense. 
  • Use a number — Numbers can be catchy and easy to remember. 
  • Use a “the” —  If was taken, I might look at started out as, so you're in good company! Just check what sort of site is at the .com address first. If it's an established site with a strong brand you might want to back off. If it's just someone squatting (there is no website at the moment) you should be good to go. 
  • Use an adjective — Put a describing word at the start. How about,,
  • Use online tools —