How to Choose a Domain Name for My Website

October 1, 2012 by  Filed under: SEO 

One of the most important questions you will ask yourself when setting up a new site is – how to choose domain name for my website.

And today I’m asking you this question.

So, remember, it’s easy to change the design, the title, the CMS and even the content of a website without much of a to do. But changing the domain name, as I’m about to find out, will be a bit more difficult. So it’s important you get it right first time. Here’s some advice on how to choose a domain name for your site.

Is it available?

Dot Coms are the real estate of the internet and all of the good ones have gone. But if you get a great idea and you want to check if you can use it have a look on any domain name registrar like GoDaddy or NameCheap.


Sit down with some paper and pencils and write down the main subjects or purpose for the new site. What’s it going to be about? Who is it aimed out? Why would people go to this site?

This is an extremely important stage to go through for any new website and you should be spending quite a lot of time with this.

After this brainstorming session you have a decision to make. Should I put keywords in the title or create a brand?


Keywords are the words and phrases people type into search engines to find websites. You want your website to be found by entering certain words.

However, it depends on what sort of words you choose. Are they high competition or not?

To find this out you need to go to the Google Keyword Research Tool you can enter your keywords and see how many times they are searched for in a month. This provides some fascinating information.

Try to look for keywords (exact and broad) that are searched for often (1,000-40,000 searches per month) and don’t have a lot of competition. To further check out the competition, Google your keyword phrase and pick out the top 5 or so URLs that are returned and run them through Yahoo! Site Explorer and Open Site Explorer and see how many links your competition has.

If the keywords you choose (like “lose weight” or “make money online”) have enormous competition then it’s probably an idea not to use them.

If you have a keyword or keyphrase with a few thousand searches a month and the first five results in Google only have 100 to 500 links to them, then it’s worth considering putting the keywords in the domain name.

Keywords in the domain name or in the URL of a web page have a big sway in the search engine results. So if you are a design company, it may be an idea to put “design” in the domain name.

Here are some domains that have benefitted from using keywords in a domain name:,,, (this one is actually the combination of a brand and a keyword – clever!),, etc.

Or maybe you are going to be blogging and your topics are going to vary in subject. In this case you shouldn’t put keywords in your domain name but create your own brand instead.

Your name or brand name

Having a website that uses your real name has some advantages and disadvantages. For one thing, people tend to remember your name and can always find you. Also, you’re free to blog about any subject you want – this is not always a good thing as it’s advisable to keep a blog to a definable subject. But, it means you can slowly change the subject of the blog into other related areas if your interests or business niches change.

Several other successful blogs exist with people’s names in the domain name:,,, and there is examples of website brands with domain names that don’t mean anything, like the hugely successful

TLD – Top Level Domain

If you want maximum exposure for your site then try to get a dot com. Second to this try a dot net(although they are supposed to be about the internet). Look at the success of to see that you don’t necessarily need a dot com. If it is a non-profit then a dot org would be great.

If you want to target a specific country then you should purchase that country’s TLD, like dot co dot uk for the UK and dot co dot nz for New Zealand.

Do’s and Don’ts

– Check the spelling!

– Keep it short and sweet

– Make it memorable

– Avoid hyphens, numbers and funny characters

– Don’t use a copyrighted name!

I hope this has helped you decide on a domain name for your new website.

I was originally a designer who discovered blogging as a great way of getting business and making money. Now my design business has expanded into emarketing, SEO, SM and internet marketing.

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