What is a Domain Name?
The long and short of choosing a domain is that it should speak volumes about who you are as a company, what you do, and what visitors can expect from you. Finding the right name for your business is no easy task and making sure that its domain name has an impact on website visitors is even harder.
A domain is made up of 3 parts – the top-level domain (TLD), the domain name, and the subdomain.
- The TLD is the suffix or ending of the domain – such as .com, .edu, or .net. There are over 1,000 TLDs available so it is important to choose one that best reflects the intent of your website.
- The domain name is the identifying factor for your websites – such as google.com, or mywebsitespot.com. The domain name is used as part of the ranking factor for web search engines. I will go into more detail about search engine considerations below.
- The subdomain is the beginning of the domain which typically includes – www., or blog. Not all domains have a subdomain preceding the domain name.
The root domain is typically the highest page of your website’s hierarchy, hosting the landing or home page. It is made up of the domain name and TLD, forming a complete website address.
Why is a Domain Name important?
A domain typically reflects the business title or industry area that your business operates in. Having a domain adds credibility to your company. It also has the potential to increase awareness of your business when discovered by search engines like Google and Bing! Having a domain name helps define your brand and imprint your products and services to your customers.
Keep it short and simple
A best practice when choosing a domain name is to keep it short and simple. Customers are more likely to remember shorter names or names that directly correlate with your business product or service. Correctly spelling the domain name or your site will keep customers from straying to other websites or confusing your site with spam or phishing sites. It also helps to chose a common TLD like .com, .net, or .org, as most people are familiar with them.
How do search engines rank domain names?
Google, Bing, and other search engines are continuously evaluating and adjusting their algorithms to provide the best websites that answers their users questions and requests. While we stated earlier that domain names should be kept short and simple, the actual length of your domain name does not affect its standing on search engines. The domain name length does, however, have an impact on customer memorability.
With customer memorability, it is important to also keep in mind customer recognition and trust. The most used and recognized TLDs are “.com”, “.net”, “.org”, and “.edu.”
- .com – .com is used for commercial businesses or any profitable websites.
- .net – .net stands for “networking”, which was created for network-related websites.
- .edu – This extension is mostly used by education-related websites.
- .org – Non-profit organizations mostly use the .org extension.
Research regarding name length, name choice, spelling, and the use of hyphens shows consistency among users and search engine algorithms.
- Simple, straightforward naming choices are found to be the most efficient.
- Domain addresses that avoid using hyphens rank higher in search engines.
- Domain names average between 10 – 12 characters.
- Repeated vowel or consonant sounds typically result in lower rankings.
Finding your perfect name
If you have an idea for your domain name and are curious if it’s availabe, you can always check on our domain search page. If you fall in love with a domain, be sure to lock it in!
Still unsure of what to choose? My Website spot is always willing to provide FREE advice. If you have any questions, need assistance with how to get started on a new website project, or just want to give us feedback on this article, we’d love to hear from you! Drop us a line and we’ll get in touch to help your site find its spot among the stars!