Domain Registration Tips
Keep it Simple
Try to find a domain name that only has one possible spelling. Choosing a simple domain name without confusing spelling will make it easier for visitors to reach your website.
An example: Your company sells solar solutions, but it is called “Energy Life Performance”. This is not a name that reflects the industry you are in and will not be very “find” friendly on google and other search engines. It will not contribute to your discoverability on the internet for new customers, the only customers that will find you is the ones who type in your direct domain name.
You may still find the name of your business is available to register, and my advice is to buy it, but to park it onto something like “sunnysolar.co.za”. This is a generic name, that reflects the products/service/industry you are in, and then we “park” your company name domain on top of that.
Make it Keyword Rich
While this does not significantly impact SEO, (search engine optimization) it can help. For instance, if people are searching for “Pretoria cat breeders,” pretoriacatbreeders.co.za could be a great domain to buy for the mere fact that it is exactly what people are searching for.
This is applicable when someone navigates directly to a website by simply typing in what they are looking for followed by “.com” in their browser’s URL bar. This goes hand-in-hand with the previous tip of choosing a keyword rich domain.
If you are selling products or offering services online then it is a great idea to use a domain that is related to your industry. This is a secondary “fall-back” if you cannot find a domain to match your actual business name. In an instance like this industry-related domains are better suited for online sources or communities. (see my example under “keep it simple”
Shorter is Better
The shorter your domain name is, the easier it is for your visitors to remember, type and tell others about. Try using 6-10 consecutive characters.
Hyphens can really get someone lost. Not to mention, it can be difficult to embed the hyphen into someone’s memory. If mydomain.com is taken and you decide to order my-domain.com because it is available, there is a great chance you will end up getting people lost at mydomain.com.
Consider Other Extensions
If you find the perfect domain name ending in .com then it usually is a great idea to pick up other extensions like .net, .org, .info, .us, etc. as you can park these domains to point to your actual account to pick up any visitors that just may happen to type in a different extension.
Keep it Singular
This follows the same reasoning applied for avoiding hyphens. If mydomain.com is taken and you pick mydomains.com, there is a good chance you will be sending your traffic to mydomain.com as most domains are singular rather than plural. This is not so much the case when it comes to picking keyword rich domains.
If someone owns a domain you want, and you see it is not in use, run a WHOIS to find the owner and communicate your interest in obtaining the domain.
This is for the same reason as avoiding numeral substitutes. For instance, ursite.com is a bad subsitute for yoursite.com
Make it Brandable
In the early days of the internet, no one knew what Google, Yahoo!, or Facebook was going to be. But now they do, and those domains are highly brandable. It does not hurt to get creative with your domain name in anticipation of future branding.