How to Choose Your Domain Name (Handwritten Guide)

Andrej
Andrej Published on June 25, 2024

Choosing your domain name for your new project can be a daunting task. In this article, I will guide you through this process and give you some tips on how to do it properly.

But before everything, I have compiled a list of the most important things that will affect your site’s SEO in the long run. After that, I have personally researched some resources to better help you register with a domain server that is fast and high performing. First of all, I'd like to focus on the extension of your domain name. So, let's start.

Quick things to consider

Short & memorable - The domain name you are looking to buy should be short. This is because of the fact that long domains often don't perform well on search engines. It will not directly affect SEO as it's not a big ranking factor. However, it will reduce the returning visitors which in turn could affect ranking.

Geo-targeting - This is especially important if you are choosing a domain to target a particular country. Geo-targeting requires you to select a domain TLD that ends with a country's domain name extension, for example use .fr instead of .com if your target market is France.

Keywords - Another thing I’d like to mention is keyword research. If you are thinking of starting a micro-niche site, or only focus on a particular keyword, then you can perform keyword research and use the keyword in your domain name. This is something I use personally.

Brandability - Last factor that would have a significant effect on your website is the branding. You need to ensure that your domain name can become a brand in the long run.

Now that you know the must-know stuff about choosing a domain, it's time to get a domain name. You can do that in three simple steps (I have added recommendations for budget-friendly/feature-full options right after the steps).

Step 1: Select a domain name extension

Based on the location where you want to rank your website, select a domain name extension.

Step 2: Choose a domain registrar

There are many registrars that will host your domain for a good price. But you need to be mindful of performance, average uptime, domain security, and so on. To save your time, I have added a section on this as well.

Step 3: Get a new or existing domain

You can get a new domain name if you have an amazing brand in mind. But if you want to have an upper hand and not start from scratch, you can get an existing domain name. This means you will get good search metrics with an existing domain because of domain age, pre-built links, old profile, etc.

You can either get it from domain name marketplaces or domain forums. You will find all the details in the recommendations below.

3 Best high performing recommendations

1. Recommended Domain Extension

It is recommended to always go with the .com TLD (Top-level Domain) domain extension whenever possible, if it is available, and if your website will be in English. In case your target marker will be a certain country, for example, Romania, you should go with the cc TLD (Country Code Top-level Domain) of that specific country. In this case, it would be the .ro domain name extension. Or it could be .co.uk for the United Kingdom too. Other alternatives for English websites include .net or .org for non-profit organizations. Other popular choices are the .co or .io domains, used mostly for startups, web apps, or SaaS projects. The newest one is .ai, used for projects that are connected with AI.

I recommend that you choose your domain name wisely. Spend some time brainstorming ideas for it, and don't rush it. You may end up using your domain for your project for years, so it is important to make a smart decision. If you need help with ideas, there are online domain generators that you can use to help you come up with the right domain name for your business. One of them is, for example, Domainr.

2. Recommended Domain Registrars

There are many domain name registrars out there. However, I recommend and mostly use these three ones:

I have been using NameCheap and Dynadot for 17 years already and have never had any problems with them.

3. Buying Existing Domains

If the domain name that you wanted to use for your project is already registered by someone else, you might try approaching its owner and offering him/her a price for it. In case there is a working business website on this domain, it may not be for sale. However, if there is a "For Sale" page or a domain registrar's parking page with ads, this domain might be for sale. It is now your task to negotiate the lowest possible price for you. If you are not good at negotiating, you can hire a domain broker. However, it can cost you thousands of dollars to get a nice domain, if not even more. For example, the domain name vodka.com has sold for $3 million.

3.1. Domain Name Marketplaces

If you have a budget for your new domain name, let's say $3,000, and you want a nice, brandable domain name, you might try buying it from a marketplace. The most popular domain marketplaces are:

Domain registrars also have their own domain marketplaces, in which you can buy a domain from someone else or drop-catch an expiring domain. You might like to try:

3.1. Domain Name Forums

You might also try buying your domain on a domain name forum. This tends to be cheaper than buying it from a domain marketplace. You can also discuss various topics about domain names and buying, selling, and appraising them. My favorite such forum is NamePros, and it is also free to join. Another well-known domain name forum is DNForum. However, you will need to purchase a membership plan in order to be able to participate in it.

Domain Hacks & Short Links (Final words)

Lastly, I'd like to mention domain hacks here. A nice example of a domain hack and a short URL is youtu.be or linkhe.ro. A domain hack is literally a shorter version of a business website's main domain. They are used for sharing links with your friends and on social media. These links are both shorter and nicer, and they are easier to remember.

If you need to shorten URLs for your business, or you need to create a link-in-bio page or a shareable QR code, you might try using my service, Linkhero. For your short links, you can choose from 3 different domain names: linkhe.ro, urlhe.ro, and 7he.ro, or you can even use your own domain(s) as well.

I hope I have been able to give you some insights on how to register or purchase a domain name for your business. Once you have a domain name, don’t forget to track your marketing efforts.

Author: Andrej, Linkhero founder

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