Choose an effective domain name

This article shares best practices for choosing a domain name.

Selecting a domain name is an important step in getting online. Your domain name can shape your website users’ initial impressions of your business or organization. An effective domain name can help increase user interest and drive web traffic. 

Best practices

Here are some guidelines to help you choose the best domain for you:

  • Name length: We recommend short domain names, typically between 3 to 4 terms. Short domains are easier to remember and type which helps users navigate directly to your site. 
  • Keywords: Make sure the terms in your domain name are relevant to the content you publish. Descriptive words help first-time viewers recognize what the site is about. Additionally, descriptive words can improve the chances that your site shows up to users who are searching for related products or services. 
  • Location: If your intended audience is in a particular area, you may want to include that location in your domain name. Doing so can help filter out any unintended audience outside your scope.
  • Brand name: A brand is a unique, identifying persona that can help your domain stand out. Brands create potential for distinctiveness and longevity because users can quickly recognize established brands. Brands can take time to develop, but a successful brand can pay dividends for your site’s popularity.
  • Domain endings: The most popular domain ending is .com, but Google Domains offers a variety of endings, ranging from .academy to .zone. See the full list of domain endings. More specific endings can help create a distinctive image and better communicate the purpose of your site.

Things to avoid

Here are some elements that may negatively impact your domain name’s perception:

  • Numbers or dashes: These characters can make your site name harder to type or remember
  • Misspellings of existing words or business names: These attributes can make your site seem suspicious for spamming or phishing
  • Similarity to an existing brand or trademark: Naming your site and hosting content in a way that appears similar to an existing business may cause copyright or abuse complaints against you, potentially resulting in domain suspension and/or legal action
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