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When you want to build a website, choosing a domain name is the first, and possibly most important, decision you need to make. No matter if you’re building a website for your business or organization, or just want to create a website to show off some of your hobbies, choosing a domain name shouldn’t hold you up from getting your website up and running. Below are some helpful tips to follow to make sure you choose a domain name that’s perfect for you so you can get to building your website quicker.

1. Shorter is better

Short domain names are: a) easy to remember, b) easier to spell correctly, c) faster to type, d) easier to read, e) fit better on advertisements or business cards.

In a past study done on the top 1 million websites as ranked by Alexa, Gaebler found that sites became less popular as their character length increased, and the top 10,000 domains in the list had 8 characters or less. So, if you choose a domain name that is short, you’ll be much better off in the long run.

2. Make it brandable

If you’re choosing a domain name for your business, go with your company name over something generic about your product. This will also help you keep things shorter and more memorable, which is easier to promote.

3. Avoid hyphens and numbers

Choosing a domain name with hyphens or numbers may seem like an easy workaround to getting a shorter domain, but these make the domain harder to type and remember. Numbers cause confusion (is it spelled out or just the number?) and hyphens can easily be forgotten when someone is typing out your domain name.

4. Secure Keyword Domains

In some industries, the majority of a company’s business will come from online leads, so having specific keywords in your domain can help you rank higher in searches for that product or service. For example, you can register Plumbing.xyz for your plumbing service, instead of settling for something like BillsHomeRepairServices.com

5. Use your location

If you’re creating your website for a localized audience, you can connect with them by including your city or state in your domain. Securing MikesPizzaLA.xyz or LawyersNY.xyz not only show that regional audience that you are serving them, but can also help you improve your organic search rankings.

6. Get a domain to match your social media handles

One of the essential places to promote your site will be on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Unfortunately, just as it can be a struggle to get the domain that matches your brand before it’s gone, the same is true for getting your social media handles.

Using your domain extension in your social media profiles (like @PublicSpace.xyz or @TheLushLife.xyz) ensures you’ll get the handle that matches your brand, and also doubles as a promotion of your website.

7. Do your research

Before you choose a domain and put down the money to register it, make sure that the name you want isn’t trademarked or copyrighted by someone else. You could end up dealing with a legal battle for the domain and potentially lose it for good.

To be safe, check that the domain you want to choose isn’t something already registered in the Trademark Clearing House.

8. Protect your brand

On the flip side, if you have trademarked your business name or slogan, make sure you’ve secured the domain to match it. As mentioned in the last tip, there are legal avenues to follow if bad actor is using a domain named after a trademark you own, but it’s easier to avoid the whole mess in the first place by securing your brand and registering your names before the bad actor can even get to it. Plus, if you’re struggling to choose a domain name, it’s always a no-brainer to register your brand name and trademarks!

Choosing a domain name can seem like a daunting task, but following these tips will ensure that you choose the domain name that’s perfect for you, and one that you will be happy with for as long as you own it. Feeling like your ready to choose a domain name and get your website online? Head to gen.xyz/register and get your own .xyz domain for just $0.99 with promo code ‘GENXYZ’.

If you missed any of our past Internet “How-Tos” on ‘How to build a website’ and ‘How to design your site using “mobile first”’, be sure to catch up on them and make sure you’re prepared to not only choose a domain name, but build a fantastic website on your domain! We’ll see you again next month with a new helpful internet “How-To”!

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