Choosing The Right Domain

choosing domain name

I think most entrepreneurs will agree that one of the best things about starting your online business is choosing the domain name for it. There is something magical about it. It’s the one thing that defines your online activity even before you start it. It’s basically the address of your online home.

The problem is though, as many quickly learn by looking for their chosen domain name online, that most of the best domains are already registered and are unavailable.

What do I mean by the best domains? Let’s examine what makes a great domain name.

The inherent and resale value of a domain

To understand the inherent value of a domain name is to understand its resale value. I assume (please forgive me) that most readers won’t really know how to value a particular domain name. Truth be told, it is a science in itself, but there are some free tools that can help you with an initial analysis.

One such online tool that comes to mind is GoDaddy’s free domain appraisal available here. Although it is far from perfect, as the appraisals are sometimes heavily over or undervalued, the tool also generates a list of domains previously sold that are similar in phraseology. Thus, giving you an insightful overview of your domain’s worth in comparison to similar domains which were in the secondary market.

domain appraisal
Appraisal of Screenshot from 05.08.2021

As you can see, my website is only valued at $100, so sad…. but for full disclosure, it is probably a fair value of the domain alone. (I’ll dissect this later) Let’s take a closer look at this particular GoDaddy appraisal result.

On the right side, you can see an expandable list of similar domains sold in the past. There is a link that says ´See more´ which will take you to a new page giving you an expanded list of many similar domains with their sold prices. This is very helpful in determining whether your domain has any inherent value.

Below that, you have a quick justification of the automated appraisal. In the case of my domain, it says that it contains a widely used keyword, which is ´web´. For some reason, it does not deem the word ´manager´ to be very popular. It also says that the domain is easy to remember and it is short – less than 15 characters. As you can see, the domain’s extension .pro (dot pro) is not on this list.

Now let’s take a look at an appraisal of the same domain name ending with .com

Appraisal of taken on 05.08.2021

As you can see the same domain name ending with .com costs a whole lot more, namely 9499% more to be exact. Why? Well, because it is a dot COM domain. Dot com domains will beat all the other domain TLDs in appraisals, it’s simple as that.

Even in the appraisal itself, in the section which explains the price, it’s written that the domain has a great .com extension. Dot com will always have a greater resale value than its counterpart, for example, .net, .org, .info, .pro, etc… Actually, the second domain extension that is priced highest is .net.

It’s something to consider when you’re pondering which domain extension will be best for your website. At this point, if you’re very inquisitive, you may ask yourself why knowing all of this, I still went with extension. The answer is as follows:

  • .com was already taken
  • Wanted something a bit different
  • I wanted a short and memorable domain name
  • I wanted a domain with these exact keywords (web and manager)
  • I took a personal liking to the .pro domains
  • This website is a side project
  • I had a very nice discount from

To summarize, you don’t always have to go for a short .com domain in order to succeed online. There are many successful businesses with other TLDs (top-level domains) such as .net .org .co, etc…

However, to get the best return on your investment into your business you should really try to register a dot com domain with the highest inherent resale value.

Domain keywords and keyword research

Keyword research is one of the tools used by SEOs (Search Engine Optimizers) to find the best converting keywords for content optimization. Keyword research is also used by big brands to find the best wording for their marketing campaigns and slogans.

Words carry a lot of power when used properly. I think we all know that.

Going back to domain valuations, the highest value domains are those that contain a single keyword. Dictionary words such as,,, and so on. You’d be surprised at the price tags of those domain names. It’s usually into millions.

Even similar domains that are slightly misspelled, especially if the mistake is quite common, can still fetch a very high price in the aftermarket. The main reason is that they receive web traffic that is very targeted through visitors who type in the misspelled domain directly into the browser or google search.

Here is an example from a Google search result of a misspelled domain name

Here the seller of Kershew Knives decided to take advantage of the traffic generated by the misspelled domain.

For curated premium .com domains visit

Why do some SEOs prefer keyword-rich domain names?

You might have noticed that many domains are very keyword rich. What that means is that the domains contain multiple keywords that reflect popular searches within a specific sector or niche.

For example or, etc…

SEOs use keyword research tools that help them find those specific, best-to-use keywords by showing them interesting metrics, such as:

  • number of searches per month per keyword and phrase
  • conversions (usually measured by tracking clickthroughs)
  • level of competition to achieve good rankings
  • other keyword suggestions

The reason that these keyword-rich domain names are popular with SEOs is that they are easy to optimize for online marketing campaigns.

These types of domains are usually a part of an elaborate SEO strategy and although they are less powerful today than they were a few years ago, they can be still quite effective.

However, I need to add that a very long keyword-rich domain name may get you panelized by search engines. For example, using a domain such as is simply too many keywords.

If you decide to use this type of online strategy, it’s best to stick to 2-word or 3-word domains, and not longer than 35 characters in total.

Using brand new words in the domain names

If you have a brand name that is completely unique, for example, JustFa (assume it’s a clothing brand), you might want to register a domain name that is the brand.

The goal is to expand your brand and its online reach. The easiest way to do this is through the brand domain name. (Think or, etc..)

So in this case you would try to buy the domain

This would be better than, and a lot better than

However, if is taken, then you could go with an action word or descriptive keyword. For example, or, or

Out of curiosity, I checked It’s already registered but can be bought for $280. Anyway, I’m just using the name justifa to illustrate a point. It’s not an actual case study.

Clothing and wear are descriptive keywords searched by millions every single day.

The huge advantage of using or is that your domain name will represent your brand and what it can offer to users. Think of it as an intro to a sales pitch.

Let’s face it, today most users scan websites very quickly. Seeing a link to the domain doesn’t really say anything about its destination, but immediately tells them what to expect.

Big companies don’t need to use descriptive keywords in domain names because they have a widely recognized brand name.

The shorter the domain name the more powerful it is and easier to remember, so they go for the shortest one possible. They also have the means to acquire an expensive domain name if they want it bad enough.

If you are a small or average business with a limited budget and you are not attached to a specific brand or don’t have a specific brand that you want to promote it will be more beneficial to focus on your potential clients and search engines.

This is where keyword research comes can help you choose the best domain name for your business.

How can keyword research help you choose the right domain

Keyword research is really all about looking for the main keywords that people use to find a particular product or service. There are many professional tools that can help you with this type of analysis.

For example, LongTailPro is a great tool for conducting keyword research. It will show you which keywords people use and how well each keyword converts.

In addition, this tool can look for the best keywords based on your competitor’s website and retrieve the keywords that generate the most conversions.

LongTailPro has many other useful features, unfortunately, these types of professional and insightful tools are not free. They usually require a monthly payment.

Google Trends

Out of publicly available, free, online tools that can aid with keyword research is Google Trends. This website, operated by Google (Alphabet), will show you which keywords are most widely used in relation to other keywords. You can adjust your results by region and language.

google trends keyword tool
Snapshot of Google trends keyword comparison

In this snapshot, you can see that the keywords ‘women shoes’ are more popular than ‘men shoes’ and more popular than ‘trainers’.

This information gives you great insight. Not only into the business of shoes but also what type of domain will be more valuable.

Off you go to find the domain of your dreams

I hope this article gave you some ideas about how to choose the best domain name for your online activity.

A lot of business owners register their domain with GoDaddy, which is the biggest domain registrar in the world. Godaddy has a huge online presence and if you are in the market to register a new domain name, it’s very hard not to see them in search results or targeted ads. They spend a lot of money on this but they are hardly the best in the industry. Godaddy’s renewal fees can be quite high.

I’ve used Godaddy in the past for a good number of years and I think they do a good job in managing domains, but there are also some great competitors, for example, Namesilo.

They offer cheaper domains and no additional costs on domain renewals among many other things. They are simply more competitive. I was so impressed by all of Namesilo’s features that I moved there my entire domain portfolio (around 100 domains).

If you would like to receive some additional advice or you would like to hire a website manager to oversee the process of choosing, buying, configuring and managing your domain name, please get in touch with me. I’ve been managing web properties since 2005.

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