It’s such an exciting part of the digital property development phase. You know what it’ll look like. You know what the tone/content will be. Now, what will you call it? Choosing a domain name is similar (read: identical) to choosing the name of an organization. It requires a lot of consideration. The name you choose will ultimately end up being your world wide trademark on the web. The name you choose should not only be a solid fit for your organization, but also easy for people to find.

Here are my #WorkHacks for choosing the perfect domain name:

Make it easy. Your domain name — regardless of your site’s purpose — shouldn’t require too much guess work. It should be both easy-to-type and somewhat self-explanatory to the content users will find.

Keep it short. I always tell clients to keep their domain name’s less than (or no more than) sixteen characters in length. Not just for brevity or because (traditionally) they rank better, but for continuity: Social media usernames typically cap at 16-18 characters.

Be open-minded. Sometimes what you’re looking for is already taken, be prepared to rely on a signature keyword (or even a primary campaign name) to host your presence. Whatever it is, the name should end up being whatever people will be searching for.

Targeting is fine. If your organization is hyper-local don’t be afraid to include the city or state you’re reppin’. Doing this not only points out the obvious (where you’re at) but also increases SEO ranking as people search “service-xyz in anytown.”

Try and avoid numbers and hyphens. They’re mostly misunderstood as people who hear a web address don’t know if it’s numeral (12) or spelled out (seven). Trust me. (Eh hem, If you must, be prepared to register and forward the alternative options as well: TwelveSeven, Twelve7, 127, etc.

Also, avoid business prefixes:, They’re annoying and take up precious character space. Mostly, though, it drives me insane.

Stand out. There are millions upon millions of domain names in the tangled world wide web we’ve weaved. It’s crucial to have a domain name that’s both catchy and memorable.

Dig into the data. Do your fair share of research and make sure the domain name you want isn’t already trademarked, copyrighted, or being used by another organization. Even “remote similarities” could be a big issue down the road. Like, a big legal issue.

Be mindful of the extension. Extensions are the suffixes that trail your domain; there’s more to the internet than the .com’s we’ve all com{e} to know and love. Each has a secific use, so wether you’re thinking .com or .net, the trendy .co’s or the industry specifics (.photography, .work, .guru, etc.) don’t be afraid to break with convention.

Air on the side of caution. Protect your identity and overall brand authenticity by purchasing as many varieties of the name as possible. This includes extensions as well as easily misspelled variations. This prevents competitors/poachers from knocking you off.

Be quick. Like that coat you had your eye on for a week and went back only to find it sold, domain names sell very quickly. Thankfully, unlike that coat, they’re inexpensive. So, get on it!

Did you know?

Domain names can me (optionally) registered and parked complementarity for all new digital property (website) design clients that come through The Studio, for the first year. Afterwards, renewal is a breeze.