When it comes to retail, you’ve probably heard that it’s all about location, location, location. A great location can help set you up for success just for the simple benefit of accessibility. On the web, your little parcel of real estate or business address is essentially your domain name. A great domain name can be the catalyst to a successful online presence.

But what makes a great domain name and how do you identify them? What should you be looking for in a great domain name? Of course it should be relevant to your real business name, but what else? Here are a few things to look for:

1. Is it short and easy to remember?

It’s not a coincidence that pretty much every 3 or 4 letter domain name has been gobbled up. They’re usually quick and easy to remember, quick to identify, and quick to type out. It’s all about convenience here, so the shorter the better as long as it makes sense, like an acronym. Keep in mind that simplicity makes your domain easy to remember. For example, zqhgy.net may only be five letters, but it’s not easy to pronounce and even harder to recognize. Unless you’re using the domain name for an already established and well branded acronym, try to stay away from non-words.

2. Is it easy to spell?

Aardvarkattorneys.com may be a memorable domain name, but it would likely be difficult for most people to spell correctly. Avoid words with complex structure or words with foreign origins. What you don’t want to happen is for somebody to misspell your domain and end up going somewhere else. Also try to avoid using hyphens, numbers, or spelling out the extension because the name you really wanted wasn’t available. If you have to explain to someone how to type out your domain name, then it probably wasn’t selected very well.

That’s Batman-RulezDotCom.com. Rules, with a Z… but don’t spell out dash. Use the hyphen. Then dot com, dot com. Spelled once then once the regular way. You know what? I’ll text you.

3. Is it descriptive and easily branded?

Social media networks are a perfect example of how a good domain name can be memorable, easy to spell and highly brandable all in one shot (ex: Twitter, Reddit, Blogger, Facebook, etc.) You have a good idea of what you’re getting before you even visit Facebook or Blogger, and even though Twitter and Reddit are not necessarily real words per se, they are appealing and roll off the tongue easily. Twitter has built an entire social media platform based on ‘tweeting’, and their domain reflects that perfectly.

It’s certainly not easy to find the perfect domain. If you can’t find your dream name, don’t get discouraged. You just need to be a little more creative. There are plenty of highly popular websites whose domain names don’t necessarily reflect all of these characteristics but they do a great job of branding what they have. By using these tips as a guide you should be able to find a great location to set up your online web presence.

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