How to Choose the Best Domain Name

How to Choose the Best Domain Name
Struggling to choose a domain name? Find out the process to get the best domain name along with how to purchase a domain name. Learn more.
by Square Jul 19, 2022 — 5 min read
How to Choose the Best Domain Name

A domain name, otherwise known as a site address or URL, is the succession of characters that, when typed into a web browser, sends a visitor to a particular website. If you think of your website as a physical store, the domain name is the street address – just one that usually starts with ‘www’ and ends with ‘.com’. In short, the domain is the digital location of your site – the place where all the text, imagery and other files are hosted, ready to be experienced by anyone surfing the web.

Unlike your physical address, you have total control over your website address – it can be whatever you want it to be, provided it follows some basic guidelines. So, what does a great domain name look like?

In this article, we’ll explain exactly how to choose a domain name – what good and bad website names look like and all the factors you should consider when choosing your perfect URL.

1. Start by researching your domain name

You should be strategic in the process of finding your domain name. It should begin with a research phase, in which you check what domains will be most relevant, effective, and most importantly, available for your business.

Use target keywords in your domain name

A good place to start when searching for potential domains is with keywords. By including keywords that are relevant to your website and business in the domain name, you are giving Google and other search engines a clear idea of exactly what you do. This can result in a position further up the search engine results page (SERP) – although true SERP success also demands an investment in deeper search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts.

For example:

It can be difficult to find domain names with relevant keywords that aren’t already taken, so you may need to get creative in order to include them.

Research trademarks for your domain

A domain name might be available, but that’s not to say that the name itself isn’t already trademarked. If another business is already operating under the name you hope to use, you could find yourself in a sticky situation down the road. Before registering a domain name, check for pre-existing trademarks using sites like IP Australia.

Check social media for your domain

Another way to check that you’re not treading on anyone else’s toes – and that you won’t run into trouble in the future – is to check the social media handles simillar to the domain name you hope to use. Jump onto Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and any other platform you aim to eventually use and check whether your particular handle is already taken. While this isn’t perhaps the same dealbreaker that a trademark infringement is, ideally you don’t want your audience to mistake a rogue social media user for your brand.

2. Gather ideas from domain generators

Thinking of a domain name can be an intimidating task – it can be hard to know where to start. So why not begin by gathering some inspiration from a domain name generator? These tools generally ask you to enter a few keywords that describe the purpose of your site, before creating a list of domain names that are both relevant and available. Most of these tools are also free to use!

3. Abide by domain best practices

You’re feeling inspired. The ideas are flowing. But before you get carried away with your domain name ideation, you need to be aware of URL best practices. These areloose rules to help to ensure your domain name is as effective as it can be.

Stick to using .com or in your domain name

While there are other options, including .net, .org, .co, .io and all manner of custom extensions, there’s no better form of domain than the classic .com. While other extensions might offer a far wider variety of available domain names, .com is intuitive, trustworthy, and has a dedicated shortcut on your smartphone keyboard. People automatically type .com, it’s even preferable for Australian site owners to steer clear of adding .au wherever possible, as it’s another three characters for a visitor to type and it may suggest that your business is smaller and somewhat less established than a .com business.

Keep the domain name short

The best domain names are short and sharp. This makes them memorable, quick to key in and less prone to spelling errors. It’s best to try and keep your domain name under 15 characters if you can.

Make the domain name easy to spell and pronounce

While shortening your domain name will reduce the likelihood of spelling errors, so too will using simple language and generally correct spelling. You should be able to say your domain name out loud and be confident that the person listening will be able to type it correctly, which means that it should also be relatively easy to pronounce.

Avoid hyphens in domain names

A hyphen in a domain name is a common tactic used by spammers, as it usually means the hyphen-free version of the domain name is already taken. If you include a hyphen in your domain name, you’ll find that many people will go to the unhyphenated domain instead. Avoid hyphens where possible,instead, choose a domain that allows you to link your words together.

4. How to purchase a domain name

So, you’ve found your perfect domain name – congratulations! The next step is to officially make it yours by purchasing it, which can be done by following the steps below.

Where to purchase a domain name

All domain names must be purchased through a registrar that is accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). This is the international non-profit in charge of coordinating all numerical spaces on the internet.

Square is an accredited registrar, so as a Square seller you are able to purchase your brand new domain name through us, which is an incredibly quick and easy process. Here’s how:

Visit the Square Online Domains page.

Enter the domain name you want into the search box.

If it’s available, the simple purchase process will make it yours in a handful of clicks!

If you’re a Square Seller who has already purchased your domain name from another accredited registrar, no problem – Square makes it easy to connect it to your Square Online site:

Go to your Square Online Overview page

Click on Website > Domain.

Select Connect Domain.

Go to Use a Domain I Own Elsewhere, type in your domain name, and select Verify.

If you’ve already purchased your domain name from another accredited registrar, no problem – Square makes it easy to connect it to your Square Online site:

Go to your Square Online Overview page

Click on Website > Domain.

Select Connect Domain.

Go to Use a Domain I Own Elsewhere, type in your domain name, and select Verify.

Once you’ve secured your perfect domain name, you can learn more about using that URL by clicking here, including the different ways you can connect your domain to your Square Online store.

Act Quickly to Purchase a Domain Name

The internet is a fast-moving place. Your ideal domain name might be available today, but there’s no guarantee it will be available tomorrow. There’s no time to waste – as soon as you’ve chosen your preferred domain name, you should make it your own.

Because domains don’t cost the earth, clever website owners will also look to buy related domains, to ensure that all of them link back to the main site. Consider buying the same domain with different extensions like .net and .io, domains with common misspellings of your name, and domains that you could utilise for more specialised purposes in the future.

Square Makes Choosing a Domain Name Easy

At Square our aim is to make eCommerce as simple and fun as possible. We make it easy for our Square Sellers to find, purchase and connect their perfect domain name to their Square Online store, and we also arm our Sellers with all the business tools they need to achieve online success.

If you’re ready to establish your own online domain, our friendly team at Square is ready to help!

The Bottom Line is brought to you by a global team of collaborators who believe that anyone should be able to participate and thrive in the economy.


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