Which extension should my domain have? What about hyphens, umlauts or numbers? Fantasy name or better keyword domain? There are some questions that you as a founder should definitely ask yourself before securing your domain name. In today’s guest post, SEO expert Julian Dziki, founder and managing director of the inbound marketing agency Seokratie, gives important tips for choosing a good domain.
Anyone wanting to start a new company is not only faced with the task of finding a good name. Nowadays one has to ask oneself in the same breath “Is the domain still free?” Many people downright despair when looking for a good name and a free domain. These are my top tips for choosing a good domain name.
Tip # 1 Choose the right ending
There are now countless domain extensions and many web hosts advertise using them if the domain with another extension is no longer free. Instead of Firmen.de, Firmen.online or Firmen.bayern is used.
I don’t think that’s an advantage. Why? Most web users are used to having either .com or .de behind a web address and then entering your company name that way. The ending .net is already much less common, but still common.
And .biz, .info or .org are only used when you are completely desperate. Many spam domains work with these endings, so it should be left out.
New, exotic endings have the only advantage that they cost more – and the hosters earn more with it.
Tip # 2 Domains can also be bought
If your desired name is already taken in the .DE version, but not filled with content, just try to buy the domain! You can find a lot of occupied but unused domains on the domain marketplace of www.sedo.de, the largest domain marketplace in the world.
The following applies here: The more search queries a term has and therefore the more common it is, the more expensive it is. Domains like Kredit.de, Pizza.de or Jobs.de went over the counter for six to seven-digit amounts. Most domains are sold at Sedo for a few hundred euros.
A direct purchase is of course also possible and you save the Sedo commission. Via the website www.denic.de you can find out the owner of a .DE domain with contact details free of charge and then negotiate with him directly.
If you are wondering how you can measure the value of a domain, I will unfortunately have to disappoint you. Since I’ve been in the domain business for a long time myself, I can summarize it like this: A domain is worth what you are willing to pay for it. Negotiating skills and empathy play a significant role in buying. If you don’t think so, you should also try to purchase it via Sedo, even if the domain is not listed there.
Tip # 3 hyphens, umlauts or numbers?
Anyone who registers a version with a hyphen or umlaut should definitely be in possession of the corresponding counterpart without a hyphen.
At Wellensittich-Beratung.de also Wellensittichberatung.de, at Müllsack-Design.de also Muellsackdesign.de. If you do not secure the corresponding counterpart, you either run the risk that a competitor will register and use the domain. Then it is almost impossible to get the domain back. The second consequence can be that a resourceful domain seller registers this domain and only resells you for an expensive price. There are domain brokers who specialize in this!
Numbers are often a popular addition so that you don’t have to use the expensive .DE domain. Check24.de is probably the most famous number domain in Germany. Good branding is definitely possible with a good number domain.
Tip # 4 Fantasy name or keyword domain?
You often hear that the keyword that potential customers are looking for should be included in the domain name – so that you get a better ranking on Google. That’s partly true, but only partly.
If you actually have the keyword in its pure form (ie without hyphens, numbers or other attachments!) As a domain name, you can easily make it into the Top10. Anyone looking for “vacation” will find Urlaub.de in the Top10. Anyone who already appends the 24 to their keyword or works with other additions will lose this slight advantage for them.
In practice, unfortunately, I still often see domain names like Webdesigner-Seo-Frankfurt.de that are used just so that the keywords are included. Unfortunately, such long “keyword names” make a dubious impression on customers.
In addition, branding is made almost impossible with such a domain name.
People like Amazon, Zalando, or Apple – all of them fantasy names that have strong meanings these days – because they’re established brands.
Of course, it can take a long time to become an established brand. But the effect is then much better with an unmistakable name like “Seokratie” than with “SEO-Agentur-München.de”. At least I’m glad that I have a (somewhat) established brand with fantasy names today.
Do not worry if the name does not arouse any great emotions in you at first. This will come automatically over time – the branding has to work for you too!
Tip # 5 Choose a simple name
Your domain or company name should be easy to pronounce and ideally you should know how to spell it while listening to it. This is important if you should later achieve greater awareness. It is best to ask friends or acquaintances how they would write your company name. If there is too much disagreement here, consider whether it makes sense!
Tip # 6 Be sure to do a trademark research
When choosing the domain name, make sure that you do not infringe any trademark rights. Otherwise there is a risk of an expensive warning right at the beginning of your entrepreneurship. Unfortunately, more details would go beyond the scope at this point, it is best to simply search for “domain name + trademark law” on Google. It will help you to research whether a trademark is registered the patent and trademark office.
Tip # 7 Fantasy and Connotation
So now we come to the freestyle! A fantasy name is great and helps later to become an established and well-known brand. It is even better if the name gives an idea of what your company is about!
That means, not the keyword, but having a meaning in the name. Für-Gründer.de does this very well, for example. I know immediately what the page is about. That actually has ranking advantages, because many users also look at the domain name on Google.
Well-known names or names that are suspected of finding the desired result here are more likely to be clicked – and then achieve a better ranking in the long term.
Massivum sells solid wood furniture, Bueroshop24 sells office goods and Seokratie offers SEO. Unfortunately, here we come to the disadvantage of such a domain. We no longer only offer SEO, but many other products in online marketing that under the term inbound marketing let summarize. The “SEO” in the name has stayed with us. So if you are planning to broaden your product portfolio in the future or are not so sure about it, you should use the broadest possible connotation.
A later name change is unfortunately associated with a lot of effort – if you already have an established brand. So if you are not sure, you should choose a completely fantasy name such as Google, Apple, Twitter or Facebook. All of these well-known brands were once “stupid” word creations by small founders.
Summary – quick tips for the perfect domain
- It is best to choose a .DE or .COM extension
- If a domain is already taken, try buying it for little money
- Avoid hyphens, umlauts, or numbers if possible
- Domains with the keyword in their name are good – but not at any cost
- Make sure your name is easy to write after listening
- Do a trademark research
- Try to have a connotation that has something to do with your business area
I wish you success!
About our guest author Julian Dziki
Like other football professionals, Julian has always wanted to work in online marketing. He started the blog Seokratie.de in 2008 while studying. His hobby turned into his profession: Today he is the managing director and owner of the Munich inbound marketing agency Seokratie with around 20 employees.