How would you define the ideal domain name? Consider some characteristics that you might find in the dream domain name.
1. Not Registered Yet
Many domain names are not available. Someone else may have registered it for use with their own website. Perhaps a domain name speculator bought it hoping to sell it for a quick or high profit.
The ideal domain name would not have been registered yet and would be available for the less than ten dollars annual registration fee.
Realistically, you might have to settle for another name. Alternatively, you might offer to buy the desired domain name from whoever beat you to it.
2. A Dot Com
If you are operating a business, your ideal domain name would be one with the dot com (.com) Top Level Domain (TLD) name extension.
First of all, it is easier for people to remember dot com names. There is almost an assumption that your website is dot com.
To ask people to remember your website’s name is bad enough. If you expect them to also remember that you are dot something else, expect to lose some traffic to your dot com competitor.
As well, dot coms generally seem to resell for more money than other TLDs because they are perceived to be superior. (If you don’t have a dot com name, was it because you couldn’t afford to buy it? Perhaps your competitor had the foresight to register it first.)
Realistically, however, your dot com name may not be available. You must either pick another name or pick another TLD extension.
Additionally, there may be reasons why you prefer or must have a different TLD.
Perhaps you are a university needing a dot edu (.edu) name. An Internet Service Provider (ISP) might prefer a dot net (.net) name over dot com. Similarly, a non-profit organization might desire a dot org (.org) domain name.
As well, there are country specific domain names that you might prefer.
As an example, if your business was limited to serving customers located in Canada, you might want a dot ca (.ca) domain name.
In most cases, however, it would be preferable to obtain a dot com name.
3. Short and Memorable
The dream domain name would contain letters of the alphabet only. It would not have hyphens, underscores, numbers, or special characters.
The ideal name would be short and memorable. It would not have spelling errors or anything else that would make it difficult to remember.
Realistically, sometimes only the hyphenated version of a domain name is available.
4. A Proper Name
For branding purposes, you should probably use your business or company name as your domain name. After all, doesn’t your company name differentiate you from your competitors?
As well, if you have trade names, product names, slogans, and so on, you might want to protect them from unauthorized use by registering them as well. You can simply have your domain registrar point (or redirect) these names to your main site.
You might be tempted to register generic names like computers.com, flowers.com, or accountingfirm.com. However, proper names (such as your company’s name) seem to outperform generic names (such as widgets.com).
For example, when you think of computers, who comes to mind? Apple? IBM? Dell? You likely don’t think of computers.com.
So, your dream domain name has not been registered by anyone else, is dot com, is short and memorable, and brands your business by its proper name.