According to a recent article in Entrepreneur, choosing your domain name is one of the most important decisions you will make for your business.  Your domain name characterizes your business, labels your business, and will stick with your business for a long time.

In most cases, you should choose a domain name at the same time you choose your business name. When your domain name matches your business name, you have a far better chance of being remembered while at the same time keeping your branding cohesive and unified.

Keep it MEMORABLE

The brain has remarkable powers of memory, but the domain you choose should cater to these powers.

Keep it UNIQUE

The best domain names are not an ordinary combination of words or phrases. They stand out in the memory because they are unusual. Visually, the more areas of the brain affected, the more memorable something is. If your domain name suggests something that can be seen or touched, this enhances its memorability.

Keep it CATCHY

The easier it is to say, read, and repeat, the easier it is to remember.

Keep it ORDERED

The brain likes things to be organized. Memorization is basically the process of organization. The better a domain name is organized, the more memorable it will be. For example, “SellYourPhone.com” has order. But “PhoneYourSell.com” doesn’t make any sense.

Keep it SHORT

Your domain name needs to be short if you want people to remember it or have the patience to type it in.

Keep it RELEVANT

A domain name should reflect some aspect of what the company is or does. Good company names are unique and attention-grabbing, without being blandly declarative.

You shouldn’t choose a business name simply on account of a keyword-dense domain name that happens to be available. Allow your business name to take precedence over keywords.

Keep it SIMPLE

The most simple domains are the best. Two or three words and a dot-com extension make the most powerful domains.

Here are some things that you should always avoid in your domain name:

Dashes. Few people will remember if or when to use a dash in your domain.
Numbers. No one can remember whether they should spell “five” or use the number “5.”
Any extension other than .com.
Abbreviations. Abbreviations will only clutter up your domain name, making it ugly and forgettable.
Creative spellings. Some businesses like to tweak the common spellings of words in order to make their business name creative. For example, “Doug’s Holesale Digging,” “Kleen Machine,” or “The Dzign People.” Those may work in an offline world of signage and print advertising, but they don’t make for effective domain names.

A domain name affects every area of branding. It could be argued that today’s domain name is one of the most significant aspect of a brand’s identity. If you follow these simple rules of domain name selection, you will come up with an effective domain name for your brand.

Article courtesy of Neil Patel:  Entrepreneur, Inc.