Successful Domain Names

You've decided to create an online business or blog, but what will be your URL address?  Successful domain names give an advantage to internet businesses every hour of the day when somebody is researching a product to purchase.  What do I mean?   For example, if you are researching reviews for smartphones are you more likely to click on the website address “” OR “”?  Unless you are familiar with the brand name “I Use Widgets”, you will more than likely choose the first option because their website address is more specific about their website content.  A confusing domain name will reduce the probability of directing more traffic to your website.

In the year 2015, most of the domain names that I like to call “low-hanging fruit” have already been taken.  Specifically these are the four letter words (think, as these are the easiest for people to remember.  This means that you just have to be a little more creative.  Or it just might mean you might be able to use that unique and peculiar phrase that has been on the tip of your tongue but never knew where to mention it to the world!

Is It Better To Be Unique Or Upfront?

I faced this same question when I chose my own domain name for Money Buffalo.  I was looking for something catchy but easy to remember.  Everybody, including me, asked what a Money Buffalo is.  For more on that, check out that blog post here.  I decided on a domain name that I felt was a mix of unique & upfront and seemed to relate to my passion for personal finance, even if it is a small hurdle to explain the term Money Buffalo.  Believe me, if was available, I would have chosen that domain.

Upfront Domains Are Not a Guaranteed Success

I call them upfront domains, but the official term is “Exact Match Domain” (EMD).  An example of an EMD is   You go to this site if you want to research the many uses of Red Raspberry Leaf Teas.

A question you might be asking is, “If I choose an upfront domain for my niche, will I get listed on the first page of search engines quicker?”  The answer to that question is…most likely not.  Several years ago, it would have been more likely however search engines have adjusted their algorithms to focus more on quality content to prevent spamming.  This doesn't mean that you will not gain other “fringe benefits” of having an upfront domain name.  People still type in the keyword they are researching and will add .com or .net to the end of it.  So it is possible to receive direct traffic to your website from this method.  Example: Instead of searching for Red Raspberry Leaf Teas, somebody will type in

Unique Or TOO Unique?

  1. Remember to keep your domain as short as possible.
    1. If your blog is about why Nintendo 64 is the best video game platform ever, you probably do not want a domain name like, “”
  2. Do Not Have Too Narrow Of A Domain Name
    1. Too narrow of a domain name, may limit your potential audience.  You may want to consider “” where you can still explain why N64 is the best, but can also elaborate on the other Nintendo platforms like the Gameboy, Super Nintendo, etc.
  3. Consider Descriptive Articles Like “The” and “A”
    1. These can help your domain remain unique yet short.
      1. Such as “
    2. It's not required to use these.  (I didn't with Money Buffalo, so do what you think feels right.)

Got it?

Should I Avoid Certain Spelling In My Domain?

Yes.  There are a couple different aspects to this section.

  1. Avoid Hyphens
    1. If you need to use a hyphen in your domain, the common recommendation is to only use one.
      1. More than one hyphen can give your domain the appearance that it is “spam” to search engine algorithms
      2. Plus its harder for people to remember where to type in the “-” in the URL.
      3. Use “” instead of “
  2. Avoid Numbers
    1. Numbers open up the potential for misspellings.
      1. Perhaps you tell somebody on the street to check out your website ““.  Instead they type in ““.  A pitfall of the English language. 🙁
  3. Avoid confusing spelling?
    1. Another pitfall of the English language is multiple spellings of a word or the nontraditional spelling of words
      1. or
        1. So you don't want a generic domain, but will people remember the spelling change?
      2. or
        1. Are you writing about receiving an inheritance or about environmental air quality?

How should I end my domain? (.com, .org)

There are lots of different endings (domain extensions) to end your domain.  Here are the 3 most common endings:

  1. .com (Most common & recognizable ending that applies to any domain)
  2. .net (Typically applies to technology or computer-based sites)
  3. .org (Normally used by non-profits)

A domain extension can be almost as important as your actual domain name as it sets a perception for your potential audience.

  • For example, if you are want to do a site about camping in the great outdoors, your extension can target a certain audience.
    • can target campers everywhere
    • targets people camping in the United States
    • targets people camping in Spain
      • Camping is the same word in both English & Spanish, which is why I used this example.


Choosing a domain name should be pretty exciting.  It's like when people ask what your nickname is.  Maybe you can use your real-world nickname in your domain.  Despite a lot of domain names having been claimed already, there are still lots for the taking!

The big thing to remember is the domain is your decision and your online identity.  What do you want to publicize & make your very own brand?

If this article has been helpful to you or you have your own domain picking experience to share, please leave a comment below.

If you have another person in mind that might benefit from this article, please feel free to share this website with them as well.





Josh founded Money Buffalo in 2015 to help people get out of debt and make smart financial decisions. He is currently a full-time personal finance writer with work featured in Forbes Advisor, Fox Business, and Credible.