Community Care

10 Tips for Picking a Good Domain

Jules Roebbelen
December 15, 2020
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Having a hard time deciding on a website domain for your coordinated access initiative? Caredove’s marketing experts have come up with 10 tips to keep your team on track when brainstorming ideas.

As we build a health care system focused on sharing data and resources, groups of local organizations want to work together to improve access to services. Maybe it is to help people schedule virtual counselling appointments across multiple mental health agencies, or several community based organizations want to collaborate on the services available for seniors in a certain region. It’s hard enough to harmonize intake processes, and picking a domain name for your project website shouldn’t be the showstopper. Just because you named the initiative something at the start, in the early days of the committee’s founding, you don’t need to have that limit your project domain name options.

A domain name is the URL used for your website. Picking the right domain name can make a huge difference in how easy it is for people to access your project website. Your project name might be very long, but that does not need to be your domain name. For example, the project “North East Home Care and Community Support Services” uses the domain name northeastsupport.ca. This is a succinct summary of what their project is about, in a way that is easy to communicate without too many words.

  • Pick something easy to spell and type. It should be easy for someone to say, and for others to understand. Imagine trying to share the website domain with someone over the phone.
  • Avoid double letters - cypresssurfshop.com has three Ss in a row, which can easily be mistyped.
  • Keep it short, under 15 characters if possible.
  • No more than 3 words.
  • If you are using an acronym, keep it below 6 letters.
  • Avoid mixing spelled out words, with acronyms - gtaaccess.com mixes an acronym with a word, and has a double A, which is a recipe for many typos.
  • No symbols like ampersands, as they don’t function as part of a domain.
  • Hyphens are technically allowed, but discouraged as they’re often considered spam by search engines. Also, people may forget to include the hyphen and be redirected to a different website.
  • Ensure the domain and all the social handles are available to help achieve continuity for your brand. 
  • Check what results currently are displayed when searching for the new domain. Anticipate misspelled words and view the related results. 

It might be hard to achieve a domain that avoids all these common mistakes. These are guidelines, and one rule could be broken if it really makes sense for your brand (ie, you can have more than 3 words, if they’re short words). If you can do these things and find something memorable that captures your brand or project goal, you’ve got yourself a great domain!


Advanced tips:

  1. When it comes time to check if your domain name is available for purchase, do your domain name research outside of GoDaddy or any other domain provider. It will increase the value of your domain if you don’t buy it right away. 
  2. Avoid creative domain name generators, because your keywords may be tracked by a third party domain provider that might snatch up whatever you’re looking at. Instead, research keywords using Google Trends for your region, or by testing domain names in your search bar to see if they’re already taken. 
  3. Buy multiple similar domains and point all of them to your website. 
  • If you are using www.torontosupport.com, make sure that www.torontosupports.com is also available and have them point to the same location, to avoid confusion if someone adds, or removes the S at the end.
  • If you are purchasing the .ca domain, also purchase the .com domain.


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