Having an awesome domain name is a vital component of your branding and essential for creating a positive online presence for your blog. Once you decided to launch a brand new blog, you should come up with a great domain name for it.
You need to think about the name that you want to call your online baby. You should pick a proper domain name because it can influence your site’s future success or failure. Well, perhaps not that drastic, but it’ll have a great deal of impact on your website for sure. As a matter of fact, it used to matter a bit more before the Google EMD algorithm update, but picking the right name can still either help your blog or keep you back from success. I’m going to list a few crucial factors that you need to keep in mind while selecting a domain name for your new blog.
Domain Name with .com TLD
Got a .com Domain Name
In the first place, you need to make sure that your future site has a .com TLD. In case you’re not in the know, TLD stands for Top Level Domain. Though having .net or .org TLDs is still OK, you really need to do your best and get the .com one, because – like it or not – the audience is just used to the fact that a site should have the .com in the end.
That holds true even more if you want to run a really reputable site. How many non-.com sites can you give me right off the top of your head?
I’m personally having a hard time with coming up with at least one example. And that’s for a reason. For starters, bad habits die hard. And secondly, that’s just how things are on the Web nowadays.
Got a non-.com Domain Name
In case you were not that lucky to get a .com domain name, you need to emphasize that fact whenever possible so that your prospects or just visitors go to your site rather than to someone else’s. And that brings me to another point, which you need to keep in mind. If you could not obtain the .com version of your domain name, you need to really make sure that the site that got that .com TLD is not your direct competitor.
That’s because you don’t want your potential clients to go to your competitor’s site every time they misspell your site domain name (typing .com instead of your non-.com domain name). Plus you’ll have to compete with them even in your company name rankings in Google’s search engine pages. And chances are, the score will most likely be not in your favor if you are not a .com site. I’m not saying that it’ll happen for sure, but you just give another reason to Google for it to happen. What you really want is get your site easy to find so that you can drive traffic to it.
Another idea to be aware of is that your domain name should be really easy to type for the user. If it’s the case, you’ll get less mistypings and consequently less customers that went to a different site just because you did not take the time to come up with a more user friendly domain name.
There’s even a science that studies keyboard keys that are the easiest to type with. Plus we all like everything easy because it means that we won’t have to waste our time on a steep learning curve. Even if it’s a really small one.
Easy to Recall
That’s similar to the previous point but it’s more about the ease of keeping your website address aka domain name in your mind. While thinking what name to use for your site, you should also consider how easy or hard it’ll be to actually memorize your domain name. Long story short, you need to use usual letter-combinations or words that are easy for pronouncing and typing. The words that are easy to pronounce are usually easy to remember.
As Short as Possible
It's not enough if you just know how to make a website in terms of web design and content marketing. You should take the time to make using it a breeze. Since we all are usually in a hurry, respecting your visitor’s time is a priority. In the ideal situation, your visitor should be able to type in just a few letters and hit the Enter key before he sees your site.
Plus a short domain name is easier to memorize and recall. Truth is, it’s pretty hard nowadays to find a short .com domain name, though hard does not mean impossible. That’s one of the cases where your vivid imagination can come into play.
It goes without saying that you can always spell your domain name, but it’s really cool if you or rather your customers can enjoy a domain name with easy spelling. Firstly, it’ll ensure that your domain name won’t be misspelled every other time. Secondly, you won’t have to waste your time – especially in a radio ad or the like – for spelling out your domain name like 3-4 times just to make sure that the listener knows where he’s supposed to go next if he decides to actually give you a chance to sell him some services or products.
No Hyphens and No Numbers
You may be really tempted – taking into account my previous tips – to use hyphens or numbers to make your domain name shorter, easy to memorize and type. Although all the above-mentioned tips still hold true, you don’t really need to go too far with them. Both hyphens and numbers can confuse your potential audience. So, it’s a total no-no. For example, you may call your site mysitename4you.com or mysitenameforyou.com, and if the actual name is the first option, chances are you may land in hot water and pretty fast. How will the visitor know how exactly he’s supposed to spell your domain name? Don’t take it for granted that they will just know. Your visitors are clever people, but most likely they are not fortune tellers.
Look and Sound Good
Since you’re about to run (or already running) an online business, you also should keep in mind the idea that your domain name should have commercial appeal. That translates into being perceived by the target audience in a positive way. Let me break it down for you with the help of an example. Say, you want to launch a site in Mexico and call it “nova.com”. The problem is that “no va” means “no go” in Spanish. So, you can get a problem like that, seemingly out of nowhere. Other than that, you need to remember that different colors, words and objects have a wide variety of meanings in different cultures.
In most cases, you need to avoid using slang words in your domain name, although it’s still an option if you’re sure that your target audience will just absolutely get and love it. The first example that jumps into my mind is digg.com. It’s both short, easy to memorize, easy to type, though slang is definitely in use.
The thing is that digg.com was founded by Kevin Rose like 10 years ago or so. Those were the times when it was really easy to register a domain name like that. And it’s a bit different in our day and age. So, stick with standard English words. 🙂
Exact Match (or Discoverable) Domain Name
Like I said in the very beginning of the post, it used to be pretty beneficial to have an exact match (aka discoverable) domain name, because it helped you to rank better for your target keywords. Though using such a domain name won’t hurt you, it won’t help you a great deal either. What I’m trying to say here is that you should not dwell too much on coming up with a domain name that has your keyword in it. Having such a domain name won’t give you a huge advantage any more. So, better invest your valuable time in taking into account the other factors that really have an impact. And make sure to focus foremost on the quality of your site, both in terms of content and design.
In case you really want to use relevant words (keywords) in your blog's domain name, just think about the ones that describe what your site is going to be about. Try to use synonyms and your keywords to come up with something that looks and sounds both good for the user and the major search engines.
I really want to mention that Ms. Ileane did a really great job with her BasicBlogTips.com, because the name says it all in this particular case. I mean it’s enough to just see the domain name and you can say right off the top of your head what Ms. Ileane’s blog is all about. Kudos to you, Ms. Ileane. That’s an amazing example of the idea that I’m trying to convey here.
One of a Kind
You need to do your best to use a really unique name in your website address. Don’t just use a plural form or a misspelling of a reputable site. It’s dirty pool in the first place. And you just won’t be able to build a rock solid and high profile online business with such naming conventions. 🙂 Just make your domain name really unique. It is supposed to be so exclusive that people just won’t be able to take it for something else.
It all boils down to the idea that you need to make your domain name convenient and memorable for the end user. Once all those conditions are satisfied, you can think about SEO. And definitely not the other way around, because doing so won’t give you any advantages. You don’t need to create a site for robots or aliens. Your target audience is people with their emotions and habits. Plus chasing the Google algo is a bad idea because the only thing that is not changing in it is change itself.
What about you? How did you decide on the domain name for your blog?