How To Choose A Great Domain Name

January 3, 2014

The domain name that you choose can have a massive effect on the success of your web site, blog or even your business! There are four main factors that you should take into account. They are:

  • Base it on your brand
  • Choose an exact match or partial match domain name
  • Invent something unique and interesting
  • The age of the domain

Basing your Domain Name on your Brand

Go down this route if you have an established brand that people recognize already. Take, for example, BMW – there is no decision to be made – it just has to be “bmw.com” – and that’s exactly what it is. No other will do. For those of us who are not quite as well established in business as BMW however, this can be a tricky way to go. Unless your brand is especially noticeable, people will tend to forget it. With, possibly, no connection between your brand name and the product you sell, you will have to rely quite heavily on search engine optimization or search engine promotion. Whether this means doing some work with social media like YouTube, Facebook, Google+ or just concentrating on onpage optimization and building some quality backlinks, you will not get any assistance from your domain name. For example, if your business is making garden tables, and your brand name is “Thingies“, your domain-to-seo advantage is zero.

Exact or Partial Match Domain Names

In past years, before Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithm changes, we used to get excellent SEO results in the search engines directories by using exact match domains. By this, I mean that if your business is producing ‘blue widgets’ then you could gain a huge SEO advantage by registering (if you could) ‘bluewidgets.com‘. Opinions vary and, like so much concerning the way Google does business, we don’t really know how Google now views EMDs. However, it seems that there is still some value in using an EMD, but maybe not quite as much as there was a couple of years ago. So, my advice would be to try and secure the EMD that matches your business if you can. And only if it sounds reasonable. What do I mean by this? Garcinia Cambogia is a well known fat-burning herb. If that was your business it might make sense to register “garciniacambogia.com” (it’s gone, by the way!) but you have to stop and ask how many of your customers will be able to spell it correctly.

Partial match domains can be useful too. If “bluewidgets.com” has already been registered then look for “bluewidgetsnews.com” or “bluewidgetsforsale.com“. Keep in mind that “redwidgetsnews.com” will always rank higher (all other factors being equal) than “greatredwidgets.com“. Just as “greenwidgets.com” is better than “green-widgets.com“. Having said that, I have found that a domain with “-” dashes ranked on Page 1 in a fairly small niche within 2 months of being registered, during 2013. I have found that it does help to obey these rules choosing memorable domain names.

Come Up with a Unique or Interesting Domain

I don’t really have to give many examples of these for you to get the idea – “Facebook“, “Scribd“, “Pinterest“, “MySpace“, “Tumblr“. There are dozens more like these. They all have one thing in common. They are ‘invented’ or ‘created’ brands. They are all also short and catchy. People remeber them. They stick in people’s minds like a tune. the only downside is that you have to work hard to make the brand an household word. My own website, domain and company name is like that – a very old legal term that I came across while I was trying to find a great domain name. It is a VERY long way from being well-known but in the local area where we do business, many people have said “Ah, yes! I remember that from somewhere.” It just proves that any interesting name ‘sticks’ if you advertise it, even in your own town.

 The Age of the Domain

How old your domain name is has a great effect on its performance in the area of money making domain names. If you were lucky enough to have registered your domain many years ago then you can sit back now. With a properly set up web site, in SEO terms, you can benefit from an aged domain. If you didn’t do that, then all is not lost yet. there are several companies that specialize in selling old, expired domains and provide an excellent domain auction tools search on their web site. The biggest of these is GoDaddy and their domain search tool can be found here.

 

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