How to Choose the Domain Name for Your Site: An Extensive Approach
Choosing the domain name for your website is like naming your baby—in this case, your blog is your baby. If you put so much effort and research into naming your biological baby, why not do the same for your digital baby? And if names, as most cultures believe, have considerable impacts on the lives of their bearers, then domain names too ought to impact the sites they identify.
Why Do You Need a Domain Name for Your Blog?
The takeaway from the ‘baby naming’ analogy above is that a domain name is your website’s online identity. Hence, it should reflect what you want to build with the site—this is what makes it credible. It should also foster professionalism, depending on what that means in your niche.
If you plan on selling a product or service using your website, then your domain name should elevatethe branding. This will ultimately come in handy if you rely on the domain for your email addresses.
Factors to Consider
· Goals and Objectives
Every business has goals and objectives. It’s these two ideals that guide it. If you treat your website as a business—and you should—then it’s goals and objectives must also guide every part of it, including the domain name.
Here are some points your domain name can reflect:
o Your website’s name—the word or phrase that appears on your header—and topic.
o What you hope to achieve using the website.
o Whether the site contentis single-authored or multi-authored?
o The tone and voice the content employs.
o You target audience.
· Traffic Source
To get a firmer grip on choosing a suitable domain name for your website, you ought to also consider from where you expect most of the traffic to the site to come. Is it from:
o Search Engines?
Traffic from this source come and go, although you can convert some of them to loyal visitors with much work. This works best for a daily news blog, blogs focused on an upcoming one-time occasion—like a new movie release—and helps to create a buzz.
In this case, your domain name should be SE optimised.
o Loyal Readers
This sort of traffic thrives on engagement. You are looking to build a community. One that you educate and learn from. While search engine traffic can be beneficial, you are looking for people that will stay with you for a long time.
In this case, your domain name should be branded and memorable.
· Keywords and Branding
It can be difficult to integrate both keywords and branding in your domain name, but if your brand name is generic enough, then it’s possible you can achieve this.
o Keywords in Your Domain Name
This is perfect if you are interested in SE traffic. You can use Google AdWords tools to find generic words that people search for on Google. Then you use one or two high-ranking ones to create a domain name that communicates what your website is about.
Some good examples are TheMovieBlog.com and DigitalPhotographySchool.com.
o Branding Your Domain Name
Here, you are looking to create an identity, a community of loyal visitors, and, perhaps, something that hasn’t been used before. You can use the name of your company as a domain name, if it’s memorable.
Some good examples are domains4less.co.nz, CNN.com, and CocaCola.com.
As stated above, you can integrate both branding and keywords to create a better effect. For instance, CNN added the popular keyword ‘news’ to their branded domain to create CNNnews.com.
· Consider the Future
In factoring in the future when creating your domain name you need to make sure to pick a name that isn’t going to age and also make sure it encompasses your goals and objectives.
This is why it’s important to put a lot of thought into your goals and objectives, so that they are not too narrow. The last thing you want is realising later that your niche is bigger than you thought and you can’t expand because of the limiting nature of your domain name.
It’s just like creating a brick and mortar business and naming it Analogue Photography—obviously in the past—only for digital photography to become popular and you realise that the only way to expand is to change your brand name.
· Other Factors
These are the factors that have been excessively discussed online. The fact that they are not broadly discussed here doesn’t make them any less important. It only means you may have bumped into them online several time.
o Make your domain name memorable in order to reduce the margin for error—that is, make it short as well as easy to remember, pronounce, and spell.
o Go for the [dot]com domain extension.
o Also grab the domain extension for the country the website targets.
o Avoid using the hyphen.
o Avoid numbers and thus spare visitors the trouble of wondering whether numbers in your domain should be spelt or typed as digits.
o Avoid misspellings.
o Avoid trademarked names. You could get sued and thus lose your domain name.
o Secure multiple domain names for the same website. This can mean also securing the [dot]net, [dot]org, [dot]info et cetera versions of your domain name to prevent someone else from registering them and feeding off your hard work.
It can also mean registering other keywords relevant to your brand and redirecting them to your website—for instance, like registering both onlinenews.com and internetnews.com and linking them to the same website. This will help you capture more type-in traffic.
o Check to make sure the domain name you want to use isn’t blacklisted by search engines or doesn’t have a bad or an unsuitable history.