How important is a domain name for your website? Whether it is a blog or a store, pretty important. The domain name is the magnet that pulls in traffic and has a massive impact all over the Internet as well as offline advertising of your business.
If you’re reading this article, there is a good chance you need an advice on picking a memorable and effective domain name. Well, it’s good, because we are going to provide you with a simple formula you can use to make a great choice.
So, here is the formula we’ll use in this article:
Length + Keyword + Perception + Branding +Price = SUCCESS!
Now, let’s quickly discuss each of the elements.
The First Element in the Equation: Length (L)
Length is the first part of our formula. Given that you need your readers or customers to recognize and trust your domain extension, the choice should be a safe one. With all recent reports of data breaches and Internet viruses, a suspicious domain name is the last thing you need.
So, the best way is to choose verified and trusted domains like .com. The vast majority of reputable companies and startups use this name to avoid scepticism and unusual domains. Even the new gTLD domains are not trusted by the global online community but are rather confusing.
For example, here’s a graph from RegistrarStats representing the most popular domains between 2004 and 2016. Not surprisingly, .com has no competition.
Image Credit: RegistrarStats
Given that many .com names are taken, choose a long name that does not exceed 14 characters (the most popular websites have 11 words as maximum length – see graph below). It will be easier for your visitors to remember it. For example, a company could include the products in the domain – college-paper.org (The next best bet after .com is .org).
Image Credit: Gaebler.com
The Second Element in the Equation: Niche Keyword (K)
Selecting a niche for your website allows the Internet users to find your website more easily. The more specific the niche keywords you use in your domain, the better.
So, if you are building a niche site or a site that targets a small specific piece of a large market, you need to show it in your domain. This kind of site has a purpose of picking a market and a related keyword to get maximum traffic.
After the choice of the keyword has been made, you need to make sure that the domain name matches it. For example, if the target keywords for your blog are “cooking tips,” then the domain should be cookingtipsblog.com.
This domain is called an exact match, and it is something you should pursue because it gives you some serious SEO advantages. Often, sites with exact match domains are placed on the first page of search results.
However, if you find that cookingtipsblog.com is taken, you can add one or two letters to the domain. This helps to save the effectiveness of the domain for the search. For example:
Whatever option you choose, make sure you follow the three most common tips:
- A domain should be easy to remember. If the domain is too complex, it won’t be catchy, so people will not even try to memorize it.
- Select .COM (dot com). This is the most popular domain used more than 50 percent of all websites. It shows credibility and is easier to remember as well.
- It must make sense. Your domain should reflect what you do. Would you guess what Yahoo.com does if you did not know it? Of course not. On the other hand, mycookingtipsblog.com provides a perfect hint of what one should expect.
More keywords can be found using the most popular tools, including:
- Google Keyword Planner – a free tool whose main advantage is the deep information it offers on Google, which is undoubtedly the most widely used search engine.
- SemRush Keyword Research Tool – just type your domain and discover competitors’ best keywords, new competitors, and available options.
- How to Find the Most Profitable Long Tail Keywords for Your Business
- Why Keyword Research Is Crucial for Your Website
- 6 Best Completely Free Google Keyword Rank Checker Tools 2017
The Third Element in the Equation: Perception (P)
Remember, the domain of the website is the first thing your visitors see. And we all know how important the first impression is. That’s why you need it to be positive and create a long-lasting impression. To achieve that, follow these tips:
- Avoid using slang (e.g., u instead of you)
- Make it pronounceable. People remember thing they can easily say and think about
- Avoid using words with multiple spellings (Xpress vs express).
The Fourth Element in the Equation: Branding (B)
Making a domain brandable implies that when one hears it, it sounds like a brand. Such domain is a great investment in the long-term success of the site. So, it should not include numbers because, well, who uses numbers in brand names?
For example, let’s suppose we created a site that sells vitamins:
Vitaminsshop.com – good option but too generic. Branding it would be nearly impossible
Retinolvitamins.com – sounds brandable and identifies some of the product. However, it would be quite challenging for the customers to remember it
VitaminLabs.com – the best option. It adds some science and is very easy to pronounce and brand.
Let’s review the common characteristics of brandable domains real quick:
- They are relevant. They relate to your mission, vision, product or service, and purpose.
- They are memorable. A brandable domain is easy to remember.
- They are unique. They express the unique personality of your business.
- They are brief. The shorter the domain is, the better. However, a fierce competition nowadays doesn’t allow to use two or three words (the best length), so one needs to make sure a domain is positive and agreeable.
- They are credible. A brandable domain sounds professional and trustworthy.
The Fifth Element in the Equation: Price (P)
If you’re on a limited budget, don’t worry. There are many websites that offer good and cheap domain names. They include:
- Namecheap.com (1-year registration costs $9.98)
- Godaddy.com (1-year registration costs $11.99)
- Gandi.net (1-year registration costs $16.85)
Now that we have analyzed all factors that you need to consider before selecting a domain name, we can confidently claim that it can help you to make an excellent choice.
Here it is once again, memorizes it!
Length + Keyword + Perception + Branding +Price = SUCCESS!
By using this formula, you’ll be able to select an URL for a long-term success of your blog or an e-commerce store because it considers SEO, budget, customer perception, and branding.
Make sure you put some serious thought into when selecting a domain for your website – and don’t forget about the formula!