There are roughly 2,000,000,000 websites around today, and the number is consistently growing. Though many of these are inactive, adding your domain is a daunting prospect.
How can you make your domain stick out? Deciding how to name a blog is difficult but far from impossible! Read on for some tips on how to come up with a blog name.
Picking a domain name is an extremely personal thing. You may have something specific you want that goes against the guidelines, or you may have built your brand with something that requires specific guidelines.
Keep in mind that these are only guidelines. If you have to go with a name that goes against these guidelines, feel free! Just be aware that a “suboptimal” domain could have drawbacks.
One of the biggest things in the world of the internet is Search Engine Optimization or SEO. In short, this is a metric of how well your website or content will appear in a search engine like Google or Bing. All content has SEO in mind, from your favorite recipe to your least favorite YouTube video, even what you’re reading right now!
Your website will need to keep SEO in mind as well, and one of the greatest metrics you can employ is keywords. As you might suspect from the name, keywords are words that others will search for. Ranking your website with the proper keywords will make it appear more often, and a domain with those keywords is ideal.
Let’s look at an example. Maybe you’re opening a florist website, and you specifically cultivate orchids. You should expect people to search for words like florist, flower, orchid, or even specific colors with combinations of these.
So a domain that incorporates such things would have great SEO. You can do a similar exercise for any industry you want to enter. Make sure keywords are at the heart of your search engine optimization – it’s far from the only metric, but one you can’t escape.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that your domain should seem rigid. If you give yourself too specific of a domain name, people will associate you with only that one thing.
Take the previous example of an orchid-selling florist. If you sell more than just orchids – other flowers, gardening supplies, and so on – you wouldn’t want your domain to seem to hint only at orchids. Using a more general word like “flowers” or “blooms” would serve your business better.
Having too specific of a name will make it so that you only appear in specific searches. If you appear in more general searches, people may still find your domain overly specific and not check your site out.
Your marketing starts with your domain name. Make sure you aren’t painting yourself into a corner!
Another important tip is to make sure your name is easy to read. It might sound unnecessary, but one thing you want to ensure is that you’re lowering the chance of typos. A name that’s hard to read, copy, or type can lead to directing traffic to the wrong site.
A difficult domain can even lead to “domain squatters.” Domain squatting is when someone purchases a domain similar to – or even identical in some cases – another domain to take the traffic of people trying to visit their site.
You can see this yourself on some popular sites. Try purposefully misspelling the domain of some of your favorite websites and see where you end up – with your antivirus updated. It’s a popular phishing scam and a way to steal traffic.
So defend your domain from this with an easy name. Keeping things simple keeps you memorable and much harder to imitate! However, you don’t want to oversimplify to the point of being boring or difficult to remember. You still want to stand out amongst your competition.
Proper TLD Extension
Your top-level domain – TLD – is the suffix that follows the domain name – .com, .gov, .org, and .net are among the most popular and easily recognizable. Some domains are specific and protected, such as .gov being used almost exclusively for government websites.
A reputable TLD is great for your domain. If you can secure a .com, these will usually be your best bet, as they’re the most recognizable. If not, go for something easy or descriptive.
Some online stores will use .store, for example, which is great for making it clear what your domain is. But if you aren’t a store, using the same TLD would seem misleading and unwanted. Keep your needs and uses in mind before you pick your domain name!
Things to Avoid
Here are some of the mistakes you should avoid when deciding on your domain name. Here’s a quick list of some things you should avoid during the creation of your website.
Avoid Lengthy Names
We touched on keeping your domain short, but how important is this?
Think of the length of some of the most popular websites. What’s the longest website that comes to mind? Massive domains like Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media are short. Because of this, they’re easy to remember – and easy to type.
Avoiding a lengthy name can help your domain stay in the minds of your customers. They also are much easier to type in, making it so that your visitors don’t have to remember a lengthy domain name.
Fun fact, the longest domain name belongs to the tourism campaign of a Welsh village. That domain is https://llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.co.uk/. Easy enough if you’re Welsh, but otherwise, good luck recalling even the first twelve syllables! The name is so long that they have a shorter URL to redirect traffic – longestintheworld.com.
Another crucial point is to try to avoid hyphens. There are many reasons behind this, but one of the easiest is that most people don’t think to type hyphens into searches. It also can break up your keywords.
Blue-orchids.com may not always appear in a search for blue orchids because of the hyphen. Others may type in blueorchids.com, finding themselves on the wrong website – unless you’ve purchased that domain.
Another smaller factor is that it’s hard to say this domain out loud to a friend. If you tell your friend to go to “blue hyphen orchids dot com,” that might lead to a few mixed searches.
The tip goes for anything that isn’t a letter. Avoid numbers, symbols, underscores, and anything else that isn’t A through Z.
No Double Letters
Along with this, you should attempt to avoid double letters when you can. That isn’t to say you should avoid alliteration – “orangeorchids.com” is easy to remember, rolls off the tongue, and is easy to type, if overly specific.
But something like Wooddoors.com can feel strange, look weirder, and appear in fewer searches than you’d expect. They’re harder to read, require a bit of spellchecking, and it’s easy for a visitor to make typos.
It sounds minor, but these few seconds of trying to read your domain are sometimes all it takes for someone to go to a different domain. Do your best to keep your name as easy to read as possible – short, no hyphens, no symbols, no double letters, just an easily-read and typed domain.
No Play-On Words
Sticking with staying easy to read, make sure it’s easy to say. Not only does this go for avoiding symbols and hyphens, but also for a play on words.
There’s plenty of wordplay in most languages, but especially English. So mixing up spellings for a humorous play-on-words might sound enticing but can lead to people going to the wrong website.
Keep your use of words simple and clean. Puns, jokes, play-on-words, innuendos, and more can lose you visitors, instead of earning a few chuckles. It’s also much more professional to avoid these things and keep your name clean.
We know what to aim for and what to avoid, but there’s still more to know! Here are a few miscellaneous tips on refining your domain name. With these, there’s nothing necessarily to avoid, just good rules of thumb for you to keep in mind.
You’ll find many websites where multiple domains lead to the same website. We used one example above for the longest domain in the world! That makes it so that any hit on one of these domains will give the traffic towards one funnel.
If you have the resources to do so, you might consider purchasing multiple domains. Having more than one TLD can help as well. By doing so, you improve your SEO simply by making it so that there are more searches you might appear on.
Additionally, you can fend off domain squatters or typo squatters by doing this. You won’t have to worry about losing out on a domain or having people go to the wrong site.
Of course, domains are expensive, and you’d need upkeep on each. Don’t make this your first goal, but it’s a solid tip if you have the resources to get it done. You might want to look at your budget and see if it ends in a net gain.
Multiple domains with one website makes a lot of sense when you stop to thnk about it. You don’t want to split your traffic if you’re running a company.
Keep one website for your business. Don’t separate for one sort of stock, a blog, or other categories. Instead, give your website space to have all of these things. Doing so will improve traffic to your site. It will give you more domains that you can use to boost your keyword-focused SEO.
You also will have all of your advertisements going to one place. Giving everyone one domain to visit is great, but trying to direct them to two or three websites might never work.
If you’re branching out, you may still want to keep the first website on your original domain. That can help to cut down on hosting costs, let you search for a domain you want, and more. Do your best to stay condensed, both for your benefit and for your visitors.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in indecisiveness with your domain. It’s an important step and the first thing most people see when it comes to your platform! But that doesn’t mean you need to get locked up just thinking about it!
If you want a domain, there’s a high chance someone else wants it just as badly. Do your best to get your domain as soon as you know what you want. That way, you don’t find yourself finally ready to grab your favorite domain just to find out someone else snagged it while you hesitated.
Your business is unique, and you have a lot of competition if you’re drawing visitors to your site. The best way to differentiate yourself from the start is to have a domain different from everyone else’s!
If your domain is too similar to your competitors, you’re going to run into issues with marketing. In egregious circumstances, you might even find yourself generating traffic for a competitor! It’s difficult to keep your name separate from others, but do your best to keep a unique name.
Of course, try to stay unique within the guidelines. The longest name is certainly very unique, but difficult to remember. Keep it unique, snappy, easy to read and remember, and shareable.
It might seem overwhelming at first, but picking a domain name for your blog is easier than you think. Consider running a few terms through a search engine to see what sticks and what’s memorable. Afterward, workshop the domain name with some friends or partners to see which shines.
For more information on how to make a domain name, feel free to browse our extensive site!