How to Choose the Right Domain Name for Your Blog
Last modified on 7th June, 2006
One of my readers has asked me the following questions recently:
- What domain name should i pick? Shall i pick from my name or something bout the blog?
- How to gain traffic to the blog?
- Which money generators should i use? (adsense? adbrite?)
Those are good questions, frequently asked by anybody who’s aspired to become a blogger.
Well instead of replying to his question personally, I told him that I would answer his questions in my blog and hope that anybody who might have the same questions would learn something from it.
In this post, I’ll try to answer the first question about choosing the right domain name for your blog.
Include Important Keywords
When selecting a domain name for a website or blog, it’s important to choose a domain that contains keywords that describe your blog. From a searcher point of view, he/she would consider your blog relevant to their search when it appears in the search listings.
Having keywords in your domain name may help your search engine rankings for those keywords.
Choose a short, easy to spell and memorable domain
While being descriptive domain can be advantageous, your first priority is to make sure that you select a short and memorable. You can always include relevant keywords in your title tag to attract attention.
Contrary to what I said earlier, the importance of including keywords in your domain continue to diminish these days.
When it comes to selecting a domain name, the trend is more towards creating a unique brand name that’s immediately recognizable. Just think of Google.com and Yahoo.com.
The reason why you need a short domain name is that many of your visitors will type your domain directly into their address bar to go to your website. If your domain is too long, it may be prone to typos. If you choose a domain that is hard to spell, visitors may misspell it.
If you could help it never use more that 3 words in your domain name. Your visitors may find it difficult to remember if you have more that 3 words in your domain.
Consider using hyphens to break apart words to make it more readable. But I would be careful not to register a domain that contains more than 3 words separated by hyphens. You could end up being penalized by Google if you do this.
Choose a pronounceable domain name
A domain name that’s spelled how it sounds is less likely to be misspelled. Avoid registering a hard to remember Web 2.0 style name containing just one or no vowel at all.
Still, if you are interested in finding Web 2.0 type domain name, check out the Web 2.0 Domain Name Generator. It churns out some domains that may inspire you.
You can try registering a fun domain name like del.icio.us. Perhaps you can try a.pparat.us or a.normalo.us? However I wouldn’t recommend this as it’s not easy to remember and prone to typos unless you have the same promotional muscle like del.icio.us.
Register a .com domain
This is the most popular and most recognizable domain extension. If the .com domain that you want to register is not available, try .net, and .org.
While they are still familiar to most Internet surfers, they lack commercial appeal. Domain extensions like .biz, .info, and most of the country-specific extensions are unfamiliar with many web users.
Should I use my name as the domain name for my blog?
Why not? As long as it follows the general recommendations as outlined above, just go for it.
Further reading: 5 Great Domain Naming Techniques
I’ll answer the next two questions in my next posts.