If you’ve spent much time looking into how to build a terrific website with a great future then you don’t need to be told how important your choice in domain names is. However, there’s more to crafting a successful domain name than simply choosing the first catchy option that comes to mind. It’s even more important to make sure that what you think you know about choosing domain names is up to date. Let’s take a closer look at what makes a given domain successful in this day and age and at how you can make a great choice your business can grow with for years to come.
What Characteristics Do Successful Domain Names Share?
Domain names with a high success rate definitely do share several things in common. In a nutshell, they’re short, to the point, simple, and easy for your target demographic to remember without really trying. The most desirable domain names are generally only one or two words long (and hard to obtain for that reason). Good options are simple personal alternatives such as your name (if you’re opening a personal blog or website), the actual name of your business, or the name of a key concept that is strongly associated with your brand.
Ideal domain names don’t contain too many special characters or numbers. If possible, avoid choosing names that involve hyphens, as they can not only make a domain harder to remember, but they tend to be associated with second rate substitutes for their hyphen-free counterparts as well – hardly the impression you want to make with your target audience. You should also avoid practices like using numbers as substitutes for actual words or using “text speak” in your actual domain name. It comes across as unprofessional and untrustworthy, not edgy and modern.
Last but not least, make sure your domain is easy to type and difficult to misinterpret. For instance, be careful of using the numeral 0, as it can easily be mistaken for the letter O.
How Keywords Can Help a Domain Name
In the event something simple, short, and easily relatable to your business isn’t available, a domain name that includes an important keyword that is also related to your niche can represent a good alternative. Highly searchable, relevant keywords can help boost the credibility of your website in the eyes of not only the search engines, but your target demographic as well. However, it’s important to choose keywords carefully.
Spending a little time looking into hot keywords related to your business is the way to go here. Pick a word that is relevant but not too trendy to increase its potential staying power and longevity. If your business is still in such an early stage of development that you haven’t yet decided on a name, you may want to consider adding keywords to your actual business title at the same time to improve it’s visibility.
How Has Google Penguin Changed the Way Domains Rank?
Google has been continuously in the news over the past couple of years thanks to its Panda and Penguin updates. Penguin in particular has implemented some changes to how certain domains rank. Once upon a time, having what is known in the web business as an “exact match domain” (or EMD for short) was a virtual guarantee that your site would be ranked as an authority on that keyword. For instance, if you owned plastiswhistles.com and “plastic whistles” was a term a lot of potential customers were searching for, you’d be considered one of the leading authority on actual plastic whistles by default. However, this is no longer the way things work.
Recent rollouts of Penguin have actually put an end to the advantage an EMD once gave a website. Google is getting smarter and smarter all the time as far as how it identifies a solid authority source. That said, it’s perfectly fine if the domain you really wants exactly matches a major keyword related to your industry… but it’s no longer a golden ticket that will guarantee your success. Many new web entrepreneurs do not yet understand this and are wasting their resources acquiring domain names that really won’t help them reach their goals as a result.