6 Tips For Choosing a domain name
One of the most important decisions you are going to make when you start a blog is choosing a domain name. The domain name is the representation for your entire site and is so incredibly important in so many ways.
The domain name that you choose should be relevant to the blog’s content AND give people an idea of what to expect from your site.
There are lots of names that could be chosen that sound “nice”, but unless they give an indication of what your blog is about, it wont do you any favors.
Spend the time researching your domain name to make sure you get it right!
What is a domain name
Before we start to look at what’s involved with choosing a domain name, it is important to clarify what we actually mean by “domain name”.
Wikipedia describes a domain name as the following;
A domain name is a unique name that identifies an internet resource such as a website. It is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control on the internet.
The domain name is the name that appears in the address bar of the browser. For instance the domain name of this blog is (bloggingtips101.com).
Once you have registered your domain, it is yours to keep unless you stop the yearly renewals!
So you know that choosing a domain name is important, but you want to know WHY and HOW to do it!
1. Choose a domain name that represents you and your brand
Your domain name is your shop front and as such it needs to demonstrate who you are and what you provide.
Choosing a domain name can feel like an enormous amount of pressure, because it is going to stay with you for the life time of your blog. The only way to change the domain name is to start a new blog, so you want to get it right!
You need to choose a name that;
- You like!
- Is catchy
- Is easy to remember
- Will be the building block of your business.
Your blog allows you to own this tiny piece of cyber space, so make it count!
2.Keep it short and to the point
There is no point in registering a domain name that is long winded which no one will ever remember. This is your brand, so make it short and snappy so that people can recall who you are!
If your domain name is too long, it will also make it complicated for people to type. Typically a name with 13-15 characters is ideal. Try and choose a name that will connect and stick with people.
If the name is difficult to say, it is likely that people will easily forget it.
Do you want to be forgotten? I didn’t think so!
3. Use keywords for SEO purposes where possible
Whether you love or hate keywords, you can’t ignore them!
If you want to rank for a specific keyword (which we all do), it would be wise to use that keyword in your domain name. The domain name is used to help index websites, so make sure you include a keyword where possible.
Whilst the use of keywords in your domain is not a prominent factor for SEO like it used to be a few years ago, it is still worth giving attention to. It’s one of those things that wont make the overall difference, but it will help chip away with your larger strategy.
4. Which domain extension to use
With the variations of domain extensions to choose from, it can often feel overwhelming for new bloggers.
You can choose between
- .au (etc)
- .info and more
As a general rule of thumb, a (.com) domain name will be your preferred option.
If however you are setting up a blog for a specific business which is location based you would be better off choosing a name that includes your country, such as (.com.au).
For instance, if you are a plumber and you start a blog for your plumbing business, a (.com.au) name would be far more benefit that a (.com). You would not interested in securing business from the UK or America and the focus on your immediate area is what will be important.
5. Choose a name that is unique
This is something that I know I did not do too well for this blog. Hands up ….. I admit it!!
At the time of setting up this blog, I was not really spending a lot of time hanging out in ‘blogging blog’s circles’. I was hanging in the party, recipe, mummy blog section as my only blog at the time was not about blogging!
I thought the name sounded great, and when I searched it was available. Double great!
What I didn’t do was research other similar blog names. Mistake! If I had done, then I would have realized that there was already a very successful pro blogger Zac Johnson who runs Blogging Tips. Oh dear, what was I thinking?!
Yes the name is different, but I should have given it more thought and definitely undertaken more research before going in guns blazing. It just goes to show that that extra research is going to pay off! Don’t make the same mistake!
6. Register your domain name when you are happy with it
If you have a domain name that you are 100% happy with, then you will need to register it.
The name needs to be registered to ensure that it is not taken by anyone else, which can easily happen!
If you have a name that you are 100% committed to, but you are not starting your blog for a few months, it would still be wise to register it. Good names get snapped up and you don’t want to be disappointed by having your name taken from you.
A blog’s success obviously comes down to more than just it’s domain name, but it is worthwhile taking these tips into consideration before you proceed to register it.
What kind of decisions did you need to make when determining your domain name?
Did you encounter any obstacles in this process?
Please share your thoughts with us below.