Choosing your domain name is a bit like naming your business: get it wrong and you will suffer from poor traffic and conversion rates. Choosing a name requires a lot of thought. Don’t rush in and choose the first name you think off. Your domain name is your identity on the web, and gives potential visitors a lasting impression, no matter how good your site. Use these tips to choose an appropriate domain name that will give your site a good impression and make your site easy to market.
This post is part of the Blog Cogs Start Blogging With WordPress Today tutorial.
- Start Blogging Today with This WordPress Tutorial
- Choosing the Right Domain Name for Your Blog
- Registering for a Bluehost Web Hosting Account
- How to Install WordPress on Your Domain
- Optimizing the WordPress Settings
- Installing WordPress Plugins
- Install These WordPress Plugins Now!
- Choosing and Installing a WordPress Theme
- SEO Optimize Your WordPress Blog Posts
- Improving Your WordPress Blog Security
What’s a Domain Name?
Before we into the tips for choosing the right domain name for your blog, let’s define what a domain name is:
The domain name is the name and extension of the website address. For example, the domain name of this blog is blogcogs.com. The domain name is what you buy from a domain name store or, if you keep following this guide and choose Bluehost as your web host, comes free when you sign up for a web host account.
Must Your Blog Name Be the Same As Your Domain Name?
My blog name (Blog Cogs) is the same as my domain name (blogcogs.com). Is this essential? No, but it’s good practice. You can name your blog whatever you want, but image how confused your visitors would be if your domain name and blog name were completely different.
If you’ve thought of the perfect name for your blog but the domain name is unavailable, you’ll have to decide if you want your domain name and blog name to be different. If you decide it’s worth the risk, make sure your domain name is as close as possible to your blog name. But if you want my advice:
How to Choose the Right Domain Name for Your Blog
Keep It Simple
Avoid using words that could be spelled multiple ways (their or there), slang words that may not mean anything to some people, and words that you need a dictionary to understand. Choose a domain name that is easy to remember and type correctly.
Keep It Short
Too long and it’s easy to forget, mistype, or misspell. The shorter the better, but it’s very difficult to find a unique short domain name.
Avoid Hyphens and Numbers
Numbers and hyphens just cause confusion, and confused visitors are not what you want.
There are millions of blogs and websites out there so having a domain name that stands out from the crowd is essential. Research other blogs that blog about similar topics to you. You want your name to be unique but not so unique that it isn’t obvious what you blog about.
Make It Memorable
The last thing you want is to lose a potential visitor because they couldn’t remember you long, complicated, strangely spelled domain name. While the majority of your traffic won’t come from people who manually type in the domain name, it’s a good idea to not exclude those who do. Just think about some of the most popular sites out there: twitter.com, facebook.com, youtube.com. There’s no way you could forget those.
Include keywords that describe your blog and the type of content you post. What keywords do you use when searching for information about your topic? Consider including them. If you blog about power kiting, then www.powerkiting.com is a safe bet. Having a domain name that is also a common search term is great for SEO and helps bring targeted visitors to your blog.
If you power kite in Utah, consider www.utahpowerkiting.com. This will bring in even tighter targeted visitors. But that might deter visitors from other states or countries, I hear you say. Yes, it might, but you’ll be targeting your website to a specific audience and one carefully targeted visitor is better than 100 non-targeted.
Don’t use trademarked names or names of other blogs or businesses. You may end up with legal issues or at best you just look like your trying to piggyback on someone else’s success. Do your research to learn about what kind of domain names are already being used in your niche, the kind of names you like, and those you don’t.
Use an Appropriate Extension
The extension is the suffix that comes after your domain name: .com, .net, .co.uk etc. There are a huge variety of suffixes available such as .coffee, .blog, .clothing. I’d suggest always going for .com if available, but if you have a good reason for using one of the others then go for it.
Build Your Brand and Protect It
Imagine how much traffic Flickr.com would lose if they didn’t own and redirect traffic from Flicker.com. If you want to stop people doing as described above and piggybacking on your success, then you should purchase some other domains similar to yours. This applies to the domain name itself (such as spelling variations) and the extension (myblog.com, myblog.net etc.). You don’t need to build a website for all of these domain names, just direct the traffic to your main blog.
Choosing a Domain Name
You’ve read the tips, now go ahead and start thinking about what domain name you’d like. Write down a list of keywords your blog is about. Try joining two or three words together in different orders and see how it sounds. Look at other blogs in your niche and note down any names you like and see if you can use your keywords to make a name of the same structure. It’s best to come up with four or five different names because someone else may already have your number one choice.
Next: Registering for a Bluehost Web Hosting Account
Got your list of potential domain names? Great, now it’s time to sign up for a web hosting account. Click the button below to get started (and bring your credit card!):