What do you think is common between the following names:
You are right.The names of these hugely successful companies are easy to remember and catchy. When I wanted to start this blog, the first task I faced was to select the appropriate domain name. Choosing the right domain name can be tricky. As you know, there are two schools of thought on choosing a good domain name.
1) Keyword based domain lovers:
These people will tell you to that you must have your important keywords in the domain name. According to them, this will give you advantage in terms of Search Engine Optimization and Ranking.
2) Catchy and brandable domain lovers:
These people think that it is better to go for a domain name that is catchy, easy to remember and brandable. This is what I believe in, for good reasons.
Good question. Well to be frank, it depends on what you are looking to build. A Keyword stuffed/based domain is okay if you are looking to build a small niche site. If you are content with ranking for a couple of keywords, its fine (although you may loose rankings at a later stage).
But if you’re really serious about online marketing, just forget keyword stuffed domain names.You’re here to build a brand. You aim should be to ensure that people know your blog by your own brand. You certainly do not need to be bestsportshop.com to sell sport gears, as Nike,Adidas and Puma will tell you.
So what makes catchy domain names so great? There are quite a few reasons.
Repeat visitor count will increase
One major benefit of having a memorable domain name is that it is makes it easier for your visitors to come back.
Imagine a situation. You were searching for something on Google and you got your perfect solution at Site A. You really liked Site A but did not bother remembering its name as it was too generic. Next time you face a similar problem and you feel you can visit the same site to look for solution. But Alas, you cannot quite remember which site it was. End result, Site A looses a valuable repeat visitor.
This is a very common situation, which I have faced so many times. But thankfully, it is very hard to forget catchy and sharp names such as Yahoo or Google. As a visitor, you do not need to try to remember it; it will automatically stick to your mind and you can visit it whenever you want.
It gives you brand value
If you choose a catchy and memorable domain name, it gives you the chance to make a brand out it. A brandable domain name is one which is
easy to pronounce
It is simple enough to be used in regular conversation. For example, it is easy to say Google it. It is easy to say let’s chat on Facebook . You get the point.
If for some reason Google was named thegreatsearchengine.com, users would hardly say “thegreatsearchengine it”.The term Google it is used because of its simplicity and catchy nature.
In terms of branding, there is another benefit. Unlike generic names (Blog tips company), you can get unique brand names (SEOMoz) copyrighted and trademarked, which is an essential criteria if you’re going to protect your brand.
Gain attention of your visitors
Internet users are very busy people. They are never going to make effort to remember what your domain name was. To gain the attention of your visitors, you have to do something interesting. So what is it that you can do to make your domain name interesting?
You need to come up with something different. This is why you need catchy names. Catchy names grab attention. A keyword based domain would fails miserably (in most cases) to excite visitors. Take this example.
You just visited two websites. One was named SomeplaceSEOCompany and the other was named SEOMoz. Ask yourself. Which one are you more likely to remember?
You get the point. If you want to gain the attention of your visitors, you have to provide something unique. That is the beauty of catchy and memorable names. It has that something, which makes one effortlessly get hold of it. By the way, I hope the name of this blog (Blogician) is already in your head. It can be the magician for your blogs. 🙂
You can change your niche
This is another plus point of choosing a non-keyword domain name. As any experienced blogger would tell you, a blogging journey does not always plan out as expected. You start with certain niche in mind. You get the domain name keeping that niche in mind. But later on, you may find out that you are better suited to blog on a related niche. But your keyword based domain prevents you from using the same domain for your new niche. Here is an example:
One day you feel that you are good at giving great SEO tips and decide to make a blog. You grab the domain bestseotips.com.
It is a very optimized domain for your niche. You feel great. Few months have passed and you have a decently established blog.
Now you have a feeling that you could do better by blogging on affiliate marketing.But can you shift the topic so drastically on your existing blog? Especially when it is named bestseotips.com. Would it have been easier if it was named blogician.com?
Can rank for multiple keywords
What I’m saying is just an assumption. I do not have any conclusive evidence about it. But I feel that if your domain name lacks any keywords, it stands a better chance to rank for multiple keywords. If your domain name contains a certain keyword, its ranking for other keywords may suffer.
Avoids the risk of search engine penalty
In earlier times, getting good ranking in search engines used to be very easy. All you needed to do was to add the keyword in your keywords meta tag and stuff your webpage with the keyword of your choice. Job done.
But gradually, the search engines have became smarter 😮 . They have better algorithms which are harder to manipulate. All major search engines have cracked down on over optimisation.
Why I am saying all this?
This is because, keyword stuffing your domain is also a form of over optimisation.
Over optimization at domain and url levels are penalized. Back in 2012, Google announced over optimization penalty on certain exact match domains and Bing also did the same. Since then, the algorithms have changed further. For sure, they are including more and more filters to crack down on this form of over optimization.
Matt Cutts tweets Minor weather report
I’m sure you do not want a search engine penalty for over optimizing your domain name. This is another reason why it is better to avoid stuffing keywords in your domain names and go for memorable and brandable ones.
What if you want to have the best of both worlds?A brandable domain name which also gives you advantage in terms of search engine optimisation. If this is what you want, go for what I call “hybrid” domain name. What do I mean by hybrid domain name?
It means that your domain name two parts:
1) A keyword part which helps in terms of SEO (without overdoing it) 2) A non-keyword “catchy” part which makes it brandable and memorable.
There are many famous examples.
In the blogging niche, there is Problogger. It is easy to remember. It has the keyword “blog” in it. It also exudes a sense of authority.
In the hosting niche, such examples are very common. You have bluehost, hostagator and dreamhost. All these websites have the word “host” in them, which is the keyterm for them. At the same time the catchy part make them unique, brandable and easy to remember.
Hopefully, you now understand why I am vouching for catchy domain name. Still need ideas on how to choose that perfect domain name? Let me inspire you by the story of Blogician.
Blogician is my own “hybrid”domain name. I was basically looking for some profession based word that could be combined with the term blog. Blogger was already taken by our friend Google. I was thinking and thinking. Suddenly, the words magician, technician and physician came to my mind. In an instant, I was searching for the domain name Blogician.com. It is not very hopeful of it being available, but thankfully it was there. I wasted no time and got it. That’s it. I found it to be very catchy and memorable.
So what do you think? Is it better to go for a keyword-based domain name called for a catchy domain name? Let me know in the comments section.
Do you own a very catchy domain name? Show off in the comments section. Tell us what makes it so interesting. And yes, you can always get your domain names at Godaddy orNamecheap.
Over to you.
Disclaimer: Examples of websites given in this blog post are for informative purpose only. There is no intention to cause disrepute to those keyword based domains. Even I own a few. Please let me know if you are not okay with it and I will remove them.
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