For most parents, giving their unborn child a name is something they relish, in that they look through hundreds and hundreds of baby names for that name they think will match their child’s personality. Although a child’s personality is sure to reveal itself in its own time, on its own terms, whether parents like it or not, naming a child is an important milestone in the parenting process. Although a lot of people argue that a name is just a name, a name can make or break a person in more ways than anyone will ever care to admit.
In the virtual world, the same applies. A website, just like a doting parent’s precious little baby, needs a name that will separate it from the rest. Otherwise, at the rate domain names are purchased nowadays, a brand-new domain that doesn’t speak for the brand it represents and/or uniquely positions itself from the many websites vying for a user’s attention is likely to be left behind and waiting in the sidelines.
While this does not suggest that inappropriately named websites won’t capture a share of the user pie, getting traffic to a website through organic search is not such a bad idea, either. Remember, search engines put a lot of weight on the keywords used in the domain name. That means extra page views for no extra effort.
In choosing a domain name, consider the following rules from PickyDomains.com, a risk-free naming service that assists clients in coming up with catchy, relevant and easy-to-remember domains, names and slogans:
1. If you’re looking to drive massive traffic to your website, using your name as your domain will do wonders if you’re Muhammad Ali or Lady Gaga herself. Think about it. If you’re trying to attract an audience that isn’t born yesterday, they probably know Muhammad Ali and Lady Gaga, so that remembering muhammadali.com or ladygaga.com can’t get any difficult. If you’re not so big a name yet, be ready to roll up your sleeves and do some hard work.
2. If you’re into some kind of service, use keywords associated with the service you provide. If you’re an insurance broker on Memphis Ave., memphisinsurance.com is definitely not a wild pick.
3. Use dashes and numbers with caution. The key here is to not make it difficult to type your domain.
4. When registering a domain, if the .com is available, take it. Even now that a lot of information had already been splattered on the web about the irrelevance of an extension to the amount of traffic generated by a site, most users still think of .com as authority.
5. If you have long-term plans for a website, it is wise to purchase as many other available extensions as well. After which, simply redirect the other extensions (.net, .info, .me, .biz, etc.) to your .com domain. The benefits associated with this strategy are two-fold. First off, if a person erroneously types in .net instead of .com, he/she will automatically get redirected to the correct page. Secondly, this prevents others from purchasing a domain similar to yours, save for the extension, and stealing traffic away from your website.
6. The shorter the domain name, the better. A short domain name is, first and foremost, easy to type, easy to remember and easier for visitors to share with others.
7. Although it is imperative to come up with a domain that is easily understood by just about anyone on the web, using industry jargon for niche websites is a good strategy, as this establishes credibility among visitors familiar with the jargon.
8. When somebody hears your domain name for the first time, he/she should be able to accurately guess what type of content you’re offering. While websites like Amazon.com and Monster.com have unique and catchy domains in every sense of the word, they require far more branding because of their counter-intuitive nature.
Chances are you know all or most of the above already. And there’s even a chance all of the domains you’ve come up with after days and nights of brainstorming are no longer available. How’s that for being beaten to the punch, huh? Well, as they say, it ain’t over ’til it’s over. When all else fails, a naming service just might be what you need to help you find the most suitable name for your website.
Author’s Bio: Maricel is a blogger and online content writer writing for Career Mom Online and The Weekend Mommy Blog.