For any website or blog, its name and Web address, along with content, is the most important real estate. While content brings readers and branding helps make an imprint in their minds, its Web address or URL or domain name is what will bring them over and again. This is why it’s important to select the domain name wisely.
Qualities of a Good Domain
Here are four things that you should consider before choosing a domain name:
Easy to Remember: If you people to keep visiting, you will have to make them remember the domain name. It should be a simple word or a combination of words. Using a misspelled word might look good, but some users may type the correct spelling while trying to reach your website.
Short length: Keeping the domain name short will make it easy to remember and also be easy to type in the browser’s address bar. If I choose a huge domain name such as HowToSucceedInLife.com, you are likely to consider it a pain to type the URL. It’s always good to make life simpler for your visitors. And that’s the motto of your blog. Isn’t it?
Top-level domain: Should you get a .com, .org or .in domain name? Without any dispute, .com domains are the simplest and most popular top-level domain. But if your blog is mostly targeted at people of one country, you may consider using the country’s domain. For example, I will use .in domain name for a blog that is meant for Indians. A .com will also be fine for country-specific blogs.
Clean History: Starting a new website on a tainted domain might not be the best idea. Several domains might have been blacklisted on Google and other search engines for violating their rules. Google the domain name to see if it was ever used for malicious intent. The results should give you a fair idea.
Also, ensure that the domain name is not been disqualified from Google AdSense, the most popular and effective advertising programme. You can use Google AdSense Sandbox for this. If you get public service ads, the domain has been probably disqualified from AdSense. However, the public service ads may also appear when the domain name is not comprehensible to the AdSense system. Try the tool with any fictitious and incomprehensible domain name.
Types of Domains
Now that you know what features to look for in a domain name, let’s see what are the types of domain names that you can choose from.
Semantic names: These are names created from a well-known word or a combination of several words such as Geeks.com, Cars.com and VintageCars.com. These domain names specify the niche of the blog. These domains make SEO easier as the keywords are present in the URL.
Unique names: These are based on unusual and new words, often coined by the domain owner. Google.com, Bing.com and Rediff.com are some examples. These domains unique and cannot be confused with any competitor. However, these domains don’t define the niche of the blog.
Combined names: Facebook.com, Designfloat.com and Friendfeed.com are some examples of combined domains. These combine words from the dictionary to create unusual names. These names may not have any meaning of their own, but the message becomes clear as soon as you visit the website. These are difficult to come up with, but are easy to remember.
(Note: Here is an interesting guide on how to choose domain names by FirstSiteGuide.com.)
Which Type of Domain to Pick
If you want to create a blog on some niche topic such as retro cars and steam engines, it’s best to have a semantic domain name such as Retrocars.com and VintageSteamEngines.com. Your blog will have better chance to get discovered by via search engines. Since the domain itself tells what the blog is about, they are more likely to visit it.
If you are planning to create a huge blog that will dominate the planet, pick a unique or combined domain name. Of course, you will have to fight hard before you can win the world with these domains.