Choosing a good domain name for your website or blog is becoming harder and harder. So many times you think of what will be the perfect name only to find it is already taken.
What makes a good domain name? The best names are both brandable and contain keywords.
1. Choose a Brandable Domain
When choosing a domain name also consider how you’re going to brand your business. A short easy-to-remember domain is highly valued. If you can’t get the .com version of your domain, you may want to reconsider your decision; people often assume the extension is .com and they may end up at a different site. If the .com isn’t available, choosing your country code (.ca) is a great second choice.
Once you have decided on a few possibilities for your domain name, check out social media sites to find out if your preferred username is available. The idea is that you can use your name across social platforms, increasing your brand’s visibility and recognition.
2. Keywords in a Domain Can Add SEO Value
My experience is that there is a lot of value to have keywords in a domain. Even as Google dials down the value of domain keywords in the algorithm there is still SEO value in continuing the practice, and that value comes from anchor text linking. For this reason, if you can choose a domain that is a great brand and adds SEO, you have a win-win.
Link Text Will Give Value of Keyword in Domain
One important reason to use keywords in your domain name is because of anchor text in links. Anchor text (or Link text) is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. “Click Here” is link does not add any SEO value—it doesn’t tell the search engines what the link is about.
Search engines give weight to the keywords used a linkonly . Usually, when other sites and blogs link to your site they will use your business name or your domain name as the link text. This means that there is value to having keywords in your domain.
In this video, Google’s Matt Cutts argues for the importance of going with a brandable URL. He also announces that Google is going to give slightly less weight to keywords in a domain.
3. Make sure your domain doesn’t infringe on a brand’s trademark
Select a domain name that lets you build and market your brand online without infringing on another brand’s trademark. Did you know that you can’t have a domain name that contains brand names such as Facebook, Pinterest or WordPress? We chose LearnWP and not Learn WordPress for this very reason.
If your domain name is infringing on another brand’s trademark you may be forced to hand over your domain and shut down your website. Be sure to check the trademark policies of other brands if it might impact your domain selection.
4. Before You Register, Search for Other Meanings
It can be embarrassing if your domain name is a reference to something inappropriate. Before you register, check your domain name and make sure the meaning can’t be misconstrued. You can read some of the worst domain name choices here.
Ready to register your domain name?
Then, head over to this post about how to register a domain name.