For all blog platforms, even if you choose a hosted blog platform, you want a domain name. Rather telling people to go to myblog.mybloghost.com, you want a shorter and easier to remember name. If you can’t host your blog on your own domain, at least redirect the domain to the hosted blog domain.
It just looks more professional. After all, you are running a business.
Forget all the cheesy suggestion of obtaining a long and keyword full domain name. It used to work, but now search engines know better. It only contributes a small fraction point to your ranking, if at all.
In fact, using a short domain name gives you benefits. It is easier to remember and tell your friends about. Shorter name is easier to remember. If all you target is search engine traffic and regular readers who consume your RSS feeds, then domain name matter less.
Here are important factors to consider when choosing a domain name:
- Short, easy to remember and easy to spell. Imagine you are going to give away your domain in front of a group, or getting interviewed in local radio or teleseminar. Try to spell out your domain name.
- Don’t be afraid to use brand name. I don’t mean you must come up with a clever and sweet name, although that is entirely acceptable. Think about Staples, Google, Yahoo, and others. I personally like OfficeDepot.com because even a complete stranger who never hears about the company knows what it does. Thinking this is impossible to get? Think again. I never purchase a domain that costs more than $10 nowadays. Use some creativity. Nameboy has a tool that generates domain names with combinations of keywords you give.
- Get a .com version of a domain name. When people think of a website, they think of .com. Even if you want to use .net, or .org, buy the .com version and redirect that to your main site. Sometimes people will type websites onto the browser out of their head, and you don’t want to lose visitors that way.
- Plurals and singulars. For the exact same reason as above, you should also get domain names that are plural or singular form of your domain.
- Avoid trademarked names. Avoid troubles. You may have heard stories about people who buy domain names and resell them to companies at higher prices. The thing is, nowadays they prefer to call their lawyers. Play nice.
To summarize, if you can come up with short and clean domain name with your keywords in it, by all means go for it. But, don’t bother about switching your existing site just because it isn’t packed with keywords. The effort is not worth it.
Spend some time to think about a good name, but don’t waste too much! No matter how cool is your domain, chances are the excitement won’t last long. Besides, you have more things to do to develop and grow your site.
Another two cents for me: use a centralized domain registrar to register all your domains. One of the many examples is NameCheap. Another reputable registrar is GoDaddy.
I often pass out free domain offer from my hosting company just for manageability. Why?
If you ever heard horror stories about popular sites who forgot to renew their domains, you know what I am talking about. I never had this problem in the past and hopefully in the future. NameCheap sent me a 30-day, and consecutive notices on domains that are going to expire.
Moreover, I log in to my account every 30 days. It is an appointment on my calendar. I renew domains that I like regularly. Simple tip to prevent major headache.