Written by Faaizah Ali - Follow on Twitter
Finding a great domain name is fundamental if you want to build a successful online business. Pick wisely and you’re onto a winner. However, if you fall at this early hurdle your business might not recover.
So where’s the best place to start? If you’re searching for long keyword-heavy domain names - STOP! There could be a better way. Have you thought about brandable domain names?
Better yet, have you thought about brandable domain names with extra awesome sauce?
Intrigued? This blog is for you…
What makes a domain name brandable?
Brandable domain names focus on creating an online identity for your business.
Unlike keyword-based domain names, brandable names often use words that are unique to a business and its message, rather than keywords that directly identify what the business does and has to offer.
This leaves customers with a domain name that is much easier to remember and also helps businesses stand out amongst their competitors. Examples of notable online companies that have used brandable domain names include Amazon.com, Yahoo.com and Google.com. In fact, can you think of a hugely successful online business that doesn’t have a brandable name?
Here are a few of our favourite businesses online:
Unbounce.com is a landing page experts that help you reduce the bounce rate. Sounds better than LandingPageGurus.com, doesn’t it? (Unbounce has some cracking resources on conversation rate optimisation too – check them out!)
Sendible.com is a social media management tool, allowing you to organise and send out social media updates. Sounds better than SocialMediaManagementTool.com, right? (Our apologies to the fantastic team at SocialMediaManagementTool.com. You're doing a great job!)
Still not convinced? Take a look at these 7 benefits…
What are the benefits of brandable domain name?
However, even with these seven brilliant benefits highlighted, you may find that your business is still better suited to making use of a keyword-based domain name rather than one that is brandable. There are big reasons why too!
Arguments for a keyword-focused domain name...
As we touched on before, keyword domain names are generally made up of targeted keywords that directly identify what your business does, has to offer and the industry it belongs to.
A recent study on keyword vs. brandable domains carried out by CanIRank.com, found that keyword domain names on average still rank 11% higher than brandable domains. Keyword domain names were also able to hit a #1 ranking with half as much content and half as much use of the keyword as brandable domains, due to their Website Relevancy and Website Ext Relevancy.
These types of domain names are great for businesses that are expecting to generate the majority of their traffic through SEO. Why? Because the relevance of keywords included in your domain name will directly influence and contribute to the SEO ranking of your website.
This approach was used by Hello SEO Copywriting, so we completely understand the pros and cons of a keyword heavy domain. As far as search engine rankings, it has been crucial to our success.
Guidelines for choosing awesome brandable domain names!
So, hopefully now you’re in a better position to understand the type of domain that best suits your business. If you’re sticking with a brandable domain, we’ve put together some useful guidelines to help you choose your name.
1. Make it simple to spell
It goes without saying that your domain name needs to be simple and easy to spell for your customers. Consider all the avenues you will be marketing your website through, whether it’s email, social media, TV or radio – you need to ensure your customers can remember the name of your website and spell out correctly in search engines.
2. Make it short and snappy
Your domain also needs to be short, snappy and memorable. Long domain names are more likely to be forgotten or spelt incorrectly. Try and stick to one to two words and syllables, so there’s more chance customers remember the name of your website, making it easy to visit and return to.
3. Get creative
Although it might seem a tedious task, choosing your domain name can actually be quite fun. Many of the most popular businesses today have invented their own brand names through the use of clever wordplay and blending. Some brilliant examples that we’re all very familiar with include Coca-Cola, Nike, Starbucks and EBay.
4. End with .com
By far the most popular domain extension is .com. We highly recommend you end your brandable domain name with this extension. It will give your website more credibility and is also typically the default extension many of your customers will remember.
Tools and online services to help find your brandable domain name
We hope our handy guidelines make the process of choosing your brandable domain name all the more easier. But just in case you’re sat scratching your head at a loss for ideas, we’ve also put together a list of some very valuable websites that do most of the legwork for you.
NameMesh.com – Using your keywords Name Mesh will bring up a variety of domain name ideas including Common, Short, New, Fun and SEO choices.
Domainr.com – A fantastic tool that searches the entire domain name space, beyond generic extensions such as .com, .net and .org to help find your ideal domain name.
Wordoid.com – A great source of inspiration and creativity when coming up with a short, unique and memorable name for your brand.
InstantDomainSearch.com – Ability to search in real-time to continuously see new results as you type in your desired domain name.
Panabee.com is a simple way to search for domain name ideas online. All you do is add two words, and the online tool combines them. Panabee is a combination of Panda and Bee – great right – and serves as an amazing example of the website’s service! We love this website!
Novanym.com - If you're still struggling to find the perfect domain name, you might have more luck with a brand agency like Novanym. They source .com domains and boast a large collection to choose from. If you're looking for a fast, no-hassle solution, this could work for you.
The online journey for your business starts at your domain name. A brandable domain name that is unique to your business message, as well as short, memorable and easy to promote will play a key role in building the long term success and identity of your online business.
Share your ideas for the ultimate domain name!
We’d love to know your preference – keyword or brandable? And what are your tools and tactics for choosing the perfect domain name? Let us know in the comments section.
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