A few years ago we started websites that had outlandishly long domain names. While they specifically targeted keywords for long tail traffic, they were very hard to deal with as time went on.
The logo was hard to make, the brand was hard to promote, and the time it took to type the domain made us feel silly (as it did our customers!).
Today let’s take a look at ways to pick a good domain for your affiliate website. After all, a domain name should help your business – not hurt it.
1. Shorter is better and easier to use
It is easy to get caught on a domain name idea and to buy it without a second thought.
But if you can find a domain name that’s very short (8 characters or less), then all the better for your business.
- Short domain names with 8 or less characters are highly recommended.
- Short domain names are easily more memorable, easier to say and come with SEO benefits.
- Long domain names take a long time to type in. Avoid the headache!
Think of a few sites you frequent and count up how many keys it takes to type them in the browser.
2. Imagine your website, five years into the future
When you picture your website after 5 years, it can be easy to say “no, no this domain name just won’t work in 5 years”.
Sometimes, focusing too much on a specific category, like “PensandBooks.com” can limit your brand severely in the future.
- What if your website outgrows the domain name?
- Can this domain name survive with the current competition?
- Be careful when using your first name or last name in your domain.
A website like Amazon.com or eBay.com wouldn’t be as successful if they “pigeon-holed” their brand with “AmazonBooks.com” or “eBayBeanieBabies.com”.
If Steve Jobs ran Apple, Inc under the domain name StevesAppleInc.com, his company would need to remove his name later on as the leadership of the company changed. Be aware of this when using a first or last name in a domain name.
3. Collect some of your competitor’s domain names and compare your best domain idea
If your idea seems like it is a worse-alternative brand (generic), then start over. You may need to take in a broader set of words and ideas until you find a great fit.
You want your domain name to sound like a higher value option – not the guy at the back of the pack.
4. Focus on the feeling or value you hope to provide
The “feeling” of your brand is important.
- Do you want to entertain, inform or engage?
- Or do you want to provide the most excellent products to your subscriber base?
- Figure out the value / feeling aspect of your brand, then weigh each of your domain ideas.
Creative domain names can do a lot. The sound and feeling your domain name evokes is a way to communicate before your visitors have a first-impression of your affiliate website.
What do you want to say to your ideal customers with your domain name? Jot down a few words and see if you can use these as a starting point for a new domain name.
These are by no means the only things to keep in mind as you craft your brand name. A domain name is a critical path to the success of your online marketing efforts. A misstep at this stage can cost you business, so be careful, creative and thoughtful. It counts!