After researching domain names for a website I am planning on releasing in the near future, I have realized that there aren’t any real ground rules for selecting the correct domain name. Different people say different things but mainly they recommend keeping the domain name short, easy to remember, easy to type, have it reflect a brand if possible and for search reasons adding keywords in the domain name and so on… I will not go into all the tips and advice that are mentioned online; instead I will focus on one tip which is very straight forward and very simple that it is often overlooked.
Now all of the tips online help and sound logical, but have you ever thought of the websites that you visit on a daily basis i.e. google, facebook, twitter, mashable and even wordpress. Sure all of these sound like household names now but could you imagine telling people you were just about to launch a site called google or facebook?
I’m pretty sure they’d be confused for the simple reason that these names have (or had) no relevant meaning to the average person. But what these name posses is stickiness, once you hear a domain name like that you will remember it. Simply because they are different and intriguing, it’s human instinct if you hear a name that didn’t make sense to you, you will look it up just to see what it is about.
Which brings me to conclude that the main rule of selecting a domain name is being different, you might be thinking that different isn’t a new idea and it doesn’t help me with people finding my site, I need something that is clear and concise.
But do you? Let me tell you how I think a catchy domain name can help.
It will be easy to remember
A unique domain name is easy to remember, especially if it’s creative and sounds catchy. It adds the “stickiness” factor.
Set you apart from the competition
When everybody ZIG’s you ZAG, a unique domain name can be very useful for branding purposes. Also it creates a perception in people’s minds that this is not another news, blog or social media site – it’s DIFFERENT.
It will most probably be available
Nowadays you most probably won’t find a direct and easy domain, being new and different could make it easier for you to find the right one.
How can you be different?
Don’t add keywords as they are
If you find that you have to add keywords so people find your site easier, don’t add them as they are. Try mixing a combination of keywords or actions that are relevant to your site and you will come up with a more interactive and fun domain name that people can associate with being fresh, creative and hip.
Word on the street
Stay in touch with the buzz words and language used within your industry, community and so on. But be careful what might be “cool” today might become very lame tomorrow so just give it an extra thought.
Don’t worry that people might not get it, just take a look at some of the biggest online names: Google and twitter. They actually added terms to the English language, such as: I am “google-ing” this or that / I “tweeted” this or that.
At the end of the day people will visit your site if they have reason to, and if they do land on your site by just typing your domain name in a search engine they will only return if they like what they see and not because of your domain name.