Something I haven’t really discussed are domains and domain name buying. There are three main objectives when you are looking at buying a domain. If you can accomplish these, then you will find your job as a search engine optimizer much easier.
Domains are of course paramount to a website’s success, no matter who tells you they are not.
Imsuccesscenter.com describes me perfectly, as it is what everyone associates with Sean Donahoe. Even if you don’t know me, then you can assume the content before you arrive, when you have spotted my domain in the search engine results.
So let’s start with the obvious one – length. Bigger is obviously not better when you come to naming a site, and if you can go with a shorty, then do it. When you are buying aged domains, the shorter ones are much more expensive, but more memorable, and this is a fine balancing act that few can master first time out. Stick to one or two words as a rule, but starting a site name with “The” isn’t too bad, because people will always remember that part of the domain – it’s almost peripheral.
Branding is important when it comes to a domain name. If you want to run a blog, and call it something that sticks out as a brand name, make sure there are not easy alternatives for people wanting to take away some of your traffic. When you look at the Twitter brand, you can see millions of sites that are playing on the ‘tweet’, ‘twit’ and ‘tweep’ words that are out there. If your brand name is easy to find alternatives to, then don’t be surprised to see some traffic thieves doing their best to rob you of your visitors.
Make it memorable. If you want something to be memorable, then the other two rules must apply too. Short, Brandable and Memorable. Even if you can’t be descriptive, if you get a memorable name, that will suffice. FailBlog, Twitscoop, Feedage are all good examples of great branding and memorable names are possibly leaders in their industry, so when you are considering a domain name, just look at the domains that you visit regularly for some inspiration if you need it. There are of course other ways you can get inspiration if you’re feeling a little clumsy: http://www.namestation.com/
On the whole, finding a domain doesn’t have to be a chore, and you will hopefully find one that fits not only the above criteria, but also what you’d like to portray to a client.