Choosing a domain name - Priorities?

17 replies
Hey everybody,

I'm a newbie and hoped you could shed some light on that little domain name problem I'm having: I want to start a blog about a topic I can really give a lot of value in. My goal is to make some money with it (and have fun in the process).

Now it looks like it's impossible for me to get a domain name that is fullfilling each and every requirement for a good name: keyword relevant, a brand, com ending, short, two words, no "-", an alliteration, etc.. so my question is: What is the rank of priorities of those requirements? And also, how much would you pay for what kind of name? I found a really good name that fullfilled all of the main requirements and is sold to somebody, but there is still no functioning website up under that adress. They wanted 20.000 $ for that one, which I'm not gonna pay.

What is more important: Having a domain with a great brand name (short, sounds good, puts an image into poples heads, easy to remember, etc..) or making it keyword rich? How much would you pay for each of those qualities alone?

For the purpose of this post, say my blog is about cooking. So please rank the following suggestions from best to worst option: (costs 20.000 $) (free!) (400$, as of now (auctioned)) (free!) (free!)

Don't take each and every one of those 1:1, as my blog is not about cooking - but you get the idea!

Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!
#choosing #domain #priorities
  • Profile picture of the author George Stevens
    If its for the purpose of writing a blog, and for content you are passionate about then SEO should work naturally with people wanting to link to your blog. Creating a domain name for the purposes of SEO may devalue the value of the personal and unique content on the blog so I'd go for a domain name people will like rather than search engines.
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    • Profile picture of the author Komsat
      I know nothing about SEO but I heard on an SEO Webinar yesterday that with the new EMD update that branding is really important now when it comes to ranking. That an overabundance of keywords will kill your ranking, so maybe your exact match scheme is dated,... let's wait and see what the SEO experts on the forum have to say on this,... *waits*,..
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B

      Just a couple of personal preferences . . .

      Dot com is important and I place a high priority on it if I want to do e-commerce. If your blog is for fun or the money doesn't matter, then it's not so critical.

      I like keyword rich names although branding can work. The problem with branding is it usually is a long and costly journey to success. Yes, Amazon and Apple are branded names, but you're not Amazon or Apple.

      Have you done some serious research to uncover what keywords and phrases are being used in the search engines? The deeper into a niche you dig, generally the more likely it will be that you find some keywords or phrases that are not already registered.

      Think creatively. If some long-tail phrases that your like are already registered consult the thesaurus and find an appropriate synonym that could be substituted for one of the words in the phrase. The new name may not be registered.

      Add a short word like "best," "fine," or "try" (there are hundreds of good ones) to the beginning of your phrase - you'll still rank for the string as the search engines see these descriptors all the time.

      Or add a short ending like "central," "city," "direct," or "site" to the end of your phrase. All these short generic words will expand your potential for finding a good phrase that is not already registered.

      I have a list of about 1,500 such short words that I append to a phrase when I'm checking to see if it's already been taken -- usually I can find a number of available dot com domains.

      Good luck,


      Steve Browne, online business strategies, tips, guidance, and resources

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  • Profile picture of the author HolyWarrior
    If you're going to blog, you want something brandable.

    Consider my website. The title I chose gets zero searches in search engines by title, but it's memorable and it has people that come back to it.

    Power Motivator: Incredible Power, Unlimited Success

    You can't ask others to order your website ideas from greatest to least... Honestly, that's a bit obnoxious.

    The true point of becoming a blogger is to add your unique touch to things, and that is doing things in a way that only you can, with your own style and personality.

    I can tell you that I recommend something brandable though. Something clever, no more than three words, and something that tells a bit about what you do.

    This isn't a hard rule, mind you. Consider a personal development website that gets an estimated 60,000+ visitors per day. It's called - - and it's just the guys name. Just a name doesn't tell you ANYTHING about the website or it's contents, but he branded himself so well so that people know his name, they search it, and it comes up in search results.

    So you can take either route, but I wouldn't choose a website name based upon pure SEO measures. If you do that, you're really limiting yourself as a blogger.

    Follow your passion, get an awesome domain name, and give excellent, relevant content like there's no tomorrow!
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt121
    Keyword rich names are something I would go with. It gives people who are looking for you an easier time to spot your blog, not to mention that it will also help with SEO.

    And since you want to make money out of it, go with a ".com".

    Professional B2B Lead Generation and Appointment Setting through expert telemarketing. Need to know more? Click Here

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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    I'd put on my thinking cap and come up with a cool branded name. Google will like it better. In the long run, it's not the domain name that matters. It's what you do with it.
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  • Profile picture of the author gpwilson
    If i were in your position than i would not think how Google or others search engines would like to treat the name of my site. I would write content for the people or more specifically for my potential clients. I would definitely choose any name that best suit the contents of my site. Keep it mind that search engine would not bring traffic only your regular readers would bring traffic. to your site.
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  • Profile picture of the author stevenschofield
    if your blog is personal and is about cooking then it would take you far to long or loads of money to rank for a big cooking keyword as everyone here has said you want to build your brand and make it the best it can be.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dr Bloggood
    Thanks a lot everybody, that gave me some good insights! I don't have enough posts yet to have a "Thank you" button available, but I will get back to you on that one.

    I have decided to go with a brand name now and to disregard keywords in my domain name. The advantage will be that my name will have ALL of the requirements, except for keywords, and it will be for very little money. If you are interrested, I will tell you what name I will go with.

    Joe, if you are reading this, I wrote you an e-mail.

    It's awesome to get so much back on my first post here, thanks again!
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    • Profile picture of the author seosorcerer
      Also note that when purchasing domains, the TLD still matters (but that may change soon). Google has a list of domains they treat as globlal:

      Geotargetable domains - Webmaster Tools Help

      So, when purchasing something cool like '.io' your site will be less visible out-side the geo-targeted area (.io is Indian Ocean)
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Make the site, dont like the site make you.

    Just pick a relevant domain name geared towards what you're trying to sell, and then market it like a rebel. You'll sleep better at night if you do this. Trust me.
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  • Profile picture of the author shipwrecked
    Think about the fact that it should reflect your brand name. It's building a brand that counts today. A lot more than keyword-based domains...
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  • Profile picture of the author WeavingThoughts
    Buy a fresh domain and build a brand on it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jake Howard
    While Brand Names might seem like a good idea, that they are terrible difficult to promote, and you need to be actively pushing the website onto people, because no one is searching for your Brand Name, because they have never heard of it before.

    A Keyword based Domain on the other hand, will be easier to attract traffic, because people will be actively seeking it. The only problem is however, that a keyword based domain won't sound as good or fashionable as a Brand name domain.

    All the best.
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  • Profile picture of the author WeavingThoughts
    I am not saying to not go for an emd. In fact I always go for one. There are plenty of mid traffic EMDs out there to grab at reg price. Provided you make some effort.
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  • Profile picture of the author JamesMcAllister
    I'd say keyword rich can be a little tricky, especially with the current google updates so it's safer to choose a domain name that's attractive to your market. Anyway, you can do on and off page SEO to have it rank on search engines.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Most of these things don't matter very much, and are very unlikely indeed to have much effect on whether or not the project becomes successful.

      For me, there'd be two main criteria to think about ...

      1. Although I don't care, for myself, whether or not my business is on a .com domain-name, I wouldn't want to build one on a domain-name of which the .com variant already belongs to someone else (so I have quite a few websites not on .com's, of which I own the .com myself and simply redirect it to the extension I'm using, which is often a .info simply because my customers and subscribers like and trust those most, by a pretty clear margin, whenever I ask them, which I do regularly).

      2. If you're thinking of keywords in domains (which some people say are becoming less significant), it's important to have any extra letters/words after the keyword, not before it, so "aboutkeyword" is far worse than "keywordxyz".

      Hyphenation is discussed here:
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