Here’s a question that I get quite a bit that I thought might make an interesting question for discussion:
When choosing domain names do you get a keyword rich or more brandable name?
What do I mean by keyword rich vs brandable names? Let me explain further with a segment from a previous post on choosing domain names for blogs.
- Keyword Based Domains - these domains, as the name suggests, incorporate keywords that your blog is about in them. This is good for a number of reasons. Firstly it communicates something to your readers very quickly with regards to what your blog is about. The other positive is that Search Engines take a good look at the words in your domain name when deciding what your blog is about and how to rank it. As a result if you’re after SE traffic then these types of names can be worth looking at. Examples of blogs with keyword based domains are Cellphone9, the Movie Blog, Sims Gamer and Digital Photography School.
- Brandable Domains - these domains might often have some relation to their topic in terms of their feel or sound but are much more about creating something memorable that can become an identity in and of itself. In terms of traffic strategy – these blogs would be suited ideally to developing a blog that is aiming to build a community of loyal readers. Of course these blogs can also do very well in search engines but this is usually for other reasons (keywords in URLs are just one of many factors). Blogs that have these types of domains include Boing Boing, Gizmodo and Dooce. In fact if you look at Technorati’s Top 100 blogs – you’ll see that most of them have brandable names and not Keyword based ones.
Like I said in the post that I’ve taken those descriptions from – these two options are not mutually exclusive. Domains like Engadget and even ProBlogger are quite brandable yet also incorporate keywords (gadget and blogger) – however it’s not always possible to get both (in fact it’s getting harder and harder) and many bloggers are faced with the choice of one or the other.
So back to our question – which do you prefer when you’re starting a blog?
What have you based your decision upon in the past and if you had to start another blog today which would you go for?