How To Choose A Website Name

Cool!  You want to start a blog website but how to choose a website name? Aren’t all the good ones taken?

People, ready to become a blogger, ask me, “How can I buy a domain name that the search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo will find appealing?”

Before I jump and provide an answer, I usually ask a question because their question usually raises a few red flags for me.

If they are wanting to become a blogger, I ask them,”The blog you are writing, who is your audience?”

They’ll usually respond that it is for people interested in their subject or niche.

That of course, is the right answer, most bloggers already know the answer but they get all wrapped up in the thought of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that they forget the reason they wanted to start blogging in the first place.

Choosing your domain name

Your website is for the people, your audience, your readers! So you want your domain name and your site to be focused on the reader, not for the search engines.

The search engines are there for providing the best search results for what people are looking for, if you have the best stuff that people are looking for then the search engines will find you.

I would go on to explain that you can name your website anything you want really. Ideally, you want a name that people can remember and able to spell for them to come back, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be specifically linked to your niche. If you can get the same name as your niche in a .com, .org and thirdly as .net then go for it. Unfortunately, it is true that broad niche based names are already taken within the .com level.

Ideally, you want your domain extension to be a .com domain. Your second choice is a .org and the third is .net. It is recommended that if you buy a .com, to go ahead and buy the .org and .net as well and have those redirect to your .com site.

Example Process To Choosing A Domain Name

Let’s take for example you want to review something that has a lot of competition online, for the sake of an example, we’ll call the item “SmuggerSmashers”.

So you look up the domain name SmuggerSmashers.com, of course, it is not available neither for the .org and .net, because the .com guy already bought the other levels. So you move on, your site will be a review site, so you check SmuggerSmashersreview.com, those are all taken. You can search through hundreds of variations only to find that there may only be those with a hyphen between the words and you don’t want those. People will forget where the hyphens were and end up on the competitor’s site instead.

So now what? Does that mean I can’t make a site about SmuggerSmashers? Not at all, that is where your creativity needs to kick into gear.

Maybe it is time to look at creating a brand and market it that way. It can even be your name, there are many bloggers, and vloggers (and don’t forget, uh mmm political figures like “Trump” or “Drumpf” as John Oliver describes) that have been very successful just by branding their name.

If using your name, you can do something like PaulSmuggerSmashersReviews.com, or PaulknowsSmuggerSmashers.com, PaulLikesSmuggerSmashers.com and so on.

Focus on your audience needs and please your audience with relevant information. If your audience likes your blog then the search engines will recognize your blogs and they will start providing you spots on their first page. They won’t be choosing you because you have a cool domain name.

Now you need to be cognisant that search engines use a number of algorithms to determine if they should move you up the pecking line. Your first blog can be the most amazing blog ever written, but until you earn their trust they will just be watching you. They see you there on the sideline, they see when people are stopping to talk to you, I know I’m starting to sound like a Christmas song, but it is only with time and hard work that they will start recognizing you. That is a topic for another post or maybe a whole other website.

domain name banner

Domain Name History

Another thing to consider when choosing a domain name is to check its history. I learned this the hard way. I chose a nice name that fitted well with my niche, how lucky was I to get the name I wanted in such a competitive field. So I went ahead and bought it for $13.99 for the year, your average domain name cost. I set up my site and start adding content and building my site. About 2 months in I see that it’s still not getting indexed by Google. this is odd I thought, it usually does not take that long. So I dig deeper into the levels of Google Search Console to find out that they deemed my domain site as a spamming site.

How can that be, I only have 10 or so blogs and nothing spamming about it, only a few affiliate links, but it has many internal and external authoritative links as well.

What do I do now? Google says I can submit a request to overturn their decision but they require all kinds of things to prove to them that you have changed your ways. Change my ways? I didn’t even think I had a way yet. I’m was still trying to figure out how to add pictures to my content, I sure don’t know ho to spam or scam people online. So I do some research and found out you can view a website’s history. I check out my domain name on the Wayback Machine and I can see snapshots of my site over the years. Sure enough, past users of that domain name had all kinds of fabricated promises with “Get rich quick schemes”, my site domain did not stand a chance to redeem itself.

Domain Site History

What do I do now? I can try and convince Google the site is on a new path or do I just scrap it and start a new site that does not have any history? I chose the latter of the two, I didn’t mind spending another $13.99 for a new domain that does not have any bad blood stains stuck to it.

Let’s wrap this up with a quick list of things to consider when choosing a domain name for your blog.

Steps to choosing a domain name

    • Choose your niche
    • Choose a name that is short, rememberable and relative to your niche if possible
    • Check to see if the name you chose is available. Ideally .com and no hyphens, .org or .net
    • Check the domain name history on the WayBack Machine
    • Buy your Domain name from a reputable registrar like SiteDomains through Wealthy Affiliate or Namecheap
    • Start building your website!

You don’t want to dwell too long on a domain name. As you become familiar with online marketing you’ll see yourself buying a number of domain names. Some people become a bit like hoarders and buy up names like crazy for their collection. Each to their own I guess, it can be profitable if you own a domain name that a start-up business really wants to use it, but I feel that type of tactic is a little like playing the lottery. I’d rather invest my money in a more controlled manner.

I hope you find this information helpful, if you have any questions or comments please put them in the comments below.

Cheers

Paul

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Posted in Business, Work Online
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12 comments on “How To Choose A Website Name
  1. Matthew Thomas says:

    I see a lot of people who try to find the perfect keyword-rich domain name, but in all honesty, that really doesn’t matter much. It’s more important for it to be something short and memorable, and your site will still rank for all those keywords you want it to if quality content is produced consistently.

  2. alexey says:

    Hey there, it’s Alexey. You did a really nice article that covers up and clarifies the whole domain name subject. I found your content very valuable to me, and I understood better the whole process of choosing a name for my website. Especially the steps for choosing a domain name – I always wasn’t sure about what I needed to do when it got to this point.

  3. Ben says:

    Creating websites and promoting products is a current trend that is continually growing and people want to go from just being able to promote products to selling their own. Your post on how to choose a website name is essentially a foundational step for someone looking to create their own website.

    • Paul says:

      Absolutely, you can’t start your website without a domain / website name. The cool thing I mentioned about Siterubix is that you can choose, buy and host it all under one platform at Wealthy Affiliate.

  4. Riaz Shah says:

    Hi Paul,
    Wow another compelling article, you’re definitely on fire! If there is an award for content creator of the week, you’re definitely high on the list.

    Domains is something I never put too much focus on though because content is much more important. But out of curiosity, will I still be able to rank just as good if I don’t take a keyword domain and create a custom name like my own name?

    • Paul says:

      Hey there,

      Thanks for checking out my article, I’m so pleased you liked my article content! I was hoping for a simple like it, but saying that I’m on fire has provided me with a new found energy to continue writing these articles. If they can help anybody in even the smallest way I have done my job.

      In regards to your domain name having keywords within it will help you rank within that particular keyword content, but your site will eventually have hundreds, thousands or more keywords that search engines will rank. So it may help in the beginning as you write content relative to your keyword domain, but as your site gains trust and matures that keyword domain advantage will likely become negligible. I read an article from Kyle at WA called “How to choose a proper domain name?” the other day that describes the use of keyword vs branding domain names.

      Cheers

      Paul

  5. Sheree K says:

    Work from work: This is a beautifully done website. I find it to be very pleasing; the font spacing is well suited, the pictures are cohesively laid out, and the content is very informative. I like the way the ads are well presented, and your social media icons are great, the contact tab also adds a very professional touch. There are numerous things about this website that I like most of all I find it to be very pleasing and professional. I would recommend it highly

    • Paul says:

      Hi Sheree

      Thank you for the visit and the positive feedback! I hope you found the information helpful. I must confess that the creation of this website was facilitated by My #1 Recommended all-in-one website hosting platform.

      Cheers

      Paul

  6. Neil says:

    I’ve been racking my brain for ages trying to choose a domain name for my website but with little success 🙁

    Your article sure has provided me with some great insights into choosing my website’s name, and Name Cheap also sounds like a great option for buying my very first domain name.

    Thank You for your help, Paul!

    Neil

    • Paul says:

      Hey Neil

      Cool that you found the information in my blog helpful although I will need to do an update now that Wealthy Affiliate also offers the option to buy your domain name right in their hosting site. It is called SiteDomains and the prices are comparable to NameCheap.

      Cheers

      Paul

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Paul and Brenda front page imageHello from Paul and Brenda

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