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I am about to buy some domains for a few sites that I am starting, and I'm wondering whats the consensus with you guys: Keyword rich and boring, or catchy, fun, and unforgettable.
[edited by: Webwork at 3:42 pm (utc) on Mar. 23, 2008]
[edit reason] See Charter regarding hypothetical domain names; Example.com is our first choice [/edit]
I am about to buy some domains for a few sites that I am starting
Do I assume by that remark that you are constructing sites about several widget subjects none of which you are a recognised widget supplier or widget trade master?
How are you intending to monetise the sites? By AdSense, affiliates, trade/retail advertising or maybe even actually selling the physical products but not necessarily stocking them?
How are your intended competitors promoting by the Net, with traditional, long-established company names or using generic trade terminology?
Are you talking about local, national or international markets?
For most widget trades you need some good backlinks from authority sites however if you are perceived as someone just trying to make a buck off out of the trade from Internet trading, do not be surprised at their unwillingness to co-operate!
You have asked a simple question that has a lot of variables, more information is required.
There is no "easy answer" to this issue. There are trade-offs associated with whatever choice you make.
Given a choice I'd choose the shortest domain with the 1 or 2 words that describe the product or service you offer - since such a domain would 1) likely receive some type-in or direct navigation traffic; 2) would be easier/cheaper to "brand", at least in the sense of helping visitors form the connection between what you do/sell and the company name; and, 3) the website name might benefit from inbound link anchor text that incorporates the popular search phrase for your service, which also happens to be your domain name.
There are many variations.
Yahoo.com can work for a company that has millions of dollars to spend on branding.
<Far less information about your website, please. Webwork>
The descision is whether to base it on: [example.com] (That's my first name, and gives off the personal feel), or on [example.com] (which just sounds a bit better); I own both.
Thanks again for the quick responses,
[edited by: buckworks at 6:42 pm (utc) on Mar. 23, 2008]
[edited by: Webwork at 7:57 pm (utc) on Mar. 23, 2008]
[edit reason] Please do not name specific domains. [/edit]
A friend of mine has an idea for a website that he was telling me about. Of course, the name he made up (and didn't check) was already taken.
I got out my 30 year old Roget's (the kind with numbered concepts not just simple synonym lists) and we looked-up each of the two words in his original choice, and added a third optional word.
I then plugged the word lists into a permutation program that is intended for generating Adwords keyword lists. (I assume that such things exist for noodling with domain names, as well, but I had the Adwords software...)
It spat-out a couple hundred potential domain names, many of them quite catchy.
It amazed me how many of the good ones were available. One after the other, all great domain names!
I like ones where words can do double-duty: compound and/or multi-syllable words which are relevant and contain yet another relevant word inside.
They're anything but boring - quite catchy, but not made-up words. But not boringly functional and descriptive, either.
It might help digging-up a 30 year old Roget's, though. I note that most of the really catchy names used words that would not be currently used in everyday speech. There are some great words from the 20's through 50's that are JUST familiar enough to have meaning and JUST odd enough to be interesting.
Here's a little teaser from my Roget's.
556.6 report, rumor, flying rumor, hearsay, on-dit; talk, whisper, buzz, rumble, cry; idea afloat, news stirring; common talk, town talk, talk of the town, topic of the day; grapevine, scuttlebutt, latrine rumor; canard, hoax, roorback.
And if that doesn't work, you can always try the last resort: old McHale's Navy reruns.
Now, what was that scuttlebutt about Webwork?
If you are selling widgets, what could be more memorable and better branding than widgets.com?
If you are serious, and the generic for your niche is available to be bought, buy it - the investment will pay for itself many times over.
I, too, own a prized yellowed and tattered copy of Roget's but I'm afraid the Bevis and Butthead generation will have none of it. They're not looking to expand their vocabulary. They're looking to contract language itself, AFAIK.
So, you just go ahead and use some of them fancy words.
"Hey, he just said scuttlebutt"?