Loading...

How To Choose The Right Domain Name

Go beyond ‘keyword selection’ and start doing the really important stuff – branding. Watch this video for some fresh ideas.

Rush Transcript

The other day I was killing some time and roaming around Internet forums when I stumbled across a plea for help.

On the thread, someone asked for help with deciding on a new domain name for their blog. This is a common problem and I’m sure you’ve experienced this at some point in the past, and you probably will at some point again in the future.

So I thought I’d share this to help you out the next time you need to find a name for your website, or your product, your lead magnet, whatever, or anything else that’s part of a marketing campaign.

This is important because when we communicate with people – and especially over the Internet, the chances of miscommunication are pretty high, for that reason we need to make sure the domain name we choose is clearly understood and leaves no room for misinterpretation.

Just think about how some words in the English language can have two different meanings, for example homographs, where a word is spelt and pronounced the same way but has two separate meanings.. For example the word ‘date’ has two different connotations.

One means the specific day that something is going to happen on, and the other means spending romantic time with someone.

So communication can be confusing at times, and if you’re trying to convey a message to someone, like your marketplace, that message has be to clear and leave no room for confusion or misunderstanding.

Anyway, on that internet forum back to the guy who asked for help, he wanted to combine two or three words to create a brand new phrase that, while it meant something personal to him, it had no value or meaning to anybody else.

And he asked, from a marketing perspective, would this be a good idea.

Of course, the response was no, it’s a bad idea to launch a website with a vague name that nobody understands. I mean, I know from personal experience because I’ve launched my fair share of websites that have silly names, and I know from experience that when you need to explain what the name means, then you’re doing something wrong. I mean, look at my flagship website that I started in 2004.

Even though it gets tens of thousands of visitors every day, it’s an abbreviation of a phrase that took years of branding before it started to click with people in my market. It took me around 3 years before people started recognising and understanding what the domain name stood for.

So far that reason, when it comes to looking for a domain name, try to stay away from vague names, cute names or ones that you think sound clever, but have nothing to do with your website topic.

If you want something that conveys meaning to your market, then think about the words that are used in your niche. The words we use are important because they convey meaning. We need to use words that are almost impossible to misunderstand.

And, as we’re talking about marketing, it won’t do any harm to think about using power words. These are words that grab attention, and force us to take notice.

In 1963, David Ogilvy published a list of influential words.. I will list them all for you underneath this video, but they are:

  • suddenly…
  • now…
  • announcing…
  • introducing…
  • improvement…
  • amazing…
  • sensational…
  • remarkable…
  • revolutionary…
  • startling…
  • miracle…
  • magic…
  • offer…
  • quick…
  • easy…
  • wanted…
  • challenge…
  • compare…
  • bargain…
  • hurry…

In addition to these, some of the most powerful words we can use also include, ‘You’, and ‘Free’.

So these words are all great for grabbing attention, but when it comes to naming things like websites, you should also think about the main benefits that someone using the website will get from visiting or purchasing. If we include a promise, an outcome or a desired result in the name, we make it more attractive ok, we make it more appealing for someone to visit.

A quick example that I can give you could be ‘Business Insider’ .com – because it’s got everything that a good domain name needs. It says exactly what it is, who it will appeal to, and what kind of information you should expect.

Another one is ‘Theme Forest’ .com – it explains what people will find there and it’s easy to remember.

We could also add ‘Profit Copilot’ .com as an example, because that also says exactly what it will do for you.

So a good domain needs to grab attention using powerful words that convey specific meaning to your marketplace. But the actual sound of the words is also important. Let’s do a quick experiment, and I’d like to you take part in this – but don’t worry all you have to do is guess the name of a couple of shapes. Stick with it, I’ll explain everything in a second.

Ok, look at both of these shapes. Can you guess which one is called ‘Maluma’.. Can you guess which one is called ‘Takete’?

I’m going to bet that you believe the one on the left hand side is called ‘Maluma’, while the one on the right hand side is called ‘Takete’.

If that’s what you chose, then 98 percent of people would agree with you. This is actually an experiment that was carried out to see how the human brain associates sounds with images.

And that’s something you need to consider when deciding on your business name, your domain names, your product names, well you get the idea.

One more tip I’ll share with you before I go, is that the human brain likes repeating sounds, it likes patterns – we are hardwired to respond to patterns, and we can take advantage of that when choosing a name for domains. So if you can make things rhyme they instantly become more memorable. I’ll explain how it works in second but first..

Think about one of the oldest and biggest companies on the planet, Coca Cola. Think about the sounds of the words, how the sounds repeat.. Coca Cola.. think about the number of syllables, there’s a rhyme there, a repeating pattern of sound that our brains enjoys hearing.

So why does this work? Well, it’s a process called the ‘phonological loop’. When a sound enters the ears, in particular words, the brain bounces it around for about 5 seconds, and decides if it’s something that it needs to remember or not.

If the brain decides it needs to keep the information then it stores the name inside memory banks for safekeeping. But if the brain decides the information isn’t important, then it gets rid of it, and you won’t remember it.

The brain takes about 5 seconds to make this decision, and then moves on. That means when someone hears your domain name, you have 5 seconds to make it stick in their memory, and the best way to do that is to use some of the methods that I’ve shared with you today.

So now you know how to choose the perfect domain name, you know how to make it brandable, and you know how to make sure it means something to your marketplace. Which are all the things a website needs to do to become successful and stand out against the competition.

Ok, I hope you’ve found this information to be of fantastic value, I’ve really enjoyed sharing this and making this video for you. If you’d like to get more videos like this then subscribe to the mailing list and I’ll see you very soon, thank you for watching.