Domain names have been a subject of discussion for decades now. Since we started using the internet, we’ve needed to navigate to different websites using these names. However, the impact they make and the way we use them today is very different to even ten years ago. Quite simply, the internet has changed a lot.
Much of this change has been driven by Google and social media platforms. Google made it easier than ever to search for anything you wanted to find. You don’t need to know a URL anymore, because you will find what you are looking for. Social media platforms have made it so that people generally click on links rather than typing in the URL themselves.
Considering this, you might think that domain names are no longer important. However, that is far from the case. You need to choose the right domain name (remember to check domain availability while you do this) for your website to be successful.
Here is what you need to know.
Domain Names in 2022
A couple of decades ago, it was easy to spot a bad domain name. Anything that was tough to remember or to spell would cause issues, with people struggling to get to your site. Nowadays, that is no longer the case.
That is not to say that a memorable and easy domain name is not important. However, it is important for different reasons, which will impact the domain name you choose.
In 2022, the most important aspect of your domain name is that it tells both humans and algorithms what your website is. In other words, if you are selling vacuum cleaners, it should be clear from the domain name.
Think about how you feel when you search for something on the web. Do you choose to click a link with a nice-sounding domain name? Or do you choose the link that clearly leads to what you were looking for? There will be a few who do the former, but most people will do the latter.
Having a practical domain name like this also helps with your SEO score, as you are signalling to the algorithm that you are the answer to specific searches.
Keep it Unique
I’ve just spoken about how practical your domain name should be. Doesn’t uniqueness do the opposite? Well, the kind of uniqueness I’m referring to is the practical kind. If your first-choice domain name is taken, do not simply go with an alternative suffix (such as .io). Instead, come up with a different domain name altogether.
Some people may have heard of you or remember you from a social media ad. They don’t know the exact details of your domain name. If your domain name is not unique, they may well search for you and still end up in the wrong place.
Unless you have a very creative way of making use of an alternative suffix, or prefer your website to be local, go with the regular dot com.
Keep it Short
Your domain name is not just something that will go in the URL bar. It will be in your email address, logo, and branding in general. As such, you don’t want it to be long and unwieldy. Since many people are not typing it in, you may think that it’s not much of a problem, but you do want it to look good.
Keeping it short also means that when you publish blog posts or add extra pages to link to, you won’t have to copy and paste a massive link into your social media posts. Rather, you will have your short and simple domain name taking center stage.
Add Some Personality
We’ve focused only on the practicalities so far. The reality is that a domain name that is not practical is useless. However, that does not mean it should be bereft of any personality. Look for creative ways to inject some of your self-expression into your domain name.
The best domain names have personality without sacrificing practicality. To help choose a domain name, search for keywords related to your website. You might find that the words you thought you would have to include can actually be replaced by shorter, more appealing words. This research will also help you with SEO when you need to write copy for your website.
We no longer live in a world where people have to remember your domain name to get to your website. However, your domain name is still very important and should be carefully considered. While your creativity is definitely important, it will lead you nowhere if you don’t put some focus on the practicality. Remember that in 2022 you are often targeting algorithms rather than humans!