After deciding to begin blogging, the very next (and crucial) step for you, as a blogger, is to decide on your website name–and subsequently your domain name.
If you have a WordPress.org blog (i.e. you pay for it to be hosted via GoDaddy or another company), picking the correct domain name is crucial in terms of SEO. Your web address is one of the top ways that readers find your blog–thus make sure that you have a couple of your important keywords in the address. These keywords will differ for everyone. Here are my suggested tips in picking out your blog and web address name:
- Choose those two or three keywords that you feel best describe your site’s target area, audience, etc. These are often the sites with more SEO-pull–even if they’re not as rememberable to customers as brand-able names. Two good keywords to utilize are: 1) your type of business and 2) your location (for example, SanFranciscoRealEstate.com is a great name for SEO)
- Consider using your personal or business name within the address. For an independent contractor, such as a real estate agent, I personally remember both their domain and their name better when they are the same; for businesses, customers seem to assume that the name and the address are the same (if I want to check out merchandise online at Target, I would tend to type in target.com–as opposed to Googling “target”). If it makes your site more recognizable to readers as opposed to SEO-worthy, I would suggest going for the brand-able name.
- Make it a .com address. So many people out there will automatically type in “yourblog.com” even if you told them it was “yourblog.net“
- Have it be simple, short and sweet. There’s no reason to not make it easy on your potential clients–if they get confused because your domain’s too long, hard to spell, or the order of the words are difficult to remember, chances are they will give up and move on.
- Don’t use hyphens or numbers. Both hyphens and numbers (and sometimes addresses that end in .net) often correlate–however unjustified–in people’s minds with questionable sites. Neither seems to reflect trustworthiness or authority.
- Try to keep your web address the same as your website name. Or vice versa; I’m an organized person–consistency is an affinity of mine.
- Be unique. Don’t pick a similar address to that of another site–set yourself and your site apart from others by being recognizably different to your visitors.
- Once you have an idea for your site’s name, make sure your desired address is available! You can go to GoDaddy.com to search the availability of your site’s domain name, without being obligated to buy.
Deciding on a name is only slightly different when using the WordPress.com system, since your site address will be in the format of “myblog.wordpress.com”. Of course, you can always purchase a domain name through WordPress.com–in that case, look at the tips for a WordPress.org blog. (To purchase a domain name for your .com blog, simply login into your dashboard and go to “Store”–>”Domains”).
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