huluMore and more we are seeing off the wall, non words become solidly branded domain/company names. Names like Hulu.com, which essentially meant nothing at its time of inception can be very successfully branded and promoted.

Aside from the obvious shortage of short and quality domain names, a movement to brand and market entirely new names and ideas is also clearly afoot. We know that keyword rich domain names can help your organic rank for the keywords, but have you considered the value of other, perhaps more effective metrics for choosing a domain name.

More often than not, and clearly demonstrated by our example above Hulu.com, short and memorable domain names can be far more effective for your business. Metrics such as length, phonic spelling and its ability to be remembered and shared are really collectively more important metrics for a successful domain name/website.

Let’s take a minute to examine a few effective traits that great domain names have/need.

  1. Length: Clearly shorter is better, let’s face it, the Internet is about ease of use and convenience. Typing 18 character domain names is not very convenient.
  2. Spelling: Try to choose domain names that are spelled phonically, this will help people who have heard (audio) or are trying to remember your domain name a fighting chance to find it.
  3. Avoid substitutions: Do not register domain names with letter or number substitutes for words. If you register SEO4U.com for example, you have many opportunities for visitors to forget your substitution. This domain would be okay, IF you also have SEOforU.com, SEOforYou.com, SEO4You.com for example. People will inevitably forget the substitutions, and worse yet, others will register them and camp on your mistyped traffic.
  4. Dashes: Avoid dashes and other separators. These are no only unnecessary, but just another hurdle for people to overcome in order to find you.
  5. .COM: This is still the way to go, .com domains are still very much the status quo. If you have a .NET for example and not the .COM… Your visitors are going to the .COM most of the time, when they attempt to type the address in from memory.

Let’s look at this in a different perspective. Everyone has that childhood phone number they remember… a friend, pizza place or place you used to live. Say that phone number out loud right now. You probably heard yourself say the number in a pattern or rhythm that you have in fact locked on and been able to remember the number. This is no different then children singing the alphabet, just a routine that our brains are able to identify or associate with something that helps us remember it… Or rather, never forget it. This is the quality you really want for your domain name.

Whether you start with a new word, totally undiscovered and build the rhythm or association in to it or is just flows off of the tongue matters not. The important thing, above all is the visual and audio marketing ability in your domain name.

I have a friend, who has a domain name that contains, not only a couple of dashes, but has 5 and perhaps arguably 6 keywords in it. I will tell you that given all the time we spend working together, if my browser didn’t remember her domain name I’d have to Google it! Imagine now, since I work with domain names / web addresses all day long how this type of domain name affects a regular Internet user. Yeah, you got it now, don’t you?