A Blog By Any Other Name…

.Com Projected On Green WallThose of us that work in social media typically spend a majority of our time reading, researching and analyzing blogs. This task might sound like loads of fun, and it is for the most part, but there has been one particular thing that has been irking me lately: blog domain address names.

In a recent article from Blogging Teacher, the author looked at what the top 100 blogs can teach us about domain names. Overall he found that a shorter name is better, .com is awesome, and sub-domains prove difficult to remember.

Your domain address has the ability to make or break your blog.  Increasingly, I have come across a number of ridiculous blog addresses. This includes crazy spellings of familiar words, lots of random letters, dates, abbreviations, etc. The biggest offender, the one that causes me to roll my eyes in total and complete annoyance, is the blog address that has nothing to do with the title of your blog.

I know that the majority of blog traffic probably comes through Google searches or Blogrolls and that perhaps typing in the actual web site address might be outdated – but that doesn’t mean you should think of the craziest domain name on the planet.

The domain name is your first impression. You need to let your audience know what you’re about. If I’m on Google and the search results bring up a choice of blogs, one with a weird blog address or a slightly more normal blog address that gives me a hint at what blog is about – what do you think I’m going to click on?

I am the first to champion creativity, humor, personalization and uniqueness when it comes to deciding your blog address. However, here are a few personal pet peeves I stumble across on a daily basis:

  • Crrrazzzy Spellngs – Ooooh, I get it. You spell “chicken” like “chikn.” Jee, that’s funny? No, it’s called not being able to spell correctly.  What if by some zany chance you are talking to someone and you mention you have a blog. This person might respond “Oh, cool! I’d love to read it. What’s the address?” You then say “It’s www.ieatthechikn4evr.com, but chicken is spelled chikn, and there’s the number ‘4’ instead of ‘for,’ and ever is missing ‘e.’ Got it?” I can almost guarantee this person will never visit your blog.  If you are trying to register a domain name and it is not available, that doesn’t mean you have to misspell words. Think of something else! Be creative. Most importantly – spell correctly!
  • Dates in Your Blog Domain Name – Now I’m not talking about numbers here, I am specifically referring to date stamps. For example (not an actual site, I don’t think) let’s take: CrazyCommunicators2009.com. What is the point of putting 2009 there? It’s not like you just graduated and the blog domain is a great place to hang your graduation tag. Names of blog addresses should look timeless, like you’ve always been there. What happens when it’s 2011? Well, your blog is going to look extremely silly and completely irrelevant.
  • Blog name and domain name: no relation – I have to say this drives me absolutely bonkers. If you are going to pick a domain name for your blog, why would you title the blog something complete and utterly unrelated? For instance (again, I am making these up), your pick the domain name www.frenchfriesrock.com. Then you proceed to title the blog: Mini’s Family Adventures. What in the world is the point of that? Why don’t you name the blog minisfamilyadventures.com and be done with it?

I guess that’s my battle cry for now. So please THINK before choosing your blog domain name, really mull it over. Does it reflect your blog content? Is it easy to find? If there’s a name and it’s taken, don’t just add a strange number to it or muck up the spelling. Take the time to reconsider and think of a new name. Those extra hours might just result in more blog visitors.

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  • jeffespo

    I completely agree. I hate heading to blogs that's names are hard to remember and will always discredit one misspelled. It gives the impression of lack of education/care or an affiliate looking to make $ off a misspelling.

  • Thanks Marie. One thing that I always get hung up on is whether or not I should incorporate hyphens when helping build client blogs. Any insight on whether hyphens help or hurt with SEO?

  • Marie

    Hi Scott,
    Thanks for your comment. From an SEO perspective, a name like marketing-blog.com is slightly better than say marketingblog.com. However, when you tell people your URL you have to say “hyphen” or “dash” and they might forget. Yet, the domain name is a very, very tiny portion of SEO so I wouldn't worry about it too much from a SEO perspective. Hope that helps 🙂

  • Thanks Marie. One thing that I always get hung up on is whether or not I should incorporate hyphens when helping build client blogs. Any insight on whether hyphens help or hurt with SEO?

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  • Marie

    Hi Scott,
    Thanks for your comment. From an SEO perspective, a name like marketing-blog.com is slightly better than say marketingblog.com. However, when you tell people your URL you have to say “hyphen” or “dash” and they might forget. Yet, the domain name is a very, very tiny portion of SEO so I wouldn't worry about it too much from a SEO perspective. Hope that helps 🙂

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