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  1. #1
    A Real *and* Darn Cool Member! lstolze's Avatar
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    Domain Name Question
    I am wondering what everyone's opinion is on using a proper name in a domain/site name. For example, www.GailsFreeGoodies(dot)com.

    I know there are obvious benefits to finding an easy domain name that people may type, in the off chance it's a real site, etc. But do you think it's an awful idea to use a proper first name, as long as the domain name is still fairly simple? If so, why? If not, why? Exceptions to the rule...?
    ~Lisa - Brilliant Mastermind, or Nut? You decide!

  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    As long as it's short and memorable, I wouldn't see a problem.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador netnow22's Avatar
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    If I were you I would use a keyword rich domain. It doesn'y matter how unquie your name is if the search engines cant find you! Se's loved keyowrd enriched domains (at the moment)

  4. #4
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    As long as it's short and memorable, I wouldn't see a problem.
    Bingo. As usual, MC hits it on the mark.

    Pump some "idea" words in nameboy.com tool - see what else looks tasty.

  5. #5
    lurk
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    I agree with netnow22. Remember to use hyphons if you are buying a keyword domain ( ie. keyword-domain.com ) it will help search engines read your domain as keywords. They are harder to remember but I think a domain that you can 'remember' is highly overrated. I agree that it helps in some cases, but the thing is, most of your traffic will be from search engines, not from people typing it in. If someone is going to type it in enough for it to make a difference to you, odds are they will bookmark it anyway.

  6. #6
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    If you don't put hyphens in the domain name, remember to check it out carefully. If you hunt around in the Daily Chuckle there is at least one thread with domain names that could be parsed with an alternate meaning.

    Les

  7. #7
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    If you do get a hyphenated domain, make sure to get the non-hypenated version, too, and redirect it to the hypenated one.

    The importance of hypenated domains in SEO has declined quite a bit in the past year or so. (Search on some keywords and see what comes up.) The usability of non-hypenated domains will never decline.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador netnow22's Avatar
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    The importance of hypenated domains in SEO has declined quite a bit in the past year or so. (Search on some keywords and see what comes up.) The usability of non-hypenated domains will never decline.

    I disagree sort of, they are still heavy weighing factors for the se's however just dont be sure to over optiize your site as far as the other parts go because most se's have over optimzation pennalities

  9. #9
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Keyword domains, with or without hyphens can be good for search marketing, but a brandable domain can be big in other areas.

    If your marketing plan involves building community, repeat orders, word of mouth, newsletter subscribers, ongoing direct mail - anything that involves an ongoing relationship - branding potential could be more important than keyword rich. After all, who wants to join the buy-widgets-online-compared-cheap.net mailing list? A domain with a proper name can be short and memorable, perfect for this sort of plan.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  10. #10
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Excellent point, Eathan. I was going to make the same distinction.
    Michael Coley
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  11. #11
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Thanks, Michael.

    I'm actually waiting on a shipment of goodies for an offline piece I'm working on, so branding has been heavy on my mind lately. Once you take a step offline and think about print, radio, direct mail, etc, brandable domains start looking better and better.

    I have my share of hyphenated monsters, but increasingly I want sites I can tell a stranger about while waiting for a flight.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  12. #12
    I don't see any problem abbout that--just make sure that its short simple and is easily understood...

  13. #13
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    I would get a domain without any hyphens. They do just fine in the SE's and good for branding. If i was an SE, i would keep an eye on domains with hyphens because i know they're mainly built for SE type sites.

  14. #14
    Eternal Optimist Look4's Avatar
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    Including a proper name of some sort, even a made-up name, in a domain and site name has been incredibly successful for me. Why?

    People like to personify things. We name our cars, our boats, our pets - most everything that is truly personal feels "better" with a name.

    Mike blames all his mis-typing on Charlie, not "my parrot." Yesterday Benjamin (not "my mercedes benz) was hard to start, so I need to take him to the shop.

    So when Satin Ann recommends a specific product on her web site, people follow through and are more likely to make a purchase than if the advice came from the "Satin Sales Suggestions" site. As Satin Ann writes her recommendations, she can spin them with some personal tales and comes off as speaking from experience when she says that "Bridal Satin is mostly a marketing gimmick."

    If you're planning on a straight datafeed site, it doesn't matter what domain name you use. Because if you don't plan on fine-tuning the individual sales messages for products and writing some cover for the site's personality, you might as well use some keyword rich hyphenated garbage. But if you want good conversions and return and referral traffic, go for the personified site name and invest some time in humanizing it, and the payoff in the long run will be worthwhile.
    Tom C.
    [URL=http://www.cafepress.com/simplesignshop]Simple Sign Shop[/URL]

    Every day leave someone or something better than you found it.

  15. #15
    A Real *and* Darn Cool Member! lstolze's Avatar
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    Wow! Thanks everyone. Especially Eathan - you actually opened up the issue that was on my mind. The site I'm thinking of will have my son's name in it. I am toying with the idea of making it a kids site, and proudly showing a picture of my little angel to give the name a face to customers. I was really struck by this idea, and since I'm a proud mama, it didn't take me long to sell myself on it. I know it probably sounds vague in this description, but trust me, I already have most of it worked out in my head! What do you think?
    ~Lisa - Brilliant Mastermind, or Nut? You decide!

  16. #16
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lstolze
    The site I'm thinking of will have my son's name in it. I am toying with the idea of making it a kids site, and proudly showing a picture of my little angel to give the name a face to customers. ... What do you think?
    I think it's a wonderful idea, as long as your son's name is easy to spell. If there are several different variations that people use, register all of them and redirect to the right one.
    Michael Coley
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  17. #17
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Makes for a more interesting "AboutUs" page... check your logs... buyers actually read it... more so than non-buyers... I always try to have a compelling story in my AboutUs file - people still do want to buy from people.

    Offer to post pics for your customers - "We know your child is special too - use this form to send us a picture and we'll post it here in the photo page." People like to have a place to post a picture - so they can point to it in emails to their friends (emailing huge attachments are old school) - make sure it's easy for them to send their friends and relatives a link to their kid's picture - viral marketing and all that... make sure you put each picture on it's own page - people don't like their kid's pic to look like a yearbook collection... make that landing page (a template page), that they will mail people, have your best links on it. Allow the parent to customize it - pick the background and colors or whatever.

  18. #18
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    You're quite welcome. It sounds like a great idea, btw!
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

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