Your domain name is your online identity. So, you should choose it in such a way that it closely represents your business or service. For branding purposes, it is a common practice to match the domain name to the business name. However, while trying to do this, your domain name may end up being too long. So…
Are long domain names bad? Long domain names are not bad as such, but they are difficult to recollect, type, and remember. When domain names are too hard to spell and type, it adversely affects user experience. Such names can confuse people, thereby affecting your online visibility and success. So, it is better to avoid long, complicated domain names unless it is crucial for your branding. Short, punchy domain names that are representative of the brand are more user-friendly and highly recommended.
With that said, now let’s talk about…
Best Practices To Consider When Choosing Domain Names
Picking a good domain name is critical to the long-term success of your business or brand.
Your domain name represents your business in the digital world. So, a memorable and impactful domain name will enhance your branding quotient. A solid and strong domain name improves credibility, helps with business promotion, and reinforces a brand.
So, how do you choose such a domain name?
The best practices to follow when selecting a domain name include the following:
- Make it unique: When you hear the domain name, it should sound like a brand. Avoid domain names that are too generic or vague.
- Make it compelling: Interesting and clever domain names are guaranteed to click with people.
- Make it memorable: The ideal domain name should be crisp and impactful. It would also immediately give an idea of what the website is about.
- Keep it short: Fewer the characters used in a domain name, easier it is to remember, type, and share. The ideal domain name length is just one or two words with a maximum of ten to fourteen characters. The average domain name length is 10 characters.
- Preferably use the “.com” extension: With “.com” being the most recognized extension, it is the best TLD to choose for your website.
Recommended Further Reading: How To Register A Domain Name (and Why You Shouldn’t Get It For Free)
Now, if you look through this list, you will see that a short domain name is highly recommended. The main reason for this is that short URLs are easier to remember. With fewer letters, they are catchy and memorable.
Also, short domain names are easy to type, share, or include in printed material. Hence, they are the best choice.
However, getting a preferred domain name is not always easy. With more and more websites appearing every single day, most short and crisp “.com” versions are already taken.
So, even if you decide on a suitable short domain name for your business, chances are that it is unavailable. In this case, you may consider using a longer domain name.
To better understand how this can affect your online success, let us explore the perks and problems of long domain names.
The Advantages Of Long Domain Names
Most website owners opt for long domain names when suitable short versions are unavailable. Rather than opting for another name or choosing a different extension, they may consider adding more words to the desired domain name and making it longer.
Some brands also choose long domain names so that it exactly matches the business name. Then there are some long, but highly creative and intuitive domain names like “MyWifeQuitHerJob.com” that are extremely successful. These businesses prefer to keep it that way because the domain name, although long, aptly represents them.
For niche websites, a long domain name with targeted keywords is highly beneficial as it attracts potential customers to the website. Consider the website name “iheartorganizing.com.” By including suitable keywords in the name, the owner has ensured that visitors exactly know what to expect when they visit it.
Long domain names are mostly unique. So, it is usually easier to obtain the desired URL for your business when you opt for a long domain name than when you search for a short name.
Also, if your website visitors have browsers with a suggestive omnibox that recollects previously typed website names, it is easy for them to return to the website.
Interesting Further Reading:
- Can You Buy A Domain Name Without Hosting? (And Why It’s Worth It?)
- Is DNS Case-Sensitive? (There’s More To It Than Just Case Sensitivity)
Nevertheless, choosing a long domain name is not always recommended. Let us find out why…
The Disadvantages Of Long Domain Names
When choosing a domain name, the main factor to consider is how user-friendly it is.
Gone are the days when most computer users were adept at typing and keying in long chunks of words.
Nowadays, people perform most of their browsing activity on handheld devices. These devices have touchscreen keypads that are very different from the regular keyboard.
Typing a long name using a virtual keypad is not easy. So, don’t be surprised if people are turned off by having to type a long domain name. Even if your domain name is made up of easy words, the chances of making errors when typing it on a touchscreen are high. If the spelling is complicated, the chances of making mistakes are even higher.
Suppose a potential visitor can’t recollect your website name, and the browser on their device doesn’t have a predictive omnibox, they will have trouble locating your website.
This is why long domain names adversely affect user experience.
Earlier, I told you that long domain names are difficult to remember. Meanwhile, short domain names are crisp, concise, and easy to remember. They are thus more memorable.
If your business has a short and impactful domain name, people who would like to revisit your website using another computer or mobile device are more likely to recall it. People are also less error-prone to type short domain names.
Another factor to remember is that long domain names can affect marketing and advertising opportunities. Unless your long domain name is catchy and highly creative, it will be hard to announce in advertisements or share by word-of-mouth.
Finally, website traffic is dependent on SEO factors. So do long domain names affect SEO? Let’s take a look…
Long Domain Names And SEO
Before 2012, EMD or Exact Match Domains, which were usually long, was a strategy to improve a website’s ranking on Google and other search engines. By this method, companies would simply buy domain names based on keywords they wanted to rank for. So, poor quality websites could also rank high on the results page if they had a domain name with the right keywords.
However, Google soon changed their ranking algorithms. Nowadays, good content is more significant than the domain name. So, Exact Match Domains no longer contribute to rankings. Instead, relevance is now more important than ever.
Most business owners realize this fact now and opt for short and punchy domain names because they are more user-friendly and suitable for business success.
With Google algorithms focusing on high-quality content, your online marketing strategy should be all about establishing your brand value. So, the domain name you choose should be relevant to your brand in order to attract more attention and build trust.
Search engines like Google can easily display long domain names of up to 60 characters. However, from the user experience perspective, short domain names are more advantageous than long ones.
Get noticed with a creative and compelling short domain name and help your brand to enjoy optimal success in the digital world.