The long held wisdom is that domain names should be short and memorable. Of course, it is great when you can get a short name that really works for your business but sometimes that is tough. So why not go for a longer one?
The idea that domain names must be short is not as valid as it once was. There are many successful web sites that have long domain names such as FreeCreditReport.com. This article will teach you when it is okay to buy a long domain name and why you would want to.
The Long and Short of Domain Names
Long domain names are a good way to go when your Web site is only going to generate traffic from online advertising such as Google's AdWords or natural search engine results. On the Internet people find your site by clicking on hyperlinks which already have your Web site's domain name typed in for them. So if you have a long domain name it is already there for your visitor and they do not have to remember it.
For example, suppose you own a Web Hosting Company and you specialize in offering cheap web hosting. Why not call your site CheapWebSiteHosting.com? It's long but it communicates a lot to the customer and perhaps even more valuable is that it will communicate important information to search engines about your site. How you ask?
Search engines use the words in your domain name as one method of discovering what your web site is about and they use that information to help determine where to rank you in the search results list. So if you have the words "cheap web site hosting" in your domain name then search engines will use that information to possibly rank you higher than a domain name that does not contain those words. So by naming your site "CheapWebSiteHosting.com" you have an advantage over SmithWebSiteHosting.com when people search the phrase "cheap web site hosting."
So, if your business is tightly focused on cheap hosting anyway you might as well use those words in your domain name if it means that search engines will match you better than those sites without those keywords in their domain name.
Domain Names in Mass Media
What about non-internet marketing? Are long domain names okay for radio or television? The answer is yes as long as it can be remembered. If you watch tv at all I'm sure you've seen ads for freecreditreport.com. That's a pretty long domain name considering not too long ago you needed to have a name like amazon.com or eBay.com to be viable. But even as I am writing this the domain name freecreditreport.com came to mind instantly. Thats a pretty good domain name for a long one. In our sample scenario, I would say that a site called cheapwebsitehosting.com will be remembered by people who have an interest in saving money on hosting. The key is to put together words in your domain name that flow naturally. "Cheap Web Site Hosting" is natural English. But WebSiteHostingCheap.com would almost certainly be a problem in the mass media.
So, should you go for a long domain name next time you buy a domain name? That will ultimately depend on whether you can get a short version that you find suitable and how important the slight edge in search engine results is worth to you. But at least you can keep these factors in mind you buy a domain name. You just may find that a long domain name is a reasonable way to go for your business.