Picking The Right Domain Name

by Ruud Hein December 8th, 2010 

Which domain name you want depends on what you do. On how you make money online now and how you plan to make money online.

Are you producing? A producer or the producer?

Are you selling? A seller or the seller?

generic to brand(ed) venn diagram

generic vs branded sales channels & products


generic vs branded pro's & cons


Whether youre the producer or the seller, the name you pick is either what people want -- or what you teach them to be looking for. From buy-books-online.com to Amazon.com.


branded domain with generic on-pagekeyword-domain-name or brand-domain-name is a false dilemma. It pretends we can only go after one term, one thing: Either we have brand.com and can forget about buy coffee mugs traffic or we go with buy-coffee-mugs

You can easily have it all with brand.com as your domain name and your desired generic terms appearing on-page.

Whats your take on the whole brand vs. keyword thing?

Ruud Hein

My paid passion at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. People who know me know I love coffee.

Ruud Hein

You May Also Like

8 Responses to “Picking The Right Domain Name”

  1. Jacob Stoops says:

    Great article. I think one of the biggest areas that most people must decide between when choosing a domain would be between brand and keyword/topic/product as you stated above.

    Determining if your brand is strong enough that you don't need a keyword-filled domain is a huge issue.

    Ultimately (over time), if you use your website wisely your domain will gain equity no matter what it is. But in the short-term, a domain with a keyword in it may pull more search traffic.

    The tough decision is deciding whether or not the domain-match search traffic is what you want, or if the convenience of a brand-based domain is what you need long term…

    It's always an interesting debate.
    .-= Jacob Stoops recently posted: The Return of Agent SEO =-.

    • Ruud Hein says:

      I agree with you, deciding between picking easy direct match traffic or not can be hard.

      The first chart can help though. Simply locate where you are, what you want to be. If you're an affiliate site reselling gift baskets and that's all a keyword domain is as good as anything else.

      On the other hand, if you are THE gift basket sellers — the one others would want to be affiliate of — then brand is much better.

      As soon as you're talking about "my COMPANY" or "MY product" then you almost have to go for brand.

  2. Nice break down… this is something people really struggle with. The domain name is just a part of the whole, a piece of the puzzle, it does nothing without the other parts…
    .-= Fred @ Internet Business recently posted: How to Use Social Media to Grow a Brick and Mortar Business =-.

  3. JBestler says:

    I totally agree. Nothing wrong about keyword stuffed domain names for a quick turn around, but people need to start thinking about branding. I know a lot of bloggers who have many keyword domains and are making money with them. Eventually they get enough clout that they start their own branded website for consulting and really start to make the big bucks.

  4. Hans says:

    The big money is obviously at branding. Keyword stuffed domains will rank good, but having a keyword stuffed domain pins you down.

    When your domain name is quality-books.com you can't really sell other things than (quality) books. Selling magazines from this website would be weird.

    I think keyword stuffed domains is better for affiliates (short-term), while companies should have a brandable name, because it's way better in the long run.
    .-= Hans recently posted: Online geld lenen =-.

  5. Kris S says:

    Great post Ruud,

    I couldn't agree more on the breakdown, and nowadays it really has become a "one or another" situation when choosing a domain – unless you have some funding to acquire that key domain.

    On the other hand one point I think can be made is that domains are an incredible cost-effective marketing asset, and sometimes it's reasonable to just leverage more than one.

    While you can select a domain for your top-level brand, there aren't many good reasons not to also purchase a relevant keyword domain (especially when it's open for registration).

    You can use keyword domains as search marketing assets, with optimized (and unique) content that ultimately leads back to your branded website. For as little as $10 a year, it doesn't carry much financial risk and the benefits are potentially great.

    I really enjoyed this post, thanks for your insight Ruud!


  6. […] row  — even worse; with dashes – isn't easy to remember.  Instead find a domain name that makes sense for your site's purpose and that is fun to say, easy to type and even easier to […]

More in Web Design
Dress for Success: Web Design for Lasting Impression

If you look like a Million Dollars, people will believe your words have value. There is much more to good...