As any smart online marketer knows already, your website’s URL is central to your brand identity. It needs to reflect your brand and your business, and it should do so in a smart way, according to a new post from Forbes contributor Denis Pinsky.
For example, can other people pronounce it?
“Even though users aren’t likely to be saying your domain name out loud, pronounceability is still important,” Pinsky writes. “This is because of something called fluency: The ease with which our brains can process information. Names that don’t require a person to think too hard are usually the easiest to remember, and also more likely to inspire positive associations.” You want to make sure that it is easy enough to recall that others won’t misspell it either.
The other question is, is your URL too long? It’s probably better to go for something shorter as it makes it more memorable than longer names. However, the trick is to make it not so short that you need to use abbreviations to keep it succinct. As such, Pinsky says something like “PastaScience.com” is better than “PastaSci.com”. He recommends thinking twice about shortening your URL if you brand is not widely known, or known by its initials.
Be sure to keep trademark rules in mind as well. You certainly don’t want your domain to be confused with another brand.
Finally, keep in mind that keywords in URLs really don’t have much impact on Google’s search engine rankings anymore. In fact, Pinksy says using a keyword in your URL could actually harm your ranking, as some search engines consider it to be “spammy”, as if you’re trying to hard.