What’s Better for a Brand: Short & Sweet or Keyword Rich?

Hi Ashley – thanks for your content. It has been really helpful to me in trying to decide how to position my blog name. I have a bit of a dilemma as I will be the brand. I am a soon-to-be-author, hope to do some public speaking and also consult. If I just use my name in my domain name, it won’t be keyword efficient. My domain name is kateharts.com. I was thinking of using a keyword strong blog/podcast name such as lifebusiness.com, but do you think I should also somehow include my name such as katehartslifebusiness.com? Is this too long and cumbersome? Thanking you hugely in advance, Kate xx Kate

Hi Kate!

Keyword rich names aren’t as useful as they used to be

Remember when search engines used to use meta tags to help rank content? That’s sooo a thing of the past. They’re not even used anymore because search engines got smarter. Now they don’t need meta tags to figure out what a site is about. They use the content of the site. The same can be said for keyword rich domains.

Keyword rich domains used to be all the rage. It was common to see them rank more highly than domains that didn’t have keywords in them. However, this is becoming a thing of the past. Search engines now rely more heavily on the content of your site rather than what’s in your domain name. If you provide quality content that is relevant to the search term, you will rank highly regardless of what your domain name is. Because of this, I personally think it’s more beneficial (and just looks nicer) to focus on developing a unique, memorable brand, rather than bloating a name with keywords.

For a brand name, lifebusiness.com means nothing. Yes it’s keyword rich, but it does nothing to set you apart from everyone else. Yes it’s easy to say and type, but is it super memorable? Will it associate people with you very easily? I don’t think so. (Also it’s worth noting that something like lifebusiness.com will already be taken.)

Something unique and memorable will help you develop your brand

What’s going to set you apart from all the others? A unique and memorable name. That usually means keeping it short, sweet, and interesting all at the same time. Katehartslifebusiness.com is too long and wordy to really achieve that. Kateharts.com, on the other hand, is short and meaningful (it is your name, after all!). Plus, kateharts.com gives you freedom. If you go with katehartslifebusiness.com, you’ll feel more restricted to only posting about “life business”. It’s less of a brand and more of a topic. But with kateharts.com, you have the freedom to blog about consulting, talk about public speaking, but also talk about books, life, ice cream—whatever!

This is useful because peoples’ interests change over time. You may want to blog about life business/consulting now, but will that still be the case three years down the road?

I went with a “brand-able” name, rather than keywords

This is one of the reasons I chose to go with a brand-able name, rather than a keyword rich name. I could have gone with “AshleyEvansBookReviews.com” or “GreatYoungAdultReviews.com” or something with a ton of keywords. But those kinds of names are not memorable. Also look how long they are! The longer a name is, the harder it’s going to be to remember (and the more annoying to type).

There are thousands of “[insert word]BookReviews.com” names, or “[insert name]Reads.com” names. It’s hard to remember them all and differentiate them because they’re all so similar. That’s why it’s better to pick something unique; if it’s different it will help you stand out from the crowd.

NoseGraze.com, is unique, quirky, and even kind of weird. But being weird is okay, because weirdness can cause people to remember it. Like The Onion. I mean.. The Onion? What the hell? That’s kind of weird.. but that’s one reason why it’s memorable.

Would you say your domain name is a good brand? Or is it more keyword-based?

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I'm a 28 year old California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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34 comments

  1. LOL, that’s true about the Onion. I am still learning about picking the right name. Like I want to put reads at the end of my new blog name because I think, as book bloggers, it’s important to have some kind of signifier in the name to show that we are book reviewers/readers. What do you think? How important is a website’s name in relation to it’s content? It is better to understand what the website offers through the name?

    Jennifer Bielman recently posted: Review: Talker 25 by Joshua McCune
    1. I think it depends on what your priorities are. For example, I like that Nose Graze doesn’t have anything obviously bookish in it, because it gives me the freedom to blog about non-bookish things (WordPress, coding, real life). Rather than thinking of Nose Graze as a book blog, I actually now think of it as more like “my blog”, which could be about anything.

      BUT, that’s not necessarily important to all bloggers. Like, your blog is very clearly only bookish posts, so it might be more important to you if your name reflects that.

    1. The Onion isn’t a book blog. πŸ™‚ It’s actually like an online news website. It is weird, but that’s part of what makes it very memorable.

  2. AAAAHH you are a mind reading fairy (or something more sinister. I haven’t yet decided)!

    I’m actually debating whether or not to change my blog name right now (‘I Read, Ergo I Write’ is such a mouthful, not particularly memorable, & I feel like it sounds kinda narcissistic too, with all the ‘I’s), and I’m muddling over this name I have in my head, which doesn’t sound bookish at all, but it’s unique and a bit nerdy. I read your other posts on blog name changes, but I still felt like I needed a little more assurance that I wouldn’t be making a mistake.

    And it looks like I just got it πŸ˜€ <3

    Fahima @ I Read, Ergo I Write recently posted: You've Got Snail Mail: Tabitha of Life by Committee
    1. Hahaha what a coincidence! πŸ˜€ “I Read, Ergo I write” is kind of a mouthful.

      “I’m muddling over this name I have in my head, which doesn’t sound bookish at all, but it’s unique and a bit nerdy.”

      To be honest, those kinds of names are my favourite! Even if you have a book blog, your name doesn’t have to scream “books”. In fact, if it doesn’t scream “books” (by tacking on “reads” or “books” or “bookish”) then people are probably more likely to remember it because it’s so different.

      I mean, Nose Graze has nothing to do with books. It’s like an Eskimo kiss. And when I say my blog is “Nose Graze” sometimes people give me a weird look.. probably because they get weirded out by the word “nose”. But, it’s memorable. It’s different. And that’s what I like about it. πŸ™‚

        1. Haha. πŸ˜€ Yeah some people have funny ideas about my name. I actually got the idea from the TV show The OC because Seth talks about nose grazing in it. πŸ˜€

          1. Now that just makes me really curious and wish I’d watched it *sigh*

            Isn’t it funny all the crazy places we get our ideas from? The one I was talking about? I dont even remember where I got it from, just that it stuck πŸ˜€

  3. Great post! When I switched over from blogger to WP I went back and forth on this as well. I ended up doing what you recommended, and kept it short and sweet (finleyjayne.com). I’m working on my first book right now (well, I have the title-that counts, right? lol), and that will be my author pen name, and it’s my blogging pen name as well πŸ™‚

    1. Excellent choice! Especially if you’re writing a book (good luck!). You’ll probably want an author website at some point, and you’ve chosen a great name/URL for it.

  4. When I was thinking about my blog name and my association my domain name I didn’t know anything about keywords or ranking or anything internetty and techy. I just wanted my blog name to reflect me and what I wanted to talk about and so Lazy Days Beauty was born. Although I realise that having Beauty in the name my pigeon hole me later, for the time being I’m happy with the name!

    1. That’s exactly what you should do! Your blog will mean more to you if everything about it reflects YOU. Loving your names goes a long way towards loving your blog. πŸ™‚

      And honestly, I think Lazy Days Beauty could apply to move than just beauty. It could be a personal blog or lifestyle blog, or even a book blog. I think “beauty” is enough of a general word that it could really be applied to more than just beauty/beauty products.

  5. Great question (and answer). I had a hell of a time. My book blog that I started back in 2005 (I think) was “Escape With Me”. It got very little traffic and I’m sure that’s my fault from not posting as often as I should have. Then I changed to WP and got my own domain (the first time) and decided to change my blog name along with moving. Start fresh. So I chose Dog-Eared Pages. That went for about 1.5 weeks and I wasn’t happy with the company I was dealing with and my name. See, I thought it was unique but come to find out it was [b]SO[/b] not! Then luckily like an angel from Online Heaven, I found Ashley. I got a new host company and changed to a new domain for the final time. Bears read too is not too terribly long and it does pertain to books/reading and it’s very much me.

    1. Bears Read Too is super cute and I’m so excited to be working on the design!! *high five* It’s going to be faaaabulous.

  6. I totally agree with you, Ashley. I think it is better if it was just her name than adding the life business part. It’s too long and it’s better if the URL is short and easy to remember. Also I agree how if her site name is just her name, it gives her the freedom of posting whatever. She won’t feel obligated into just posting life and business stuff if she changes her mind in the future.

    Leigh @ Little Book Star recently posted: Review: 17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen
  7. I’ve debated my blog name a million times since starting it in November. “The Nerdy Journalist” pretty much sums me up in three words, but it doesn’t relate to books at all … unless you use the logic that news and books both have words in them. I mostly post reviews and book-related discussions, but I post stuff about real life, TV, etc. occasionally.
    I love the way my blog name reflects an aspect of who I am, but I worry that readers of book blogs will just skim past mine because they don’t realize that it’s a book blog.

    1. I don’t think a book blog has to have a name that screams “books” in order to be successful. I think it’s more important to establish a brand that resonates with you and makes you love your blog and be proud of it. πŸ™‚

  8. My blog name (Priscilla and her Books) is entirely different from my URL (pressedupinabook.com). It’s one of the things I would like to change :/ And Lily’s absolutely right! It’s not easy picking a website name. You need a name that immediately grabs attention πŸ˜€

    Priscilla recently posted: Books I’m Never Going to Finish
  9. Great post Ashley! My blog/domain is a bit of a mouthful – Fantasy is More Fun – and its really not at all keyword rich. I do like it though because it fits me. Fantasy can mean so many things from the genre to just not real. And my blog is all about fun. And I’m not stuck on books or reviews this way. I only wish it were shorter, but oh well!

    Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun recently posted: Book Blog Walkers Check-in 23
  10. My blog name is probably the longest one known to blogger kind, which in hindsight is definitely annoying, but on the plus side, everyone recognizes it if they’ve stopped by, so that’s nice, haha. There is a part of me that wants to think of a shorter version and get that domain to redirect to the main site, but I haven’t been able to think of something good.

  11. I read a post shortly before I started my blog that mentioned that the amount of book blogs with the words ‘page’ or ‘books’ in the name was super high and that to stand out. someone should come up with a name without those words in it. Well, boy did I! I think while Playing Jokers is indeed a brand-able name, I think I suffer a bit for not having something explicitly books related in it. My tagline, “all suits of genres and bookish news” offers at least a brief explanation behind the strange name, but I sometimes wonder if I wouldn’t have been better with something at least more closely related to the content. πŸ™‚ Great post!

    1. I haven’t read that post, but I totally agree with it! There are SO many book blogs out there that are like:

      [name] Reads
      [name]’s Book Nook
      [something] Books
      etc.

      I get them all mixed up. πŸ™ It’s hard to remember what’s what. But if a blog has a totally different name, it stands out a lot more!

  12. I agree with what you’ve said even though I have no clue about all the facts and figures.. XD When I started blogging, I knew nothing so I just chose a name I like the sound of: ‘Weaving Pages’ Now, I do know a lot more, but I’m happy with my name and I do think it allows me to branch out a bit. I just did a post combining outfits and books together, which was a lot of fun! Great post, Ashley! xx

    Rita @ Weaving Pages recently posted: The Xmas Files: Bookish Gift Guide

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