How Should I Choose a Domain & Brand Name for my Website?

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Hello,

This will be my first website so I guess I'll make a lot of mistakes but I also want to follow best guidelines.
From what I read on the forum, if I find a keyword around dogs to rank for. Let's say dog collars.
Should I name my website very general like pets or animals in case I want to expand to other animals if successful? I would start with a structure like pet/dog/dog-collars etc. I will be solely focused on the dog collar silo first.
Or should I just create a website named dogcollar.com for my first website to make it very niche?
Just wondering as a total newbie if I should aim for the broad website directly and if it is more difficult to rank for.
 

EyesExist

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I would probably NOT think so much on a specific name for 1 item.

Think more about the future. What if you wish to expand?

Google also has had a notorious past for devaluing sites that focus on niche vs those that actually have a brand.

Ie: "DoggingThroughLife.com" vs "DogCollars"

You can put a section on DTL for 'collars' where as if you go off topic on dogcollrs, kinda a doomed start ... As the google "BERT" algorithm might struggle to put the words together

This is all theoretical but my longest lasting site = an acroynm . None of the niche spefici domain sites i owned (i sold them long ago) maintained search relevance/force as well

Think Natural with the domain..... specify with the content.
 
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Thanks for your answer, this is helpful.
You can put a section on DTL for 'collars' where as if you go off topic on dogcollrs, kinda a doomed start
Could you please explain me what you meant? What does DTL stand for?

From my understanding, the take away from your answer is that I should create a brand congruent with the very broad niche (in this case pet or animals, perhaps down to dogs).
 

EyesExist

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Thanks for your answer, this is helpful.

Could you please explain me what you meant? What does DTL stand for?

From my understanding, the take away from your answer is that I should create a brand congruent with the very broad niche (in this case pet or animals, perhaps down to dogs).
DTL = DogginThroughLife.com 'Doggin Through Life" the example brand

I would reccomend creating a brand in general.......Google will respect the content before the domain name

Hence, our most powerful sites:
CNN.com, Google, Yahoo, Paypal, etc

All brands.
 

Ryuzaki

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In my opinion, you need to think about:
  • How big and overwhelming do you want this site to be? Do you want it huge?
  • Or do you want it to be small and contained so you can actually reach a state of "finished" at some point?
  • You'll want to consider how much potential growth and expansion YOU want to have for yourself.
  • You'll want to consider the same for the potential buyer of the site down the road. They will want to know there's room to grow (which is how they break even faster and sell for even more cash later).
This could lead to ideas from the most narrow to the broadest:
  1. dog collars
  2. pet collars
  3. dog accessories
  4. pet accessories
  5. dogs in general
  6. pets in general
  7. all animals in general
In any case, the days of buying domains like "DogCollarHQ" are gone. While there might be the tiniest benefit for ranking, you lose a lot more in terms of branding, which Google leans on heavily to filter out spam. So you're much better off going with a better brand, which will offer you the ability to expand later, which is what @EyesExist was talking about.

So you're better off being DoggingThroughLife or DogLife or whatever than DogCollars, even if you only focus on dog collars. Not only for branding but for growth potential.

And if you have the slightest inkling that you or a future buyer will want that outward expansion, then also start thinking about how you'll lay out your URL structure. If you aren't sure what the best way to do it is, don't include a category in the URL. That way you can re-categorize posts without having to do 301 redirects, which can disrupt your rankings for a time or harm them permanently.
 

Steve

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wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogging_(sexual_slang)

But otherwise good advice!