What Are the Benefits of Using a Shorter Domain Name?Posted: November 16, 2011
Evaluating domains is never a straightforward process. Most of the time, you could simply look for good domain qualities and avoid bad ones. Like with the English language however, there are always exceptions.
Shorter length in a domain for example isn’t always a good thing. Sometimes it makes the domain too broad, which loses its market focus. Sometimes to get an affordable short domain, you end up with poorer keywords or lettering like Qwikster or something odd like Cuil. There’s always a give and take on different domain qualities and length may not be worth the other benefits you may sacrifice.
With that in mind, why do many consider shorter domain length to generally be good or even essential?
1. Less likely to be “too long”
This sounds redundant, but domain shortness is initially about not having a domain that’s too long. The tendency is to add a word to a name if you can’t get it. If that name was already borderline long, that extra word pushes it over the edge.
Long domains can be difficult to remember, type, say and spell. The problem is there is no set boundary for “too long”. If you have shortness in mind, chances are you will avoid getting a domain that is needlessly long.
2. More likely to be concise
Sometimes a domain’s meaning gets lost in a longer domain. Having a more concise name helps get your point and identity across. Short brandable names with a hint of relevance or desired feel have become a popular trend in recently years. Short attention spans in general have caused a focus on shortness and conciseness in many areas.
3. Can seem more elite
Why have 2-letter .com domains sold for as much as $8.5 million? Besides the fact that abbreviations/acronyms can be 2-letters, there’s an appeal based on rarity. There are only 676 possible 2-letter combinations and .com has almost 100 million registrations. Millions of companies could abbreviate to 2 letters, so being THE one with the abbreviated domain gives a certain amount of clout.
Similarly, “category killer” domains, ones that are THE term to describe a product, service or category, are unique. Brandable variations based on them are not so unique. There are thousands of *word*Cars.com domains out there but only one Cars.com, which definitely gives an elite feel.
4. Can convey more authority and trust
This pertains to generic domains, where the top tier domains which are generally short convey massive authority. People still type in those domains expecting to find what they’re looking for on a site they can trust. A scammy site wouldn’t generally fork out more than registration fees for their domain, so higher quality gives more trust.
5. Generally reduces potential for typos
The amount of typos shoots up with higher length. Shorter names aren’t always easier to type or spell, but less letters means less letters to typo. Typos may not seem like a big deal, but collectively they can siphon a significant percentage of traffic you should otherwise be getting.
6. Easier to brand
Short names are simply more versatile for branding. Sites with larger names either show just the full name in text (which can be tough with any space constraints) or just a logo (which doesn’t help visitors remember the name) or an abbreviation (which can lose traffic to the abbreviation domain). With a short name, you have many more possibilities for creative branding at your disposal.
7. Generally easier for word-of-mouth
Part of why social media has primarily used short names is for word-of-mouth potential. Generally speaking, the longer a name gets, the less likely someone will repeat it to a friend. Especially look at “household names” – company brands that are so universal that they’re talked about constantly. Most of them are short and an extreme few are long.
Many companies go with abbreviations and acronyms for this reason. Many times people may not even know what the acronym means even when it’s a household name – BP being British Petroleum and RIM being Research In Motion for example.
8. Easier to type for mobile users
Given how popular mobile web navigation is now, keeping them in mind is crucial. Apps may handle a lot of navigation, but if the mobile user sees a URL somewhere, they’d type it in. Typing on mobile devices isn’t as easy as on desktops and laptops. Also, a shorter name gives more versatility in mobile site design as it’s easier to fit on a smaller screen.
At Domainate, we have ample experience with short domains. We’ve used our own short brands Domainate and Doma.in with success. Contact us and we can help you get the best for your new business or project.