Two-word domain names are one of my favorite types of names. To me, the brand ability of a powerful two word .com is unparalleled.
However, if you are going to invest in two-word domain names, you need to think it through first. There are key attributes that separate high end, two-word domain names from low-end pigeon manure. This is the checklist I follow when I pick out a two word .com.
Your results may vary.
Does it make sense?
It has to make sense. Otherwise, who in their right mind is going to buy it from you? No one. Poor keyword combinations, awkward plurals, and redundant domain names are entirely pointless. It’s as simple as taking a good domain name like BuyFlowers.com, turning it into FlowersBuy.com, and rendering it worthless.
Which of these sentences makes the most sense to you?
- “Oh no! It’s almost Valentines day, and I still need tobuy flowers!“
- “No oh, Valentines day almost, flowers buy need and still.”
If you said 2, then English is not your first language (it’s not mine either). It can be a real steep learning curve to get acquainted with a new language. This requires even more due diligence. Take out a dictionary, use Google Trendsand Keyword Planner to see which version has the most search volume, and figure out which one is the correct saying before you spend your money acquiring it. Make sure the domain name makes sense in the language you are acquiring it in.
Does it roll off the tongue?
I love two-word domain names that roll off the tongue as smooth as butter. HeavyMetal.com, BubbleGum.com, FlyingLotus.com, and many like it, are in my opinion some of the best types of brands on earth. They are easy to say, spell, and remember. Perfect.
Domain names that roll off the tongue do not contain, what I call, awkward “moments” or “disruptions” in the flow. If you took BubbleGum.com and turned it into BubblesGums.com, you have added awkward, and disruptive moments into the flow.
Try and say them out loud as fast as you can:
- “Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum.” Pretty easy yea?
- Now attempt to say this quickly: “Bubbles Gums, Bubbles Gums, Bubbles Gums.”
Notice the awkward pauses you are forcibly taking by trying to say it now? That means it doesn’t roll off the tongue. If it fails this test, you stop, and you move the @#$% on from the domain!
Is it sexy?
Seriously, would you wear it like a badge of honor!? Go to town branding your company with it? T-shirts? Flyers? Spend thousands of dollars backing it? Tattoo the logo on to the side of your head? Or would you be embarrassed about it? You know, since it’s all awkward, and doesn’t make sense.
Let’s say, for instance, If I were a design company, I would likely be looking for something creative, unique, intriguing, and highly memorable. Probably a short, two-word, catchy domain like.. hmmm… FrenchFry.com. It’s hip, it’s modern, it’s funny, and it’s beyond memorable. You could create a mega-brand out of it. Even come up with a catchy slogan. Something that would set you apart from all of your competition, and something that any forward-thinking company would put marketing dollars behind. It’s exciting! It’s modern! It’s sexy damnit!
That is, until you turn the domain into FryFrench.com, rendering it a bizarre, awkward, and utterly useless pile of junk…
Age? Search? CPC?
Obviously for exact match domains, and generics, I’m keen on finding out search volumes and CPC’s. If I’m acquiring a domain name like LampShades.com, and I plan to sell to a retailer of sorts, then I need to make sure the stats are beneficial to their company for the cost.
When it comes to age, the older the domain name, the more valuable it can be (usually). That is because a lot of the more high-end domain names were registered early on, so it’s likely you won’t be able to find anything of similar quality by hand registering them now, and that makes them rare, therefore increasing their value.
How much competition for the domain?
The more people there are that will want the domain name, the more valuable it becomes. If you acquire a domain name like SeattleDoughnuts.com, you highly limit the buyers pool for the domain name and reduce it’s potential value. That doesn’t mean it can’t be a valuable domain name(probably not); you just lose value when competition for it goes down. Supply and demand.
If I take a name like, RainDrop.com (Yes, completely shameless plug, deal with it.), then I open the buyers pool wide open; increasing it’s potential value because more companies could utilize the domain name for far different niches.
Does it use words that can be replaced?
There are a lot of keywords that can be substituted for similar words. For instance, if you have a domain name like AwesomeClothing.com, it can just as easily be replaced with RadClothing.com, FreshClothing.com, AmazingClothing.com, WonderfulClothing.com, FancyClothing.com so on down the line. That will reduce the value of the domain name.
But if you have a domain name like FlyingLotus.com, you really can’t replace it with much, if anything. Unless you find yourself another unique, and irreplaceable brand name. Personally, I would much rather click a clothing store banner that leads to FlyingLotus.com vs. AmazingClothing.com.. sounds cheap. Pick domains that have very few, if any, possible replacement words.
Is it a catchy phrase?
I can’t even begin to tell you just how valuable catchy-phrases are to me. Phrases like BeYourself.com, DreamBig.com, WorkHard.com. These types of domain names can power an international movement. The types of campaigns that can be run with these brand names are incredible. The catchier the domain name sounds to me, the more I value it.
Here are the main things to look for.
- Is it an actual word, phrase, product, place or thing? Does it make sense?
- Does it roll off the tongue?
- Is it sexy? A great brand?
- How old is it?
- Does it have search volume?
- High CPC?
- Will companies fight over who gets to own it?
- Can it be easily replaced?
- Is it a catchy phrase?
Those are just some of the most important things I check before ever investing in a two word .com domain name.